2nd July 2017, on a sunny afternoon in Brisbane Australia Father Time caught up with the amazing boxing legend that is Manny Pacquiao.
Those who disputed it need to take their blinkers off. Pacquiao was outfought and out-toughed by little known contender Jeff Horn in a massive upset.
So what now for the eight-weight former world champion who turns 39 in December?
He has two real choices: return or retire! I’m sure there will be many to advise, a return? There is a return clause in the contract and those foolish enough to think he was robbed will be shouting for revenge over the former teacher that put on the performance of a life time with a truly inspired effort in his epic win.
Horn showed Pacquiao no respect. He ripped the WBO Welterweight title away like it was a beloved possession. The 29-year old Jeff Horn who had fought nowhere near this level was confident enough going into this fight to have a walking stick and gloves ready at ringside to challenge Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather (of course). And as only a former teacher could, he had a perfect speech prepared and ready. He was also more than happy to accept any multi-million offer of the rematch as he would after he had bullied and manhandled the Philipines boxing superstar to defeat.
The very respected trainer of Pacquiao, Freddy Roach in the aftermath immediately shouted robbery, as he would. But now I’m hearing he is calling for his friend and fighter to retire. Roach had said going into this fight, which was an easy defence option in a star-studded welterweight division topped by names like Kieth Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., and Danny Garcia, that a losing Pacquiao should retire.
One thing goes without saying, Manny Pacquiao has nothing to prove to any fan who, over the years has watched him hungry and marauding, smashing his way through division after division, boxing legend after legend. Maybe there is another big win still left in him but as I’ve seen so many times over the years since watching my hero Muhammad Ali with tears in my eyes, heartbreakingly broken apart by Larry Holmes…. Time waits for no man.