Manny Pacquiao isn’t just a boxer. Over the past decade the Filipino star has become a successful politician, an ambassador of sorts for his nation, and a moderately decent businessman. Understandably, all of his non-fighting ventures take up a huge chunk of his time. In the past, when he was still the world’s best pound-for-pounder, he could perform to expectations regardless of whether he went into his matches fully prepared or not.
Pacquiao is no longer that guy.
At 34 years old and with two consecutive losses on his record, clearly the former eight division champ isn’t boxing’s pound-for-pound king anymore. And along with having to get used to that from a mental standpoint, he is going to have to adjust to it from a physical standpoint, too.
Pacquiao can no longer go into his showdowns without having properly trained beforehand. He can no longer let his political, business and family commitments interfere with the thing that makes all of that other stuff possible. Rather, he nees to devote himself entirely to preparing for his next foe – most likely the same guy who put him down face first onto the canvas last December.
Is he doing that? Not exactly.
During a recent interview, Pacquiao said this: “I am very busy with the campaign for Jinkee (his wife who is running for Vice Governor of Sarangani) and Roel (his brother who is seeking the lone Congressional seat in General Santos City)."
He added: “I believe the campaign is going well for both of them.”
Well, that’s great. But playing election consultant doesn’t come without a price. Regardless of whether he is focusing on his own political ventures or his family’s, the end result is the same – less time in the ring.
Pacquiao has a precious few years left in boxing. Maybe just one. If he is really willing to go out on top, he should immerse himself in the sport fully. If not, then he should just retire now and save himself a lot of physical and mental anguish.