FATHER Time is one foe that no boxer can beat. Every champ gets old eventually and loses his edge. Manny Pacquiao, of course, it seems could be an exception.
At an age when his contemporaries have gone up four or five weight divisions from their fighting weight, the Pacman is still an elite fighter and at 41, still has no plans of retiring.
But one young gung ho fighter thinks he can send Manny to retirement, the way the Pacman sent Oscar dela Hoya to retirement back in 2008. And the Golden Boy wants to make it happen before 2021 ends.
A part of me wants to see the fight happen, but another part wants to see the Pacman retire without picking up his gloves again. I think he has done enough to cement his legacy.
Ryan Garcia, who was just four months old when Pacquiao won his first world title, thinks so too and has called out Manny in the most respectable way possible.
“Manny is that inspiration that makes you a legend. He has lost, but (an) eight-weight class champion? That’s what you call a legend,” Garcia told the Rich Eishen show.
Garcia, who could face WBA lightweight champ Gervonta Davis, says he isn’t calling out Pacquiao but in the boxing world, saying you want to face someone is calling out someone.
And since that almost always carries a taunt—remember Johnreil Casimero’s call to Naoya Inoue?—Garcia doesn’t want his calling out of the Pacman to be called such.
“That’s why I feel like maybe after Gervonta, hopefully, this is out of respect and this is not calling him out. ... I’m just saying, ‘can we share the ring together and please pass the torch to me?”
There’s an interesting aspect in this. Garcia is the lightweight (135 pounds) champion, while Pacquiao is the welterweight (147) champion, which is two divisions above the young fighter. Twelve years ago, Pacquiao won the 135-pound title before he beat dela Hoya, a former 154-pound champion, at a catchweight of 145 pounds.
I’m sure that came into play in Garcia’s mind but unlike Oscar, I don’t think Manny would be tempted to agree to a catchweight. The guy still has options other than risking himself to be a stepping stone to a young champion.
Can Pacquiao beat Garcia? Ooh, that’s going to be a question that shouldn’t be asked. That leads to temptations.
I don’t know what Manny plans next, but I hope the fact that guys who were only four months old when he first won his title are calling him out would prod him to not tempt Father Time and call it quits.