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01:28 AM January 19th, 2013

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By: Manolo R. Iñigo, January 19th, 2013 01:28 AM

SAYING he is ready and fit to fight two more times in 2013, boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has ignored suggestions and calls for him to retire from well-known medical  specialists upon his return from a vacation in Israel and Hong Kong.

“God is good,” said Pacquiao, who lost his last fight following a potential lethal punch to the temple from Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas last Dec. 9.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun said she was not convinced with the result of the CT scan clearing Pacquiao after the knockout.

Said she: “Severe blow to the head could result to Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia which could worsen. There are many cases of the effects resulting to chronic trauma or repeated blow to the head especially to boxers, even football players.”

Fortun explained there were two instances when Pacquiao was hurt when he went down. The first time was from Marquez’s punch, and the second time was when Pacquiao’s head hit the deck.

“It is dangerous,” explained Dr. Fortun, a brain specialist from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, stressing that although early findings found Pacquiao free from brain damage, she is worried that it is too early to say.

Neurologists from the UP-PGH shared Fortun’s opinion.

Dr. Fortun added that once the head is subjected to repeated blows to the skull, there are many findings that could very well result in hemorrhage. The brain specialist from UP explained that dura mater, or a small nerve surrounding the brain,  once it is damaged may result to subdural hematoma.

Another neurologist, Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, said in a  radio interview that Pacman could be a victim of Parkinson’s syndrome because he showed signs of trembling of the hands.

“It is best for Pacquiao to retire now if he wants to avoid what happened to Muhammad Ali, and also to award-winning trainer Freddie Roach who both suffered similar nervous system disease. Later on, Pacquiao could suffer Alzheimer’s disease. He should be careful,” said the doctor.

However, in another interview, Dr. Jimenez made it clear again that he could be wrong according to his findings.

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SPORTS TRIVIA: Lyrical and critical essayist Albert Camus was once an amateur boxer himself and remained a lifelong fight man. According to Howard Cosell, the most controversial sports journalist ever, the emotional satisfaction Camus got out of boxing was at odds with his intellectual opposition to violence and capital punishment, and it provoked ambivalent feelings within him.

Boxing is a drama on its grandest scale, explained Cosell.” No other athletic event is as electrifying as a championship fight. I continued to cover boxing perhaps longer than I should have because of my admiration for the fighters, their earthiness, and their honesty. Generally speaking, the ones who become champions spring from poverty; they work harder and sacrifice more than other athletes. Rarely do they make excuses. They have no teammates to lean on. They are out all alone, exposed, vulnerable, valiantly summoning up reserves of courage in situations where a lot of other athletes would simply call it quits. There are no secrets in the ring, and they willingly accept the fears and the pain and the scars as part of their trade.”

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