Why Pacquiao might fight after Bradley
THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2016 - 9:00am

The farewell tour for one of the greatest boxers of all time has begun in earnest in the US, as Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley begin the promotional tour for their fight on April 9 in Las Vegas. Despite Bradley’s protestations that it isn’t his last fight, the attention will all be on Pacquiao, as it usually is even when he’s merely the challenger. Pacquiao has always been comfortable in that role, anyway. Underdog is his favorite tag, even when he knows he can win comfortably.

Pacquiao has repeatedly said this will be his last fight, and many people believe him. He has vowed to take his imminent election to the Philippine Senate seriously, and that can be appreciated by the voting public. But let’s look for one moment at the reasons why he should fight at least once more after Bradley.

A proper climax. In the likelihood that Pacquiao defeats Bradley and claims the WBO world welterweight title, it would be anticlimactic for him to just call it quits. Although many champions have won titles and retired or abdicated to move up in weight, Pacquiao would be better served by going out in a big blaze of glory, win or lose. I believe people would be happy with that. And frankly, Bradley is not the most exciting way to end an amazing career like the one Pacquiao has had.

Legislation is mostly research. I’m not suggesting that he mail in his work as a senator, as that would be a disrespect to the profession. But the fact of the matter is that a lot of the work behind great legislation is research to determine what the majority’s needs. Like any other senator, it is unlikely that Pacquiao will do the spadework behind any proposed bills himself. He may have the idea, but navigating around the needs of the public and what laws already exist will be delegated to his team. He will be the final decision-maker, but almost everything will be provided by his staff, as his time will be split between sessions, committee hearings, site visits and other appointments. Many sitting senators also run successful businesses and have an acceptable number of absences. Having said that, Pacquiao can train around his attendance at the upper chamber and limit his absences. Besides, a fight can always be scheduled around recesses, limiting his absences. At the end of the day, it’s output, not attendance, that matters.

Rookie senators have less responsibility. Being a neophyte, it is unlikely that Pacquiao will chair any committees, deferring to his more experienced colleagues in the chamber. This will also free him to assign people to work on projects that are of special interest to him (perhaps infrastructure in Mindanao). Besides, it wouldn’t be too bad if he has one last fight as an incumbent. The Senate has passed resolutions honoring athletes before. This wouldn’t be that uncommon.

Helping people takes money. As a new senator, Pacquiao will also be a retired boxer. Since his responsibilities will now be national in scope, he will need large sums to help people. Most outlays are for construction or calamity relief or helping large numbers of people, and these are all very expensive. Manny has been known to be generous to a fault, for the simple reason that it’s faster to pull money out of your pocket than go through bureaucracy for help which will come too late. One more big fight will give him the means to help more people, something he has a substantial track record in. It will be worth the few weeks of sessions he may miss, as it will impact many lives.

Mayweather is a great option. It’s the elephant in the room, or Pacquiao’s Moby Dick. Everything points to a logical rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Firstly, Money no longer has a contractual obligation with Showtime, so he can fight Pacquiao under HBO. Secondly, this is a chance for Pacquiao to fight Floyd on better terms. The first fight was all stacked in Mayweather’s favor. Besides, even if it doesn’t match the ridiculous pay-per-view numbers of the first fight, people will still watch it. Third, Mayweather has spent the last two decades going after Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. I honestly don’t think he would go through all that to settle for a tie. Besides, to his mind, he’s already beaten Pacquiao before. Also, it will be an opportunity for both fighters to find a new market to conquer, perhaps somewhere in Asia or the Middle East. Lastly, they both know they will stand to earn a lot of money. And either way, both will have a better sense of closure.

Finally, Manny Pacquiao is a boxer. It is what has defined him in the eyes of millions of people. And if it’s one thing we’ve seen in over a century of modern boxing, it’s that boxers have an insatiable itch to scratch. Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, many, many of the greats could not resist the urge to lace up their gloves one last time, even past their prime. Besides, boxing fans all over the world would relish one last opportunity to thank Pacquiao for the enjoyment he has brought them, at least one more time.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with