MANILA, Philippines – In the wake of his devastating knockout loss to rival Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao is being urged by some Filipino boxing promoters to take a long rest from the sport before resuming his career.
In an interview with Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star, boxing promoters Wakee Salud and Aljoe Jaro said Pacquiao should rest for at least six months before returning to the ring.
“I don’t think it’s advisable for Manny to fight on April 20 as scheduled by (Top Rank boss Bob) Arum. He should take a long rest, at least six months, and stay away from boxing,” said Salud.
“That was a damaging knockout. You can’t go back to the gym right away,” Jaro said. “You must stay away from boxing from about six months, just to strengthen your mind and body.”
Pacquiao was knocked down in the third round but rallied in the fourth and fifth, even forcing Marquez to take a knee due to a left hook in round five. He was in control in round six, but got reckless in the final 10 seconds and walked into a counter-right hand by Marquez.
He crashed face-first to the canvas, where he was motionless for several minutes. It was his first stoppage loss since 1999.
Aside from the physical injuries, Jaro believes Pacquiao should also take some time to recover from the psychological damage.
“For sure, this knockout will have a psychological effect on Manny, but Manny can come back,” he said.
Salud suggested that Pacquiao take a tune-up match first in order to regain his confidence before challenging Marquez to a fifth encounter.
“Manny should get his confidence back. (Timothy) Bradley would be a good opponent,” he said. “Nobody was convinced that Bradley beat Manny, so a rematch makes sense... After beating Bradley, then Manny can fight Marquez if he’s still available.”
Another boxing promoter, Tony Aldeguer, said Pacquiao should fight “two or three tune-ups” before challenging Marquez.
As for retirement, Salud believes that is “far from his mind.”
“He’ll continue to fight, but he needs time to recover,” he said.
“I think Manny must decide if he still wants to continue to fight, if there is still something he wants to prove,” said Jaro.