June 14, 2024

Reports are abuzz that “Pambansang Kamao” Manny Pacquiao will stage a comeback on two fronts of his career.
First is that he is out to regain his Senate seat in the midterm elections next year.
Second is the planned official fight against a still unnamed fighter.
While everybody concedes that he will surely be elected as a senator owing to his wealth and popularity, the opposite is true regarding his projected comeback fight.
Pacquiao has a promotional outfit in boxing, the MP Promotions, and his managers are busy plotting a comeback fight for him. They mince no secret about negotiating with the camp of Nigel Benn, an undefeated British fighter 20 years the junior of Pacquiao, who is all too willing to face him and pad his bio-data with a possible victory against an icon.
But whether or not this will materialize is dependent upon the fighting condition of the Philippine’s pride.
Since he retired in 2021 after that unceremonious loss to Yordonis Ugas, Pacquiao has graced the ring twice in exhibition matches. It would appear from those exhibition fights that he is still in tip-top shape.
His managers are, therefore, using these two fights as a gauge to lure him back from retirement. And, from the looks of it, he is biting. On more than one occasion, he declared his “itch” to get back into training to prepare for an official fight. He should be careful of what he wishes for.
Despite having retired, Pacquiao remains to be a household name in boxing. For sure, if he dons his gloves and fights again, his box-office attraction is not the least diminished. His fight will be sold-out even though his victory is not assured. This is where the danger lies.
Boxing is a brutal sport. It is a unique and dangerous encounter where the protagonists try to kill or maim each other. It is not meant for the weak and the old. By standards, Pacquiao, at the age of 44 is an old and worn-out gladiator. Climbing the ring will be his biggest mistake.
Sure, he thinks he can still fight. He probably is, but no longer at the level where he was 20 or 10 years ago. By trying to defy age, he is courting disaster. He only has to see the history of many fighters who attempted to stage a comeback only to regret it after being bludgeoned to embarrassment.
Boxing greats Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Roy Jones, Jr., and a slew of other Hall of Fame fighters all attempted a swan song of a fight only to be frustrated and besmirch their legacy. Pacquiao does not deserve such treatment.
The only reason why the people around Pacquiao want him to return to the ring is for money, lots of money that he can generate for them. This much is pretty obvious. They won’t mind if he gets hurt. They won’t care if he suffers a debilitating injury that may compromise his future. It is all about the money.
Hence, Pacquiao ought to realize by now that if he gives in to their desires, he is allowing himself to be exploited and taken advantage of.
The “Pambansang Kamao” has nothing more to prove. He has fought there is to offer and outlasted all of them in convincing fashion. His greatness is of mythic proportion. He will forever be remembered as an all-time great in the same category as those who preceded him, if not more.
In all sundry, Pacquiao should forget boxing and just plan his comeback as a senator.