(Eagle News) — It is high time for the Philippine legendary boxer Senator Manny Pacquiao to retire, said noted boxing analyst Renato Lirio.
In an interview in Balatalakayan, an Eagle News Service program aired both on NET25 and Radyo Agila, Lirio said he had repeatedly advised Pacquiao to retire since he has nothing to prove anymore.
He said the years are catching up with Pacquiao and it is best for him to retire. Age is a big factor, he said, since Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas is seven years younger than him. Pacquiao is 42, while Ugas is just 35 years old.
Lirio said that the fact that Ugas was a replacement boxer for Errol Spence Jr., 11 days before Pacquiao’s scheduled fight with Spence, was also a big factor.
Pacquiao, a southpaw, was preparing to fight a southpaw boxer like him in Spence. And then 11 days before the big day, Spence wihdrew supposedly due to a retinal tear in his left eye.
“Malaking bagay na pinaghandaan niya na makakalaban niya ay kaliwete kamukha niya .. Biglang bigla 11 days to go nag-swtich to Orthodox boxer pala ang makakalaban niya. Talagang may epekto yun,” Lirio told Balitalakayan anchor Weng Dela Fuente on Monday, Aug. 23, the day after the Pacquiao-Ugas fight.
“Pero talagang noong pa man na si Spence ang nakatakda niyang labanan, ini-encourage ko na si Senator Pacquiao na sana ay umatras na sana sa laban, kasi umeedad na talaga siya,” Lirio said.
-Learn from the boxing greats, analyst tells Pacquiao –
He recalled telling Pacquiao that world champions, elite legendary boxers like Muhammad Ali who was defeated by his long-time sparring partner, the much younger Larry Holmes via technical knockout (TKO), and legendary Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez who had over a hundred wins also lost via TKO after a fight with another younger boxer in the later part of his career.
Even before the fight October 2, 1980 fight, the great Muhammad Ali, after a medical check up by the Mayo Clinic, was found to have problems in muscle coordination. In 1984, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to repeated head trauma suffered for a long time during his boxing career.
“Sinabi ko sa kanya (Pacquiao) yung mga magagaling na boksingero, na mga elite boxers rin tulad niya, mga champion talaga, nung lumaban sa mas bata ay talagang natalo,” Lirio said.
The boxing analyst also recalled how Joe Louis, known as the “Brown Bomber” and one of the greatest boxers of all time, came for a comeback fight after retiring. He was pressured to fight the younger undefeated Rocky Marciano fight in October 1951 after the IRS claimed he owed the government more than $500,000. The International Boxing Club guaranteed to pay Louis $300,000 if he would fight again after he had retired to fight Marciano. Marciano didn’t want to fight his idol, but was forced to, resulting in a devastating loss for Joe Louis.
“Yun ang aking kinakatakot ko kay Manny. Manny, kung maaari huwag ka nang lumaban,” Lirio said.
He said that it was a good thing too that Spence withdrew from the fight. The undefeated Spence, 31, is much younger than Ugas, 35.
“Kung hindi, mas masasaktan si Manny Pacquiao doon. Dito kay Ugas, medyo kinaya niya. Sana di naapektuhan masyado. Kita mo naman ang pamamaga ng mukha ni Manny,” Lirio observed.
“Kung akoy bumoboto na si Manny ay huwag wag nang lumaban pa, ito ay dahil sa nasabing mga kadahilanan Wala na siyang kailangang patunayan pa,” he said.
Lirio said Pacquiao should follow in the footsteps of other boxing greats, who knew when to really stop fighting after hanging up their gloves.
He cited boxing greats and champions Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, and Joe Calzaghe. He quoted Calzaghe who turned down offers to fight after he retired, saying “enough is enough.”
Lirio said Pacquiao holds the record as the only eight-division world boxer – from flyweight to junior middleweight.
“Wala nang makaka-break sa record ni Manny. Kung mamarapatin ni Manny Pacquiao, sana sundin niya yung ating advice noon pa man,” Lirio said expressing concern for the Filipino champion.
Pacquiao recently said in an interview in the US that he is open to a rematch with Ugas, probably in January. This was after Ugas said that he would be willing to offer Pacquiao a rematch.
The Filipino champ told “The Athletic” website that he couldn’t believe he lost to Ugas and was surprised that during the fight, his “legs just stopped.”
(Eagle News Service)