There have been some genuine boxing marvels over the years when it comes to men being able to defy that strongest thing of all: nature. As in they have been able to defy the ageing process, to the extent that they were able to perform in the ring in a manner that would make men half their age envious. Guys, incredible guys, like Bernard Hopkins (surely the grandest of all granddad fighters), George Foreman and, years ago (making the achievement all the more impressive) Archie Moore made a mockery out of the number of birthday cakes they had eaten and the affect the passing of years was supposed to have on their fistic ability.
But we are now witnessing another phenomenon: this being the single fastest, speediest and all-round fittest 40 year old world championship calibre boxer in history: Mr. Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao – better known as Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao. What Pacquiao is able to do at age of 40, what he did on Saturday night against the much younger Adrien Broner, is quite incredible. Each of the ageing fighters listed above, who managed to achieve success during their advanced years, did so by altering their overall style, by adding little nuances, subtle tricks and devices to their game. Manny? He is basically fighting the exact same way he did ten years ago, 15 years ago.
Yes, of course, Manny has slowed down somewhat from the blurring dynamo he once was, he is a human being after all. But it’s no real big stretch to say Pacquiao is almost as fast as he was when he was in his prime (whenever that was), that he is still crammed full of energy, that he has not eroded as a fighter at all really; certainly not as far as hand-speed goes. We have no idea how long he can keep it up, how long he can keep subduing opponents years younger than himself, but already this great fighter who has made history (as the only eight division world champ) is looking like a boxer who will have his own page devoted to him when he finally retires.
Never has there been a faster, more energetic, more stamina-laden 40 year prizefighter. Never in history. Never before.
Let’s enjoy this remarkable sight to behold as long as we can; as long as it can possibly last.