It is now close to two months since Manny Pacquiao, serving Philippine Senator, celebrated one-time eight-division world champion boxer, and pride of the Filipino, defeated American Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this past July. For casual followers of Pacquiao that sounds like routine news, though the victory was by split decision and not one of the overwhelming KOs the Pambansang Kamao was famous for. Observers might attribute that to age; Manny is 40 going on 41. That is also the factor that longtime Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is pointing out with his latest challenge to the Pac-Man.
As The Philippine Star puts it, Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing has made known his opinion that it might be high time for Manny Pacquiao to retire from the sport of boxing. It is a roundabout to his viewpoint just a few years ago that the Filipino pride was still a magnificent contender even as he approached and finally reached the age of 40. This time the Top Rank boss wants Pacquiao to know that unless he could somehow renegotiate a rematch with undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr., he should go into retirement.
“[Pacquiao’s] an exceptionally good human being, really a fine guy, extraordinarily charitable and a delight,” notes Arum, who emphasized that he has been honored to promote the boxing legend for many years. “But he’s (almost) 41-years-old. And if you’re 41 you can’t take punishment.” The 87-year-old veteran fight promoter discussed Manny’s recent match with Keith Thurman, remarking that although it was a victory that earned him the WBA welterweight title, his American opponent landed heavy hits on him to. “He took a lot of punishment,” Arum adds. “That punishment is going to have a serious effect on how he lives the rest of his life.” It is noted that neither Pacquiao nor his camp has spoken about possible next opponents.
Bob Arum then broached the subject of Manny Pacquiao’s chances in getting Floyd Mayweather Jr. to fight him once more. Their previous encounter in 2015 was hotly anticipated by boxing aficionados hoping to finally see a definitive better boxer between the two. Although Mayweather won the match, his primarily defensive and evasive strategy while punching for points left a sour taste with the audience, who expected a slugfest ending in a knockout. Analysts described Floyd’s tactic as a good counter against a KO artist like Pacquiao, but also devoid of intense spectacle yearned by fans.
To that end, Arum has asked Manny to intensify his efforts at a Mayweather rematch then retire when the match is fought. Conversely, if the rematch proves impossible, then Pacquiao has to retire soon, before attrition on his body leads to possible brain damage, dangerous to his current political career.
Image from world Boxing News