When Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement in April, after a unanimous decision win against Timothy Bradley, a lot of people thought it was a good end to what was a magnificent career. Many were also convinced that the Filipino boxer was seriously hanging his gloves to focus on his political endeavors. But less than six months after the fight, Pacman announced that he’ll be going back to the ring to face WBO welterweight champion, Jessie Vargas. As Manny Pacquiao comes out of retirement, many may be wondering, does he still have it?
After a meeting with Bob Arum in Manila, Tuesday, Pacquiao confidently made the announcement.
“Yes, the fight is on. I have agreed to a November 5 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas,” said the Philippine Senator in a statement to AFP, adding “Boxing is my passion. I miss what I’d been doing inside the gym and atop the ring.”
But experts have already expressed concern about the match citing the wide age gap between Pacquiao and Vargas. Filipino boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz emphasized that Pacquiao is already 10 years older than the younger Vargas, and may lack the focus, having to divide his time between politics and sports.
“It is dangerous for him to fight a young man like Vargas, who is much taller than Pacquiao, He certainly isn’t the fighter he was before, which means he’s past his prime,” said Nathanielsz during an interview with AFP.
Pacquiao’s political career has also met some harsh criticism, having incurred the most absences during his stint as a Congressman in the Philippines. When he won his bid for a seat in the Philippine Senate, one of his promises was to focus fully on his political duties and be in 100% attendance. But as Senator Manny Pacquiao comes out of retirement, it seems like the boxer has just dealt a huge blow to all his constituents.
PHOTO COURTESY: Michael Howard/ Flickr