Happy Birthday Manny Pacquiao! The Superstar Is 33 Today

Manny PacquiaoBy James Slater: Boxing superstar, politician, movie actor and singer Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao celebrates his 33rd birthday today. With all he has accomplished (let’s concentrate on his boxing career), the Filipino icon could walk away today and he would be content with all his ring achievements.

A conqueror of eight weight divisions, Pacquiao’s trophy cabinet is crammed full today. Yet there is one more massive fight, one more name on his resume, that keeps the reigning WBO welterweight king motivated: a super-fight with fellow megastar Floyd Mayweather Junior. Fans the world over are sick and tired of the on/off/on/off, maybe-on-again saga that has accompanied this would-be fight. The latest word from Pac-Man is that “Money” wants a staggering $100 million for himself for the fight!

The negotiations for this fight have fallen apart so many times, any word of fresh negotiations must be taken with a massive pinch of salt. Still, promoter Bob Arum is reported to be set to begin new talks in January. We can only hope the fight gets made - finally - before it’s too late. Indeed, is it already too late for Pacquiao to be able to win the thing?

Age 33 is, as history has shown us, an age when greats have began to slow down. It was age 33 when the great Ali began his slow fade, as was age 33 the time when Sugar Ray Leonard began to realise he was no longer the subliminal force he once was. And it must be said that last time out, in his third fight with archrival Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao looked far from impressive. A sign that age has caught up with him, or was that fight simply a case of the southpaw dynamo going in with his “bogeyman?”

We won’t be sure until Pac-Man has his next fight. Whether this next fight is against Marquez, in a fourth clash, against Mayweather, in a fight the whole world wants to see, or against someone else, the pressure will be on Pacquiao (and his trainer Freddie Roach) to deliver. If Pacquiao can revert to his old form and defeat either Marquez or Mayweather and look good doing it, all talk that age has caught up with him will be forgotten. Of course, neither “Money” nor “Dinamita” are fresh-faced youngsters themselves, but both men look, for now anyway, to have aged better than Pacquiao has.

Pac-Man is far from a faded force, but his peak years have almost certainly passed. How many more birthdays will Pacquiao the fighter celebrate?

In a related note, former three-time Pac-Man ring rival Erik Morales has recently made it known that he very much wants a fourth fight with the warrior he is 1-2 with.

As quoted by The Examiner, “El Terrible” said it is his “dream fight” to get it on with Pacquiao again.

“Let’s wait,” Morales added. “Let’s motivate the fans. Let’s wait until the people say ‘we want a fourth fight between Morales and Pacquiao.’

But will the people ever find the need to actually say those words? Certainly not if the Mexican legend loses his WBC 140-pound title to young, hungry, talented and unbeaten Danny Garcia in January; which is a distinct possibility.

Article posted on 17.12.2011

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