THOUGH Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao put on an impressive performance for a 40-year-old fighter against a younger opponent in Keith Thurman, some boxers expressed their concern that he might be pushing it too much.
Even tough, promising super bantamweight Jeo Santisima was impressed and even motivated by Pacquiao’s performance. The 23-year-old believes the “Fighting Senator” is already a legend in the sport and that he has to call it a career before he gets hurt.
“It’s inspiring because he’s 40 years old and his style still has not changed. He just got a little tired because I think it was because of his age, but he really showed a great performance,” Santisima, the World Boxing Oganization (WBO) Oriental super bantamweight champion, told SunStar Cebu. “He has to retire. But I think he still wants to fight. He has nothing to prove anymore. He might get hurt.”
Former amateur standout KJ Cataraja shares his stablemate’s sentiments and said Pacquiao has nothing to prove anymore.
“I think he’s slowed down already. He’s different than his past self. But he was still very impressive because Thurman is younger,” said the 24-year-old Cataraja. “It’s hard if he challenges the other tough fighters in the weight division. He had difficulty against Thurman already. But he was still impressive because of what he has done despite his age. A lot of Filipino fighters can’t move like that at his age. He has nothing to prove. He has already carved his name in the world of boxing. It’s better for him to retire already,”
Three-time world title challenger Arthur Villanueva also feels that Pacquiao should hang it up for his health. But he also feels that one more fight won’t hurt.
“He still has his speed and power. The problem is I think he can’t take the hard punches. I think he has to retire for his health. I hope he’s going to have one more and then retire,” said Villanueva, who himself is also contemplating retirement. “He was the one who said that he’ll wait for the winner of the (Shawn) Porter and (Errol) Spence fight in September. He wants to fight the winner and both of them are very tough. By the way, this is just my opinion and Senator Manny knows his body better.”
Veteran journeyman Marjohn Yap and ALA Boxing Gym head coach Edito Villamor feel that it won’t be the last of Pacquiao and that a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight is brewing for next year.
“He was very good,” said Yap. “He was quick with his punches now, very different from the (Adrien) Broner fight. I think he’ll fight Mayweather. I think they will fight because of the money at stake.”
“It should be a rematch with Mayweather,” said Villamor. “Now that Manny is back in the limelight I think that will happen and money talks.” (EKA)