Mendoza: Pacquiao bows to invisible foe

·2 min read

The footwork was gone. The hand speed was gone. The razor-sharp reflexes were gone.

Father Time, cruel and merciless as ever, took them all away.

Oh, wait. One more thing. The power punches were gone, too. Replaced by powder-soft punches.

The usual suspect? Who else, but Father Time, the original GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in sports.

Even Muhammad Ali, boxing’s “I am the greatest,” was no match. He had to retire after 61 fights.

Manny Pacquiao should learn from Ali.

When he fought again last weekend—the Sunday Suicide Theater—Pacquiao flirted with disaster.

Ted Failon said: “Good thing he was not knocked out.”

Pacquiao was on his 72nd fight Sunday noon. He was 42 years old, definitely old for a sport as brutal as boxing.

Ali was 39 when he called it quits in 1981, amassing a 56-5, win-loss mark with 37 knockouts.

When Pacquiao was also 39, he fought his 71st bout in July 2019 against Keith Thurman.

Although Pacquiao beat the previously unbeaten American, it was by a mere split decision.

What saved Pacquiao from defeat was his flooring Thurman in the first round.

The expected knockout in the next 11 rounds never came because of one glaring truth: Pacquiao’s power punches were being already dulled by time.

Nobody lasts forever.

Ali can never tell Father Time he is the first to win the world heavyweight crown three times, in the process beating the greatest fighters of his era—including Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Ken Norton, George Foreman and Joe Frazier.

Father Time has no respect for everyone. Only he rules.

Pacquiao can never tell Father Time he is the only fighter to have won eight world titles in eight different divisions, and the first to win 12 major world crowns in a career spanning 26 years.

Father Time doesn’t give a damn. Only he is the king.

Thus, to state the obvious, Pacquiao had two opponents this Sunday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Of course, the crowd of nearly 20,000 repeatedly chanting “Manny! Manny!” only saw Yordenis Ugas as Pacquiao’s foe. Invisible was Father Time, who made the 35-year-old Cuban the winner by unanimous decision—convincingly.

No one ever defeats Father Time. All bow to Father Time, the COAT (Champion Of All Time).

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