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Bob Arum: Manny Pacquiao at Risk of Brain Damage

Posted on July 05, 2019 by Greg Wilson

As Manny Pacquiao’s welterweight bout with Keith Thurman draws ever nearer, the spotlight begins to intensify on the Filipino as he prepares to step into the ring at the tender age of 40. You wouldn’t believe it, though, as Pacquiao doesn’t seem to have aged at all over the course of his 24-year career. But it is not the facial aesthetics that concern promoter Bob Arum, but rather the damage being done to the organ in the head we can’t see.

Arum has gone as far to say that he feels Pacquiao could be in danger of suffering brain damage if he carries on fighting. It may come across as a sensational thing to say but Arum’s comments aren’t as far fetched as one might think.

Pacquiao made his debut in 1995 and has gone on to fight 70 times, winning 61 times, losing seven and drawing twice. Over those 70 fights, even if he has come out victorious in most of them, Pacquiao has been on the receiving end of some massive blows to the head.

In particular, the Filipino’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez came after being brutally knocked out by the Mexican in footage that is hard to watch, and this is the type of trauma to the head that Pacquiao needs to stop signing up for, according to Arum. As a father of five, perhaps Pacquiao owes it to his family to lay down the gloves once and for all after the clash with Keith Thurman.

It seems unlikely that will happen but even if it were to be the Filipino’s swansong, he has another 12 rounds left against a man that is considered one of the hardest punchers in the division. He will certainly come in for some chin music at some stage and even if the odds of Pacquiao vs Thurman indicate that the 40-year-old is the slight favorite, the Filipino’s jaw isn’t what it used to be, one sweetly timed punch and it could be all she wrote for Pacquiao on the night.

This obviously is the reality for most boxers in fights but there is a feeling now that every punch that lands square on Pacquiao’s head is putting him in harm’s way in terms of enjoying a healthy retirement at the end of an incredible career. As Bob Arum says, “go play basketball, Manny!”

He is an exceptionally popular fighter is Manny Pacquiao and the entire global boxing fraternity would like to see him with his senses intact once he eventually calls it a day. Having said that, those same fans will also be pinning for a vintage performance from Pacquiao against Thurman which does involve dropping his hands and throwing caution to the wind.

They will probably get it as well because it has always been all or nothing with the Filipino who you get the feeling subscribes to the notion of being more than happy to die trying in life. He’s one a kind type of fighter who can’t get enough of boxing but the hourglass is almost finished and its high time to think about walking away for good.

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