Quit while ahead

The undisputed greatest boxer to come from the Philippines has nothing more to prove.

President Rodrigo Duterte saw with his own eyes how Senator Manny Pacquiao dispatched with ease Argentinian rival Lucas Matthysse on Sunday to win the World Boxing Association welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Showing the old fiery form that once made him the best pound for pound boxer in the world, Pacquiao dropped Matthysse a number of times for an emphatic victory by technical knockout in the seventh round.

To say that Pacquiao was never threatened is an understatement because the Filipino boxing demigod totally dominated the 35-year-old Argentinian by being fast on his feet and even faster with his fists.

In case Matthysse decides to hang up his gloves after reportedly pocketing his biggest paycheck ever at about $1 million, he’ll be better off with that decision.

After all, the Argentine may not have any problem shifting to a movie career at least in his native land.

Speaking of retiring while still sane and not yet suffering from a debilitating boxing-induced injury, Pacquiao was given a sage advice by President Duterte.

For the President and the many lawmakers who echoed his egging Pacquiao to quit while ahead, the undisputed greatest boxer to come from the Philippines has nothing more to prove atop the square ring.

Pacquiao is now a “billionare” (sic) according to one account and a senator at that. Without even harping on how dangerous boxing is as a sport and how many lives had been lost before the pugilistic altar, the positive scripting is that Pacquiao should already consider politics as a full-time vocation. Who knows? He might even become President of a Federal Philippines.

Okay, feel free to banish that thought. At the center of the admonition to Pacquiao is that at 39, he already has enough money to last him and his family several lifetimes.

Yet many are clinging to the hope of a final show from Pacquiao opposite the undefeated Floyd Mayweather which he met on the boxing ring in an inauspicious condition.

Pacquiao was suffering then during his fight a pain from his right shoulder as a result of an injury during practice.

Many are hoping a rematch would settle the real score between the boxing legends.

Mr. Duterte’s unsolicited advice would carry much weight on Pacquiao’s future decision.

The President has spoken well. It’s now time for Pacquiao to fully enjoy the fruits of his labor – to go smell the flowers, so to speak – without courting any more danger from a boxing career already marked by superlatives.

Nonetheless, no one but Pacquiao himself knows if he should now leave the brutal sport of boxing. After all, with the way he toyed with his last foe and the way he looked with ripped muscularity, it seems Pacquiao has turned Father Time back.

Whatever decision is to be made, that belongs to Pacquiao in consultation with his family and, of course, Mommy Dionisia.

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