Lack of rest may have doomed Manny on fight night
LAS VEGAS—Manny Pacquiao emerged from the locker room to the post-fight presser in dark shades—the better to hide the bruises tattooed on his face by Yordenis Ugas’ pointed, well-placed jabs.
The bruises were nothing new for the 42-year-old boxing legend.
“That’s boxing,” he said on Saturday after losing to his Cuban foe in their WBA welterweight super title fight.
Perhaps the more the painful thing is the way he lost it: He suffered cramps on both legs as early as the second round.
“Maybe from pushing too much,” Pacquiao said. “That’s the reason why I didn’t move, I was just countering him with punches.”
The cramps may have been a direct result of the fighter not subscribing to modern rest and recovery methods his coaches offered him.
Insiders said Pacquiao would shun the idea of dipping in tub of ice right after a workout. His argument: A burning iron thrown in cold water would crush itself.
Instead, Pacquiao, perhaps the last of the old-school fighters, would just take a dayoff here and there, a rest day that would depend on Pacquiao “just [listening] to my body.”
Those sporadic breaks may have worked perfectly for him when he was much, much younger. But on Saturday, it caused him and his aging legs trouble.
In 2019 he was able to salvage a win over Keith Thurman despite running on fumes late in the bout. But that’s after he scored a knockdown in the opening round that helped tilt the judges toward him.
Unable to score a decisive punch in Saturday, Pacquiao faded in the latter stages of the fight, a victim of his own preparation.
For the fight against Ugas, Pacquiao sparred 35 rounds a day. That was on top of his regular morning jogs up on Griffith Park and regular workouts at Wild Card.
Throw in meetings with business and political allies right inside his Plymouth Drive home in Los Angeles, Pacquiao practically didn’t have enough time to rest.
Finally, his body made itself heard Saturday night.
It’s now up to Pacquiao to listen. INQ