There’s every reason for Manny Pacquiao to feel displeased at that prescription for him to undergo an extensive brain check following the frightening knockout he suffered against Juan Manuel Marquez early last month.
Reports said Pacquiao, obviously feeling fouled and slurred, was mulling charges against Dr. Rustico Jimenez, a neurologist who said he had noticed signs of Parkinson’s disease after watching Pacquiao’s hands “twitching” on television.
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Hysterical, Pacquiao fanatics readily cried in defense of their legendary idol.
Of course, promoter Bob Arum himself advised his top money earner to report to the Cleveland Clinic (in Las Vegas) to undergo extensive check-up “from the neck up.”
Pacquiao was supposed to have been cleared after that shocking stoppage, first in Las Vegas and then at Cardinal Santos Hospital upon coming home.
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So was Dr. Jimenez’s observation merely meant to defame?
The neurologist, by the way, was quick to clarify he had never checked on Pacquiao.
In short, he was not offering a diagnosis but instead making an honest recommendation.
As we went to press, there was nothing clear if Pacquiao would take action against Dr. Jimenez or not.
What has become alarmingly clear, though, was the fact there are Pacquiao devotees out there who feel their idol is indestructible.
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Pacquiao was fouled, cried Josef, owner and chief mechanic at a bicycle repair shop on J. Catacutan Street, Vergara, Mandaluyong.
He claimed Marquez stepped on Pacquiao’s foot to mount that numbing knockout shot.
The driver of the jeepney which this reporter took from the San Felipe Neri Church yesterday morning swore the Mafia was behind Pacquiao’s unbelievable fall.
Out there at a wedding reception in Davao City last Dec. 14, one Pacquiao follower wondered if it’s true his idol was merely trying to test his toughness when he freely took that right shot to the temple in the third round of the last encounter with Marquez.
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Meanwhile, United States-based Filipino boxing specialist Hermie Rivera, swearing Marquez could not outbox Pacquiao on any given day, has been making moves to pin down nutritionist Angel Heredia for allegedly giving Marquez “illegal power enhancers.”
There, indeed, are many more outrageous fanatical claims going the rounds.
This only showed how seriously Pacquiao’s epic reign as pound-for-pound king and winner of titles in eight different world divisions has robbed fans of their usual objectivity.
But is it not about time they checked if Pacquao should also be protected from himself?
Why? His pronouncement after his shocking knockout loss—that he merely became overconfident, repeat overconfident—could only mean one thing:
Pacquiao continued to believe he was not beaten but rather he lost to Marquez.
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That’s not easy to explain.
But in reality, Pacquiao lost, was beaten mindless and convulsing on the floor after he became careless.
Now, a closer, more honest look would show Pacquiao dropped his guard before the end of the sixth round visibly due to weariness.
Maybe this was not the sort of involuntary twitching observed by Dr. Jimenez before he made a recommendation for Pacquiao.
Just the same, they may need to heed the good neurologist who only wanted to make sure Pacquiao would not end up brain-damaged—a Brenda in local colloquialism—if and when he squares off a fifth time with the incredible Mexican bandido Juan Manuel Marquez.