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Manny Pacquiao tells Filipino reporter God has told him to retire

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Manny Pacquiao said God has told him to retire from boxing (Pat Roque/AP photo)

Superstar boxer Manny Pacquiao has long had strong religious beliefs. A Roman Catholic, one of Pacquiao's habits has been to attend Mass on the morning of one of his fights.

But now, the eight-division world champion told a Filipino radio station that God has told him he must retire soon.

I will not stay long in boxing because He said 'You have done enough. You have made yourself famous, but this is harmful.'

However, in his interview with DZMM, which was also broadcast on the Teleradyo TV show, that he didn't expect his new religious beliefs to impact his boxing.

I will do my work inside the ring.

Pacquiao will defend the World Boxing Organization welterweight title against Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden on pay-per-view. Promoter Bob Arum said he hasn't spoken to Pacquiao recently and isn't sure what to make of the comments.

[ Related: HBO lets fans pick Mayweather, Cotto fights they want to see ]

Arum has been consistent in saying that Pacquiao would retire sometime in 2013 in order to run for governor of his province in the Philippines.

"If I said 'Yes, I think he's going to retire,' I'd be accused of using this to hype up sales," Arum told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. "The answer is, I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. When he talks to me, he talks differently, but we haven't talked in weeks. When I was in the Philippines, we had a lot of religious discussions, but he said nothing that would indicate he is going to retire soon. I've learned, though, that when you're dealing with religious stuff, you never know."

In another interview, with the morning show Rated Korina on ABS-CBN, Pacquiao said he no longer gambles or womanizes.

Neither story mentioned how Pacquiao's religious beliefs may impact a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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