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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Should Manny retire or not?

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
29 Jul 2017



International boxing matchmaker Lope (Jun) Sarreal, Jr. and former seven-time world champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. shared contrasting views on whether Manny Pacquiao should retire sooner than later even as there appears to be some certainty that the fighting Senator will face Jeff Horn in a bid to regain the WBO welterweight crown in Brisbane or Melbourne this November.

While Pacquiao has not confirmed the rematch, Horn’s camp is now laying the groundwork for a second meeting. The open-air Suncorp Stadium, which was the venue for the first encounter, has been ruled out because of the unpredictability of climate conditions in November. The 15,000-seat Brisbane Entertainment Center is an option but ticket prices will surely skyrocket because it’s a smaller site than the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium. Another alternative is the 53,359-seat Ethihad Stadium, equipped with a retractable roof, in Melbourne. It appears that Horn will not agree to a return bout in the Philippines.

Sarreal, whose father Lope, Sr. or Papa and brother-in-law Gabriel (Flash) Elorde are in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, said if the rematch materializes, Pacquiao should retire after the return fight, win or lose. “Manny’s now 38 and he’s been fighting for over 20 years,” said Sarreal. “I think it’s time to end his boxing career and focus on the Senate. When to retire is the hardest decision a fighter has to make. My estimate is 80 percent of fighters who’ve retired want to come back because they miss the action, the training, the people around them, the sound of the bell. I remember I managed a fighter Tony Jumao-as back in the ‘70s. I advised him to quit after he won only once in his last nine fights and was getting on in years. Without my knowledge, he went to Mindanao and continued fighting. I’m concerned about fighters taking too many blows to the head. Look at what happened to Muhammad Ali.”

Sarreal said Pacquiao should submit to regular CT-Scans and MRIs to check on his brain health. “I hope Manny’s OK,” said Sarreal. “He took a lot of headbutts from Horn. Gabriel (Elorde) fought for 20 years and after he lost to (Hiroyuki) Murakami (who only had 10 fights) in 1971, I personally spoke with GAB chairman (Simplicio) Taguiam to cancel his license. He wanted to continue fighting but it was time to quit. In Manny’s case, he wants one more chance to regain the title.”

Donaire said only Pacquiao can determine if he's ready to retire. “If you ask me, I think Manny should continue fighting," said Donaire who's now in Tokyo training for his next fight, tentatively on Sept. 23 in Texas. "It took over 20 years for Manny to get to this level and unless he believes he can’t be safe anymore in the ring, why quit? He’s not a fighter you can beat up. He’s a world-class fighter who can defeat any of the top contenders today. Fighters dream of getting to the level where they can earn millions. For Manny, continuing to fight means being able to share his millions with our countrymen and bringing more honor to our country.”

From a fighter’s perspective, Donaire said Pacquiao still has what it takes to win another world championship. He said Horn got away with manhandling Pacquiao because referee Mark Nelson tolerated his shenanigans but in a rematch, the Australian’s roughhousing will be curtailed with the WBO forewarned of his tactics.

Sarreal said Horn executed a fightplan to constrict Pacquiao’s room to operate. “Horn outsmarted Manny’s corner,” he said. “Boxing is like a chess match, it’s a war of the minds. Horn wanted Manny to tire out so he wouldn’t be able to do what he usually does in the later rounds. Manny’s corner should’ve anticipated Horn would fight like he did. Horn didn’t give Manny too many chances to attack because he kept holding him down, butting, elbowing. My former fighter Vic Galme pointed out that Horn fought bara-bare style which took away Manny’s ability to counter and throw combinations.”

Sarreal said it’s difficult to get a fair shake from the referee and judges in Australia. “It’s like Thailand,” he said. “You’ve got to score a knockout to win. Naisahan tayo. In a neutral country, it could’ve been a draw and Manny would remain the champion. But it was a close fight.”


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