BY ALEX P. VIDAL
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight poverty in the Philippines, now is the right time. Silencing Sugar Shane Mosley last May 7 should have been his farewell performance.
Pacquiao must ignore the saber-rattling of Bob Arum and his ilk who want him to fight again in November until next year.
It’s his face that is being riddled with punches; it’s his brains that are being rocked violently with blows.
Arum, et al are pushing Pacquiao to the limits. After 10 years of a successful campaign in the U.S. market, it’s time for Pacquiao to wrap up his career while he is ahead — while his main faculties are still intact!
Definitely he is tired and weary. We don’t see it but he can feel it. The 14-fight winning streak is a manifestation that a human body has underwent catatonic punishment.
He has been a beakbuster since 14 and has accumulated more than 100 actual bouts (including his stint as amateur boxer in General Santos City).
In his March 2010 fight with Joshua Clotty in Arlington, Texas alone, Pacquiao received a total of about 1,300 punches after 12 rounds. Meaning, he absorbed more than 100 punches per round!
“How did he survive that? How can he withstand that? He is only human,” observed my roommate Eddie Alinea, dean of Philippine sportswriters.
He is only human, yes. Must he allow his body to be further peppered with more punishment when he has been assured now of a bright future and can rest on his laurels with comfort?
Arum has hinted Pacquiao would next fight either Timothy Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez in November this year before duking it out with the perennial evader Floyd May weather Jr. next year. What for? How many more millions of dollars must Pacquiao pocket before he realizes that money, after all, is not everything in this world?
The guy has nothing to prove anymore as a fighter and acknowledged No. 1 boxer in the world pound-for-pound. He has breached the earnings of a paid athlete in fight business with his swashbuckling talent.
A crusader can only demolish poverty if he is mentally and physically fit. If Pacquiao will quit as prizefighter and focus his attention on his new-found hobby, his mission is already half accomplished!
Never mind his rock star-like mop-top that has contributed in his fame and glory. With his playful exuberance and charismatic appeal, Pacquiao can reach out with any sector in society and can be an effective ambassador of anti-poverty campaign for the United Nations non-pareil.