Whatever the future holds for Manny Pacquiao, it has to be accepted, by absolutely everyone, that the Filipino southpaw is a truly, utterly exceptional prizefighter (no haters here, please). A pro for 23 long years, Manny has been ruling the world, off and on, for the last twenty years. Incredibly winning his very first world title in December of 1998, when he stopped Chatchai Sasakul to become WBC flyweight champion, Pac Man would go on to achieve so, so much more.
IBF super-bantamweight title, WBC super-featherweight title, WBC lightweight title, WBO welterweight title, WBC super-welterweight title and more. Pacquiao has been an elite fighter for roughly twice as long as most fighters box for – period. In light of all this success, one would think Pacquiao has done enough, easily enough, to be content and ready and willing to walk away into the sunset, into retirement. But no, like so many other boxing greats, Pacquiao is just unable to quit and hang ’em up.
Lennox Lewis always said boxing is “like a drug,” that it pulls you back in, “for one more,” as in one more fight. In Pacquiao’s case, it could be one big fight too far – especially if he’s matched with either Terence Crawford of Vasyl Lomachenko. Last night, in destroying Lucas Matthysse in his best win in years, Pac Man won himself yet another world title. Now holder of too many world title belts to keep track of, Manny has a seemingly ideal and perfect exit route.
He could walk away now, on top, unscathed. But he won’t. This is the boxing drug. If even a dozen or so world titles are not enough, then nothing can ever be enough in this sport. Manny Pacquiao is living proof of that.
A pro since way back in January of 1995 and now holder of a simply incredible 60-7-2(39) ledger, Manny has fought enough, surely. We wish him all the best. It would be awful to see this great fighter go out on a loss; even worse to see him go out on his back.