General Admission

Only us know our bodies that well

Al Mendoza

By Al S. Mendoza


(Happy birthday today, July 21, to Mayasoh M. Sadiwa, the Ate of Ikap and the daughter of Ricky & Aya.  Mayasoh turns 8.  Danny “Sir John” Isla, the stunningly adorable president of Lexus Manila, Inc., also celebrates today and my buddy, Rene So (the major owner of Toyota dealerships in Dagupan, San Fernando City, La Union and Baguio) says, “Happy birthday, Danny!  Many more birthdays to come!”).

*          *          *          *

WHEN it’s time to go, go.

Never wait for misery to hunt you down.  Painful.

The trick is, hunt misery down.  Fulfilling.

Make it a habit to move first.  Victorious.

Strike while the iron is hot.  To be first is to win.

Never wait.  That’s delaying the inevitable, at times merely prolonging the agony.

Chess grandmasters say it best:  Grandmasters know when to resign.

Unfortunately, Manny Pacquiao isn’t a chess player but a boxer.

He delays his retirement time and again and, in so doing, he prolongs, extends really, his suffering.

If Freddie Roach is to be believed, Roach will decide when will Pacquiao retire.  Roach has said it so this week.

I find that funny, if not weird.

We know our bodies more than anybody else.

We know our limits and saying we’re done for the day is our business.  Never anyone else’s.

Roach has been Pacquiao’s American trainer since 10 years or so ago.

He was instrumental in making Pacquiao champ in eight divisions in eight weight categories – a first in the history of beak-busting.

This week, Roach said Pacquiao must knock Brandon Rios out in November or Pacquiao faces the specter of retirement.

“That has been our deal from the day I took over as his trainer,” Roach said.  “If I feel it’s time for him to retire, I’ll tell him so.”

Pacquiao should have retired long ago, when he was still up there with a record that is the envy of all.

Before he lost twice last year, Pacquiao had only three losses in a brilliant career that began in 1996.

After his third loss (on points) in 2005, Pacquiao ran up a winning streak that saw him topple the world’s biggest names in his era, including Marco Antonio Barrera (2 times), Erik Morales (2 times), Juan Manuel Marquez (2 times), Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, David Diaz, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley.

His collection of scalps was huge enough to merit retirement – and live off the fat of his paychecks.

Isn’t Pacquiao the first Filipino boxer to accumulate a billion pesos?

That is why even long before his fight with Tim Bradley last year was to be inked, I had been calling all along for Pacquiao to retire.

For one, Bradley is a nobody in boxing.  Fighting him would prove nothing, beating him would not mean anything.

When Pacquiao couldn’t knock out Bradley – he even lost on points – that was the strongest signal that it was time for him to hang up his gloves.

He didn’t.

Even when he got knocked out cold by Marquez last December, Pacquiao stood his ground, saying:  “I will be back.”

Pacquiao will be a mere weeks away from turning 35 when he fights Rios in November.  He’s a bit old, I tell you.

Pacquiao knocks Rios out, fine.  He wins on points, fine.  But whether he wins or not, he must retire after the fight.

He’ll still be busy as he is an incumbent congressman, anyway.  And his wealth is already more than enough to carry him to even five lifetimes.

At times, to be stubborn is not to be smart.

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