You’ve got to feel sorry for Manny Pacquiao right now.
The legendary fighter has experienced a tumultuous end to his career in the ring and a stagnation that was nothing but compounded by Jeff Horn at the weekend. It was a fight as heralded by triumph as it was marred by controversy.
In front of a 51,000-strong crowd in Brisbane, Horn claimed victory over Pac Man by unanimous decision and scooped the WBO welterweight title in the process.
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The Filipino has experienced four of his seven career losses in the last five years and defeat to Horn proves by far the most unexpected and embarrassing of the lot. The 29-year-old is, after all, an ex-teacher and just 18 bouts into his professional career.
The whole situation has begged the question as to whether Pacquiao will continue. He had been said to be appetised by the prospect for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather but defeat to Horn looks to have ended any chances of a second contest.
As recently as April 2016 – Pacquiao had claimed that his next fight would be his last, only to return to ring just seven months later. Now at aged 38, a repeated announcement may be prudent and this time on a permanent basis.
Even Freddie Roach seems to share such an opinion.
Pacquiao’s coach was certainly feeling deflated after the fight and, as per Sky Sports, conceded: “I’m going to talk to Manny about maybe calling it a day. Maybe this is it.”
It would, of course, prove a disappointing end to an otherwise memorable career. Nevertheless, when you consider this is a boxer who has won world titles across eight weight divisions, it’s difficult to see one defeat destroying his legacy.
Besides, the man himself is feeling far more optimistic and has even alluded to a potential rematch with Horn. He kept fans guessing by simply stating: “We have a clause for a rematch. No problem.”
The Filipino star can at least take comfort in the fact some fans weren’t entirely supportive of the judges’ decisions down under.
And while Roach seems to be entertaining the idea of retirement, he has also proposed an investigation against American judge Waleska Roldan. Astonishingly, Roldan deemed the bout 117-111 to Horn – only giving Pacquiao three of the 12 rounds.
This in spite of the fact that, according to CompuBox statistics, Pac Man landed almost twice as many punches as his Australian adversary. Furthermore, Horn came close to throwing in the towel in round nine after Pacquiao left him with a major cut above his right eye.
Nevertheless, in spite of all that, the loser on the day said: “I respect the judges’ decision.”
Defeatist or class?
Likely the latter but either way, Pacquiao’s future in the ring is certainly in doubt.
Do you think Manny Pacquiao should call it a day? Let us know by leaving a comment below.