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Thursday, December 02, 2021
CEBU

Mendoza: Curse of Father Time

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The obvious just happened. That is all there is to it.

There is no reason to be surprised.

Before announcing his retirement from boxing on Sept. 29, 2021, Manny Pacquiao knew that his decision was as inevitable and as unavoidable as grass growing with a mere drop of rain.

By saying goodbye to the sport that has made him the first Filipino athlete to become a certified billionaire, he merely confirmed the long-running rumor that his time was up.

It was long overdue, actually.

If you ask me, he should have retired nine years ago, when he was knocked out cold in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8, 2012.

Even his mother, the famous Mommy D [for Dionisia], shocked like all of us by that grotesque sight of Pacquiao lying on the canvas motionless for like eternity, had hysterically called for his retirement.

But he didn’t. And rising from that Marquez maiming by beating some nondescript fighters like Chris Algieri in Nov. 2014, plus a points-victory over Timothy Bradley in April 2014 to somehow erase his 2012 split decision loss to Bradley, gave him the false illusion that he still had it.

He was massively mistaken.

It showed three years later, when unheralded Jeff Horn defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision before 51,052 delirious fans in Brisbane, Australia, in July 2017.

The cracks were showing, spills screaming from leaks, but he refused to see, listen.

He tried one last time at redemption on Aug. 22 when he took on Yordenis Ugas, the unknown Cuban who had nothing to lose but everything to gain.

But being damaged goods already and reduced to a 42-year-old, pathetic slow motion version of the fire-spewing Pacman, the Pambansang Kamao would disastrously bow on points.

Thus, Pacquiao leaves the scene of his glory not on top of his game, a familiar refrain for many previous greats defiant to the eternal curse of Father Time—boxing’s Greatest Of All Time Muhammad Ali among them But like Ali, Pacquiao has also inscribed his name in granite in boxing’s inscrutable list of immortals, his most notable feat being the sport’s first and still the only eight-division world champion.

Only time will tell if his boxing exploits would translate into a Manny Pacquiao, the former bakery helper, becoming the next Palace occupant in May 2022.

You have a say.


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