By JP Wolfe
Rewind to May of 2010 and Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao is regarded by most as either the number 1, or number 2 best fighter in the world. Today he has lost any claim to the title of world’s greatest boxer. So what happened? Usually when a fighter begins to lose, where they previously would have been expected to win, the culprit is age. No fighter can continue on forever and most do not realize they are past their prime until it is too late. However, with Manny Pacquiao there is another factor to consider when analyzing his recent struggles in the ring.
The Filipino star was elected to serve as a Congressman and represent the Sarangani Province back in May of 2010. With this change from full time fighter to Congressman, Pacquaio may have bitten off more than he could chew. Following the election, all reports pointed towards a lack of focus and discipline when it came to preparing for upcoming fights. Pacquaio began to put his work as a Congressman before his training as a boxer, and the results have been as expected. Losing his last two fights and not scoring a knockout in any of his fights since being elected suggest a change of priorities in the fighter/politician’ s life that culminate in a lack of preparation and thus poor performances in the ring.
It appears that a previous plan for Manny to fight on either April 13 or 20 in Asia are falling through. The most likely scenario going forward is that Pacquiao will now meet Juan Manuel Marquez for a fifth time in September. Unless Pacquiao is prepared to face the harsh reality of a third consecutive defeat and the disappointment of an entire nation, he may need to postpone his political aspirations until he is ready to hang up the gloves for good. To be the best in the world is a full time commitment, and as Pacquiao has proved, even a minor lapse in preparedness can cost a boxer not only a single fight but their legacy as the best of a generation.