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Only his family can tell him

/ 06:10 AM July 05, 2017

We get it now.

Manny Pacquiao stepped out of his latest defeat looking fresh as a guy who had just showered. Jeff Horn, on the other hand,
looked like someone who had run into a bad crowd in a dark alley. Manny Pacquiao earned anywhere between $8 million to $10
million for 12 rounds of boxing. Jeff Horn took home somewhere around $500,000—that’s far less than Sen. Pacquiao earned per round.

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Pacquiao lost that bout. Horn won it.

And boxing, as a business, will continue to entice its legends—whose promoters will continue to milk their names for as long as they can — to continue punching on long after they should have hung their gloves.

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That’s why we get it now. We get why we lost whatever bargaining chip we had to negotiate for Pacquiao’s retirement.

When Sen. Manny Pacquiao can step out of a defeat practically unscathed with a cool P500 million stuffed in his three-piece suit, our clamor for his retirement is a whisper in a raging chorus of cash registers ringing. Rationality cannot reason with riches.

These piling losses diminish his legend? Can we really make Pacquiao care about that? His legend had been sealed long ago. No amount of defeats can take away his being the world’s only eight-division champ. No amount of defeats can wipe out YouTube videos of highlight moments against De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, Morales and all those that lay flattened by his juggernaut-like raid of weight classes.

Retire because of losses like the one against Horn? When a world of professional athletes, celebrities and boxing experts expressed disdain over the decision and claimed that Pacquiao was robbed? Why? So that we can hold our version of his legend up high and rub it on the noses of the world?

See we never owned Pacquiao’s legend. We never will. We never owned his legacy. We never will. Pacquiao built his stature. If he chooses to destroy it for whatever reason, that is his decision to make. And with the events preceding the loss to Horn, it looks like he has more than 10 million reasons to fight on.

We get it. So we channel our appeal to the ones who need him to quit most: His family.

Even when Pacquiao was preparing to step into the ring against De La Hoya, wife Jinkee had already expressed her desire to see Manny step out of boxing for good. And judging by her reaction to Pacquiao’s KO defeat to Marquez not too long ago, it is easy to understand why.

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Every trip to the ring is a looming disaster. One punch. That’s all it takes to rob a person of his faculties. An accumulation of punches. That’s all it takes to slowly eat away a person’s sanity. And not only is Pacquiao not getting younger, his distractions are piling up so that he doesn’t get to prepare for a fight as meticulously as he used to.

Even the famous Pac-Mom, Dionesia, has long hoped that her son would finally call it quits.

Both wife and mother have echoed an explanation every chance they get. Pacquiao has earned enough through his career to live comfortably without having to throw another punch—or take another one. His children’s future is practically fail-proof. Until the Filipino electorate bumps up its political IQ, he will continue to be a major force in the world of politics. His sporting legacy is pretty much secure. He will be hailed as among the greatest to have ever laced up boxing gloves and he has little else to prove in that department.

He has no reason to subject himself to the sometimes-fatal brutality of chance.

But we cannot tell him that. In a country that asks businesses to push retirement ages further because senior citizens are still productive members of society, it will be tough to argue for Pacquiao’s retirement. Not because he won’t listen. But because he probably won’t get a chance to hear us out.

But maybe, when he returns home at the end of the day to the warm embrace of his wife and to the loving smiles of his children, they can convince him to finally call it quits. Leave the ring for good, they can tell him, and end the possibility that, someday, he may no longer comprehend what warmth and love mean.

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TAGS: Inquirer editorial, Inquirer Opinion, Jeff Horn, Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao-Horn bout, WBO World Welterweight title
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