MANILA, Philippines – Retired heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis disagreed with naysayers who called for Manny Pacquiao’s retirement following the Filipino’s stunning defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.
Lewis, who retired as an undisputed heavyweight champion, said Pacquiao should look at his knockout loss as an opportunity instead of a heavy burden that could force him out of boxing.
“It depends on how Pacquiao reacts to the loss,” said Lewis in Daily Star. “Is he a broken man or can he admit he made a mistake in the ring and build on that?”
He said that if Pacquiao could correct his flaws, then he is bound to become a much better boxer.
One of the obvious flaws that Pacquiao showed against Marquez was his failure to measure his distance against his Mexican rival.
This forced the Filipino boxer had to lunge toward Marquez while throwing his jab in the sixth round of their fourth fight.
The Mexican capitalized on this mistake and timed his counter right hand directly to Pacquiao’s chin, instantly knocking out the Filipino boxer.
“A loss can make you look at yourself in a way that victory cannot. It gives you a feeling that inspires you to be better,” said Lewis.
“Gladiators need to experience setbacks because if you can come back from them it shows just how great you are.”
Some of Pacquiao's family members, particularly his mother and his wife, have been pleading for the Filipino boxer to hang his gloves.
Jinkee Pacquiao said she was terrified when she saw her husband lying face down on the canvass following the knockout.
Jinkee said Pacquiao no longer need to box since he already proved his worth as a fighter and they are already financially secure.
"Boxers risk their lives; [some] end up in wheelchairs. I don't want that to happen to Manny," she said.