Manny Pacquiao should retire, but here’s why he won’tBy Rene Pastor
There was a jarring moment there as his head rested near the ring apron that I thought Manny Pacquiao had been hurt badly.
A chopping right had knocked him out and it took several minutes for him to get back up. He finally did get up, but you could see the crowd grab its breath during his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez where Pacquiao lost it in the sixth round.
Manny Pacquiao is 33 and his next birthday is a week from now. He is one of the greats in boxing who has taken on all comers in his career. He’s got nothing more to prove as a fighter.
Pacquiao should retire, but he won’t. A few minutes after he was beaten, he was already talking about resuming training and getting back in the ring.
Champion boxers like Manny don’t know when to step away. They always feel they have one good fight left in them, one more night when they can turn back the clock and be the invincible pugilist they were before they turned 30.
Muhammad Ali kept fighting until the bull-strong Trevor Berbick, a boxer no one remembers, beat him into retirement. At his peak, Ali would have danced around Berbick, beating a tattoo of jabs on the man’s mug and probably knocking him out inside five rounds.
But the Ali of 1981 was barely a shadow of the man who made Sonny Liston look amateurish when he crushed the then-heavyweight champion in the 1960s.
Pacquiao feels he lost on a lucky punch. He will never accept retiring with his face on the canvass, out cold. If he has to fight Juan Marquez again in the 5th war of their series, he will. The pride of a champion will not allow him to accept the end of his career this way.
The only time champion fighters know it’s over is 2 or 3 fights too late. The sycophants around these guys will whisper in their ears “You’re still great, boss.” And they’ll believe the hangers-on and the ‘yes men.’
When you become the first Filipino boxer to pull in a billion pesos for one fight, and you’re ravenously hungry to prove that the losses were flukes, retirement is just not an option.
In a way, the fight with Floyd Mayweather may now finally push through. Floyd probably feels he can now take on Pacman and beat him.
I‘d want to see Pacquiao walk away while all his senses are still intact and functioning. It’s going to be a very sad day if he develops the shakes and the stuttering that Parkinson’s visited on Ali.
I want to see Pacquiao grow old and lucid as an esteemed statesman, hug his kids and grandchildren. Boxing has always been the most brutal of sports, and its champions like the Pacman deserve better.
One can only hope.