Mendoza: Skip the Sona

If Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) fails to defeat Keith Thurman tomorrow (21 July PHL time), time to retire.

Well, on second thought, it depends.

If Thurman (29-0-1, 22 KOs) manages to snatch a questionable win, I will reconsider.

Like, Pacquiao loses after suffering a serious head butt, forcing a fight stoppage.

Or, Pacquiao loses a technical decision caused, perhaps, by a gaping eyebrow wound when the bout has gone beyond five rounds—the bleeding going beyond control.

Or, Pacquiao loses due to a controversial and an inconclusive points verdict, as in Thurman winning by split decision, or even by either unanimous or majority decision.

Or, the fight ending in a draw, or a no-contest, thus, requiring a rematch.

What I’m saying is, at age 40, Pacquiao cannot afford to lose anymore. And, for him to lose by knockout is, sadly, the shortcut to retirement.

OK, he lost by knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez but that was seven years ago, when Pacquiao was only 33 in 2012.

Among boxers, recovering at that age is just as fast.

But Pacquiao at 40, sunset beckons.

And Thurman at 30 makes Pacquiao an old fogey.

A major dent at Thurman’s record is he had but one fight since 2017. He looked rusty—he admits it outright—in stealing a points victory over Josesito Lopez in January.

This was the offshoot of a car crash that injured Thurman’s right elbow, hand and back that needed surgeries.

Those scars might matter in the end?

But I also fear that Pacquiao might lose focus as he intends to leave for home just hours after the world welterweight fight in Las Vegas to catch the Sona (State of the Nation Address) the next day, Monday.

That’s putting Pacquiao in danger zone as he might attempt to rush for an early knockout win.

The saying, “Haste makes waste,” quickly comes to mind.

With the Sona scene tossed out of the window, I see the fighting senator winning by knockout. Easily.

Embracing it puts Pacquiao’s chances in jeopardy.

Even his own doctor advised him to skip the Sona.

I believe: One can’t serve two masters at the same time.

Don’t be stubborn, Manny.


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