There has been some muted concern in recent days over the possible harsh effects on the physical well-being of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao after a group of neurologists discussed the possible long-term effects of shots to the head over years in the ring.
There was also additional concern after Pacquiao’s charming wife Jinkee revealed that there are times after a tough fight when Manny’s urine would either be red or even black, indicating possible effects of blows to the kidney.
In fact there is a high-level gathering of neurologists, scheduled to be held at the Diamond Hotel next week, where they will discuss the effects of a wide range of contact sports, without necessarily zeroing in on boxing or taking a stand against the sport.
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What bothers us is the fact that there are still some individuals in Team Pacquiao, including promoter Bob Arum, who want him to continue to fight despite the fact that he has already achieved unprecedented fame and fortune.
But what upsets us no end is the suggestion that he face Sergio Martinez, the reigning world middleweight champion who finished off Paul “The Punisher” Williams with one punch in the second round.
Catchweight or no catchweight, it is a risk not worth taking.
Martinez himself showed good sense when he termed it a mismatch. And without insulting Manny, he merely mentioned that he was too small.
He is damn right. Any one in Pacquiao’s camp who pushes the idea of a Martinez fight clearly doesn’t care for Manny like millions of his countrymen do.
Arum, it seems, is pushing for a fight against Shane Mosley.
What for? A fight against Mosley will give Floyd Mayweather Jr. another opportunity to ridicule Manny by claiming he takes on fighters that Floyd has beaten. He made the same claim when Pacquiao fought Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton—although he was nowhere near the dominating manner in which Pacquiao humbled both fighters.
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For his own sake, if Manny should insist on one last hurrah, the obvious choice is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
However, if Mayweather chickens out or winds up in jail, the one more fight that needs to be made should be against Juan Manuel Marquez.
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We are convinced that Pacquiao will give Marquez an unmerciful beating at 140 or even 147 pounds, although that depends on whether Marquez gets by Michael Katsidis this Sunday.
A Pacquiao trilogy is a fight that, in fairness to Marquez, he earned through the two previous encounters which were both close.
If, after demolishing Erik Morales in their second fight Pacquiao gave the Mexican one more chance, surely Marquez is more deserving.
A third fight will also enable Pacquiao to write finis to a festering doubt by some fight fans, media and De La Hoya who continue to claim that Marquez was robbed of victory.
A third Marquez fight will enable Pacquiao to shut his mouth while at the same time putting an end to the mindless mouthing of De La Hoya, who had promised to knock out Pacquiao but was instead pulverized when they fought.
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If Bob Arum can’t attract Mayweather and doesn’t want Marquez, then the best thing would be for Manny to retire. It’s not that he cannot continue to fight and win. But millions of his countrymen care for him too much to see him, God forbid, suffer after giving us so much pride and joy.