General Admission

What if Mayweather suddenly unretire?

By Al S. Mendoza

MANNY Pacquiao keeps saying he won’t retire.  N’yet.

This, even as he just fought his toughest bout the last five years.

This, even as he almost lost to Keith Thurman—in the eyes of the judges.

This, even as he looked truly vulnerable on July 21 against Thurman in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While Tim Cheatham and Dave Moretti made Pacquiao the winner with similar close scores, their fellow judge Glenn Feldman picked Thurman.

The result alone should make Pacquiao seriously asses what lies ahead.

The split decision win didn’t look good at all, period.

Even Pacquiao’s trainer for the last 18 years or so has expressed alarm.

“If there is one person who knows Pacquiao that well, it’s me,” said Roach, who started handling Pacquiao in 2001.

He didn’t say it categorically, but Roach’s body language shows he wants his ward to quit.  Now.

The last time he suggested retirement, Roach got fired by Pacquiao.

That was in 2017, after Australian Jeff Horn upset Pacquiao by decision in their forgettable “Battle in Brisbane” in Australia.

But the true warrior that he is, Pacquiao rebounded just as quick—winning his last two fights against Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner.

Then Pacquiao picked Thurman for his 71st fight.

It nearly cost him a career-ending move.

The unbeaten Thurman proved to be a worthy opponent.

His 29-0 record, with 22 knockouts and one no-contest, was not a fluke after all.

From the sixth-round onward, Thurman gave Pacquiao a punishment so severe it virtually transformed the fighting senator into a punching bag.

Only Pacquiao’s wealth of experience and tough as nails veneer saved him from certain defeat.

But despite the brutal battering that he absorbed, Pacquiao insisted he wasn’t done.

“Fighting is my passion,” he said.  “I am not retiring.  But this year, I’m through with boxing.”

Really?  What if Floyd Mayweather Jr. suddenly burst into the scene again to declare that he is unretiring?

That might prod Pacquiao to make a U-Turn.

For, if there’s one fighter that Pacquiao is aching to meet again, that’d be Mayweather.

He is still smarting from his 2015 loss on points to Mayweather that Pacquiao has not stopped harping on a rematch.

For sure, it will be another blockbuster at the tills should it happen this year.

Didn’t their first fight amass nearly $650 million to become the biggest purse in boxing?

Well, for Pacquiao, it’s not just the money angle but, more importantly to him, the pride.

They are old at both aged 40-plus but Pacquiao inflicting Mayweather a first-ever loss in 51 fights is an incentive as lucrative as becoming president of the Philippines.

It’s an impossible dream, yes, but isn’t Pacquiao a big-time dreamer?

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