Manny Pacquiao shouldn’t answer his phone until the caller ID reads “Team Money.”
After suffering a brutal sixth-round knockout in Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV, there’s only one fighter alive who the reward of victory would outweigh the risk of another head-thrashing: Floyd Mayweather. If that call never comes, Pac-Man should be content to hang up the gloves forever.
The Filipino fighter and his crew sure don’t sound content, though.
According to Sky Sports, Pacquiao not only said that he plans to box again, but he’d also be open to Round 5 with Juan Manuel Marquez. His trainer Freddie Roach echoed the retirement refusal and said, “I don't think he should. I don't think this is the end of Manny Pacquiao.” He continued (via Sky Sports):
I thought Manny was having a good fight but he ran into a good one. Manny got a little careless and then he ran into that punch, he fought a very smart opponent. If Manny comes to the gym and trains hard, I am sure he would welcome another fight (with Marquez) but it might be better to take a softer touch first.
Roach is right in the fact that Pacquiao fought Marquez well until the Mexican’s counterpunch knocked him out cold. In fact, Pac likely would’ve won had he been able to avoid a knockout blow.
But he didn’t avoid knockout. And while, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN, CT scans came up negative, what if the next time he can't dodge a major injury?
Kenneth D. Hartline of Livestrong.com wrote that research by Dr. Hans Forstl of the Technical University of Munich revealed that there’s an average of eight boxing deaths per year due to head and neck injuries. And in Forstl’s study of 82 amateur fighters, 18 experienced “significantly impaired performance in information processing and verbal fluency one month after a knockout.”
Pacquiao’s future after boxing is far too bright to risk an irreversible injury.
He’s a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserve Force of the Philippine army, a congressman and a philanthropist whose earnings, according to Forbes, are worth $62 million. More important than all of that, he has a wife and four children who were likely more scared than they’ve ever been in their lives when Pac hit the deck and didn’t move on Saturday night.
Yes, a matchup with Mayweather would be too epic to pass up. But Money May is literally the only fighter who, if defeated, would enhance Pacquiao’s legacy.
PacMan still holds a 2-1-1 record over Marquez. What? If Marquez wins again to tie it up, would they really fight again?
Forget Marquez. Forget Timothy Bradley—everyone in their right mind knows who really won that fight.
Those opponents offer Pacquiao nothing to gain and everything to lose. And he has way too much to lose to roll the dice against the odds that his head doesn’t get smashed in again.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.