Bernard Hopkins believes Manny Pacquiao may be a year or two too late into retirement.
In an interview with Fight Hub, Hopkins said the 39-year-old Pacquiao should have been retired already. Pacquiao is currently scheduled to fight Lucas Matthysse for Matthysse’s “regular” welterweight title on July 15 in Malaysia. This would be Matthysse’s first title defense and it will be Pacquiao’s first fight since losing the WBO welterweight title to Jeff Horn last summer.
“Pacquiao right now is going to be very dangerous against whoever he fights on his way out. I think Pacquiao is a year or two late into retirement, but a good win for Matthysse. [Pacquiao] is still dangerous. You can go and sleep on Pacquiao because of the experience, but I think that Matthysse’s style makes it difficult. I think Matthysse’s style makes it a tougher fight than I think it wouldn’t if Matthysse had any other style...Just because Matthysse’s style is like it is makes it a fight,” Hopkins said.
Pacquiao had actually briefly retired in 2016 after a win over Timothy Bradley Jr. before coming back to fight at the end of the year to fight then-WBO champion Jessie Vargas on pay-per-view.
Hopkins does know a thing about fighting well past the age most boxers would retire. Hopkins’ last fight took place in late 2016 when Hopkins lost to Joe Smith Jr., two years after Hopkins’ last world title win. The former two-division world champion also owns the record for being the oldest boxer to win a world championship.