Shouldn’t Manny Pacquiao first be getting medical attention like, say, a brain scan before he’s let loose on the exacting comeback trail?
Bob Arum said Pacquiao should get some cranial check following that fearful face-first crash suffered against the ageless Juan Manuel Marquez.
But if the insatiable 81-year-old promoter was properly concerned, he may not be in a proper position to write a prescription.
Was he, in the first place, being objective?
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Battle-scarred Bernard Hopkins, meanwhile, noted that the lights-out knockout delivered by Marquez with a totally paralyzing shot to Pacquiao’s uncovered chin takes one or two fights from the victim, regardless of age or stature.
Objective as he may have sounded, the incredible Hopkins, 46 and still fighting big-time, did not have the temerity to suggest what proper moves Pacquiao should be taking following what other experts felt could be a career-ending stoppage.
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For its part, the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued a mandatory ban, ordering a 120-day leave from action for Pacquiao.
No problem there because, going by how the fallen Filipino superhero would lay off completely after a major bout, the 120-day forced break simply made official the regular four-month hibernation that’s been part of the Pacquiao regimen.
It’s only Pacquiao who should be in the best position to determine his proper comeback date. In fact, he had suggested a May-time return, although this was altered by trainer Freddie Roach, who said September should be a fine month for Pacquiao to box again.
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Roach could be right although the multiawarded trainer, who used to be sharp and precise in sizing up other fighters (“De la Hoya can’t pull the trigger”), has not been up to par lately.
He had, in fact, lost all his big fights this year.
But then, Pacquiao could not be any better. Based on how he had bragged about exposing the expiration date of Marquez’s ring life in their fourth fight, Pacquiao’s ability to read his own total condition could also be suspect.
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How much was left of Pacquiao after his last outing—a total disaster?
Despite new doubts on his other abilities, including his faith, there’s no denying it’s still Pacquiao who knows his own brain, heart and body best.
How much have the years gnawed off from his legs?
How much can he deliver?
How much can he take?
There’s still no fool-proof barometer to size up a fighter’s power and gifts.
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But, in Pacquiao’s case, there’s one thing he will never run short of: generosity and kindness.
In fact, this afternoon at a borrowed tree-lined summer place in Pangao, Lipa City, some 50 farm families will line up to pray in thanksgiving and get their Christmas gifts that will include goods bought through the P10,000 won by a reporter during a raffle sponsored by Pacquiao at the Harbor View restaurant last year.
Trader-sportsman Lucio Yan, a former national football team mainstay, again shelled out cash, Peter Tanyao and Romulo “Boy” Sebreros sent in 50 balled hams, Go Teng Kok donated corned beef in cans, sportsman Bambi Rivilla and Bart Mayo gave rice, sardines, Mang Ramon Rivero of Jackson Shoes gave assorted goodies, Chino’s Mom—Dear Pepot—gathered toys, candies and children’s wear.
As in past years, outstanding Lipeños Mar Maralit and Gerry Mayor, assisted by Rene de Monte, will preside in the humble affair started off by Olympian Narciso Bernardo, civic leaders Nandy Charvet of Mandaluyong and Dr. Ruel Reyes of San Pablo City over ten years ago.
Thank God indeed for the chance to share His bounty with others.