It's no secret. Dominating at boxing's highest level requires unrivaled commitment and focus.
And at age 34, Manny Pacquiao can no longer afford to juggle multiple tasks and be the man of many faces if he hopes to bounce back from consecutive defeats and return to the top of the professional boxing universe.
It's been almost 11 months since Pacquiao had his 15-fight winning streak halted in controversial fashion by Timothy Bradley. The split-decision loss may have been debatable, but Pacman's disturbing knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December was as convincing as it gets.
And while Pacquiao's inability to execute in the ring is certainly to blame for his recent struggles, so is his lack of focus outside of it.
Whether it's acting, participating in politics or singing on a late-night talk show, the southpaw has been involved in tons of things outside of the ring and outside the world of boxing.
It was recently reported by Interaksyon.com that Pacquiao would like to participate in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) All-Star Weekend in the Philippines.
How do you feel about Manny Pacquiao right now?
While there's certainly no harm in playing basketball in between fights, it's much less of a distraction when you're winning those fights. In Pacquiao's case, however, it couldn't be more of a distraction.
If Pacquiao simply wants to be a celebrity and try new things, retirement seems like a better option.
He's reeling having dropped two straight fights for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, his nemesis Floyd Mayweather Jr. is aiming for his 44th-straight win this weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
At this point in time, Pacman doing anything but perfecting his craft inside the gym just looks bad.
Especially with promoter Bob Arum reportedly eyeing another fight for Pacquiao this coming fall according to BoxingScene.com's Ronnie Nathanielsz:
Arum said he was 'looking at the first or second week of October' to stage the Pacquiao fight.
That's not to say Pacquiao isn't putting in work behind the scenes. But anything less than eating, sleeping and breathing boxing won't be enough if he hopes to regain the superhuman status he achieved a year ago.
Returning to the top requires an unrivaled level of dedication, especially for a boxer on the way out of his prime.
Pacquiao can't expect his physical skills to be enough to get him through a 12-round bout anymore. He's got to prepare harder and work harder in the days, weeks and even months leading up to his fights.
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