MANILA—As Manny Pacquiao reached 40, some fans say he needs to retire, but one boxing analyst thinks Pacquiao still has the "fire in his belly" to keep on fighting.
Ed Tolentino, a boxing columnist, said Pacquiao's evolution from a "gung ho" fighter to a thinking one kept him afloat years after some of his former opponents retired in their mid-30s to 40s.
"Kailangan senti-kumon. Na-prolong niya 'yong career niya. Kung gung ho at walang bara-bara palagay ko hindi aabot sa 40 si Pacquiao. Kumbaga maaga siya lalaos. Napahaba niya ang career niya kasi he evolved as a fighter," Tolentino told radio DZMM Saturday.
Tolentino cited Pacquiao's bout against arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 as a "wake-up call" for the Pinoy boxer.
Marquez was well-known for the knock-out win against Pacquiao, who was left planking flat on the floor and out cold. Marquez retired 5 years ago following a string of injuries.
Aside from Marquez, boxing legends such as Marco Antonio Barrera and Eric Morales have also thrown in the towel in terms of their careers.
However, Tolentino acknowledged that at such age, Pacquiao could be ready to hang up his own gloves any time soon.
"I don't think Pacquiao is ready to give it up. Although every fight right now of Manny Pacquiao at age 40 can be his last," Tolentino said.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.