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Why Is There So Much Talk of Pacquiao Retiring?

Juan Manuel Marquez Manny Pacquiaoby Paul Ward: Since his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, the talk of Manny Pacquiao retiring from boxing has run rampant. But should a truly elite 34 year old boxer who happens to have more skill than most fighters in his weight division really call it quits? Throughout the career of many fighters there comes a time when a loss is inevitable, but it’s how the fighter rebounds from the loss that truly defines a fighter.

Agreeably, Manny’s knockout by Marquez was definitely shocking. As Manny laid unconscious and face down on the canvas for that tense minute, the sight was heartbreaking. In the end, he didn’t even suffer a concussion, and within two minutes of the knockdown he was sitting up and smiling. Although it was a vicious knockdown that stunned boxing fans, it was hardly a career ending moment.

Manny Pacquiao was decisively beating down Marquez, especially in the two rounds just prior to the knockout. In those two rounds along with moments in the first three, Manny was fighting with speed, power, and aggression that many elite fighters of today lack. Although Manny was knocked out, he still maintains the ability to fight just as good, if not better, than most top-notch fighters of today.

Manny’s loss and close fights to Marquez, in my opinion, are due to Marquez’s ability to see Pacquiao’s vulnerabilities better than any of his other opponents. Although Timothy Bradley “won” in his fight against Manny, the boxing world knows it was a fluke; Manny simply seemed to not take Bradley as seriously as he should have. Yet, Manny still easily won that fight in the eyes of everyone, except the judges. Aside from these two fights, Manny has dominated all the top fighters for years, so why should he give up after getting caught and knocked out for the first time in his career? Professional football players get concussions all the time, do they leave the NFL?

It is really frustrating to hear so much talk about a great fighter like Manny Pacquiao retiring. I am not even a huge fan of Manny, but I can recognize when it’s time for a fighter to hang up the gloves, and it is certainly not his time. Boxing is a brutal sport and if fighters were to retire every time they suffer a knockout, some of the greats like Arturo Gatti, Vladimir Klitschko, Lennox Lewis, and recently Amir Khan, to name a few, would have never gone on to show the world the champions they truly are following defeat. Of course many fighters can be named here, but most have not dominated the way Manny Pacquiao has. There are some fighters like Ricky Hatton, Naseem Hamed, and Mike Tyson to name a few, who seem to have never recouped after losing, but Manny still seems to have a lot left in him. Manny still has a few good years left in which he will be able to defeat elite fighters and give us boxing fans some more memorable and spectacular fights that will undoubtedly go down in history.

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