With his defeat to WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas of Cuba, Sen. Manny Pacquiao seems to be finally grasping the pressing need to quit boxing.
“In the future you may not see Manny Pacquiao fight in the ring,” he remarked after his loss as he hinted that last Sunday’s bout might turn out to be his farewell fight. “I hate to say it, but this could be it,” his trainer Freddie Roach added.
“Sometimes you have to think about the response of your body,” Pacquiao said as he revealed he suffered cramps in both his legs starting at the second round. “I don’t want to use this as an excuse but before I can handle cramps even for 12 rounds, now I can’t move.”
The creeping reality that the physical limitations posed by age and the ravages of time was on display as he failed to stay clear of Ugas’ power punches and was unable to score decisive combinations that have usually floored opponents in the past.
Unlike his heartbreaking loss to Jeff Horn in 2017 that apparently inspired him to launch an amazing comeback that resulted in a string of victories, Pacquiao now seems to be giving serious thought to retirement and more boxing fans are becoming convinced it’s time to hang up his gloves.
“I want to leave a legacy for everybody inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao remarked on Sunday. And there’s no doubt his legacy of greatness inside the ring is legendary. His being the boxing sport’s only eight-division champion says it all.
Pacquiao’s sterling achievements in boxing have certainly made Filipinos proud and his many victories amid daunting odds ought to serve as inspiration to everyone. He has shown the world how discipline, hard work, perseverance, passion and all other qualities of a true champion can do wonders.
For Filipinos young and old, Pacquiao as a great boxer is certainly an inspiration. And he’s right to say that he wants to “leave a legacy for everybody inside and outside the ring.” A legacy of inspiration would help our country tremendously especially during these difficult times.
Filipinos inspired by Pacquiao can be passionate about our country and can be prime movers in improving our nation’s quality of life. They can bring about an effective and honest government responsive to the pressing needs of the times. They can be the driving force to install God-fearing, competent and compassionate leaders who have the right strategy to create jobs and livelihood for the people and bail out the country from poverty, injustice, underdevelopment, breakdown in peace and order, inequality, and other social ills.
Pacquiao’s previous victories when he was nearing age 40 inspired Filipinos who are past their prime, who think they can no longer contribute to the nation’s well-being simply because they feel old and are no longer idealistic.
Pacquiao’s boxing passion can indeed push people to action. Thus, even if one is way past his or her prime, a relentless passion to contribute talent, skills, knowledge and experience in the pursuit of excellence can certainly go a long way towards uplifting our nation’s plight.
And young Filipinos inspired by Pacquiao’s passion are a force to reckon with, being the largest sector of Philippine society, and with hardly any vested interest to protect, with time on their side, and with talent and potential to develop. When fully enlightened, motivated, inspired, and mobilized, the youth sector is the single most formidable block of citizens that can change society.
With present-day information technology, today’s youth can utilize powerful tools capable of reaching millions, influencing them with ideals and aspirations, and mobilizing them to act in unison to bring forth progress and truly effect critical positive change and renew the people’s faith in government. To dream is a privilege of the youth which they should never abandon, lest they lose their youthfulness with the sense of idealism it entails.
Pacquiao’s amazing boxing saga over the years is truly inspiring. For his perseverance, discipline and unwavering faith in God, Filipinos can look up to him as a great source of inspiration.
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