Veteran sport analyst and commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz finally awakens to reality and asked the right question “Is Pacquiao Slowing Down”
Mr. Nathanielsz at yahoo.com
As we cautioned some years ago, the late nights, the drinking and gambling would eventually take its toll on Pacquiao's physical condition and when the effects of abuse of a person's body and the effects of dissipation set in, it often happens abruptly.
A careful review of the fight tape shows Pacquiao has lost a split second in terms of speed, which both Arum and trainer Freddie Roach long pointed to as a key factor in Pacquiao's arsenal which effectively accentuated his power.
"Speed kills" was what Arum pointed to before Pacquiao pulverized De La Hoya that saw him quit on his stool at the end of the seventh round.
That speed has diminished as Pacquiao nears his 34th birthday on December 17, and as we assess his diminishing assets of speed and devastating power we need to accept the reality that the passing of the summers inevitably takes its toll on even the finest, relentlessly hardworking athlete who walked through the doors of Roach's Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles in the first week of June 2001, eleven long years ago. The innumerable fights, the punches he has taken, the burdens of training and the demands on his time as a congressman, a crossover superstar, a TV personality and a caring human being not to mention his former wild and wooly ways have surely taken their toll and its time we admit it, although such an admission doesn't mitigate the high crime committed in Las Vegas last June 9.
Let us put in a simple way: Contrary to popular expectations, Manny Pacquiao is just human. Yes read my lips, human. Mortal. Not superman. Yes, he susceptible to physiological ageing as anyone else.
Even if Mr. Pacquiao did away with gambling, drinking or late night escapades during his early years, unless technology will save the day, age will function as Manny’s neutralizing factor. This exempts no one, not even priests, monks or other vice free celibates.
You can go to the Boxing Hall of Fame and examine one by one and determine the median, if not the average age, when these former boxing legends had their career inflection point or when they retired.
That’s where the legendary Manny Pacquiao is today.
In the past, most of Pacquiao’s scintillating or brilliant victories came at the expense of OLDER boxers as noted I here. That cycle has turned.
Mr. Pacquiao will now wear the shoes of his former older opponents as most of his contemporaries have hanged up their gloves. So he will be faced with YOUNGER boxers even if he wins against Tim Bradley in a return bout.
The point is the more Pacquiao fights, the lesser the chances of his victory. Of course, this comes in the condition that he duels with younger foes with world class caliber.
And if he insist on staying on the ring, we should expect that after 3-4 more bouts (assuming 2 fights a year), the chances of losing badly (by KO or TKO) will become very significant. And that's when reality will sink in to him (that's if he remains stubborn to pursue more ring engagements)
So while relative age matter, a boxer’s career cycle has even more impact.
In economics, this is merely called the law of diminishing returns.
The law of diminishing returns based on the physiological ageing process has brought upon the twilight of Mr. Pacquiao’s boxing career.
Truth hurts. But that’s how nature works.
Deal with it.