MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will never be the same boxer again after absorbing a devastating knockout punch from Juan Manuel Marquez, said boxing legend Bernard Hopkins.
Hopkins said that although Pacquiao has shrugged off the defeat, the knockout punch he took from Marquez could leave long term effects on the boxer’s psyche.
“It's one of those types of knockouts that you can recover from in life, but I don't think you can recover fully in the sport,” the 47-year-old boxer said in an excerpt of his interview with Showtime’s Jim Rome.
“That's the type of punch that takes more than one fight out of you. It takes a couple of fights out of you.”
The Filipino boxing superstar was already going for the kill against the Mexican counter-puncher when he made the mistake of walking straight into Marquez’s counter right hook.
The punch caught him flush on the chin and sent him face down to the canvass 2:59 minutes into the sixth round.
“I know when you see a guy get knocked out and hit in that way, they are considered damaged goods and they live up to that title,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins advised to take a long vacation from boxing so he can regroup as well as assess himself.
“Regroup physically, mentally, spiritually and then you make the decision there. Truthfully, it was such a devastating knockout that I don't think he will ever be the Pacquiao that he was,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s brother Bobby said the Filipino champion will be having a heart-to-heart talk with his family to map out his plans for the future.
When asked by ABS-CBN if the plans include retirement from the sport, Bobby said: “Sabi ni Mama [Dionisia] stop na raw. Mag-uusap kami about that. Mahirap sabihin, gusto namin kaming pamilya ang mag-usap.”
(Mother said he should stop boxing. We’ll talk about that. I can’t say, we prefer that he talk with the family.)
But Bobby, a former boxer himself, said his brother will have the last say.
“Actually sa kanya, sa kanya 'yun (Actually, it’s his decision)... [and] I will support him anytime.”
Bobby added that their mother is frustrated about Pacquiao’s decision to turn away from the Catholic church.
Mommy Dionisia, meantime, said she remains hopeful Pacquiao will rejoin the Roman Catholic faith.
“Pag-asahan ko ‘yan… kunin ko sa tulong ng D'yos (I’m still hopeful… I hope it happens with the help of God.)”