'Inispoil na niya tayo e,' says fight analyst
For a short Filipino guy who started fighting as a skinny 112-pounder, Manny Pacquiao has certainly accomplished a lot.
He has won 12 major titles in eight different weight classes, went toe-to-toe against the likes of Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales and Miguel Cotto, and became a lineal champion in five different weight divisions.
Pacquiao became one of boxing's top attractions, earning million of dollars in the process, a true example of rags-to-riches.
Certainly, a decision loss to a relatively unknown Yordenis Ugas this weekend won't erase any of that.
"Ako personally, wala na siyang dapat patunayan. Na-accomplish na niya lahat," said veteran fight analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino. "Para sa akin hindi siya maaalala sa pagkatalo niya kay Ugas. Siya ay maaalala ng mga boxing fans sa kanyang mga panalo kontra kay Hatton, De La Hoya, Cotto, Marquez, Barrera, Morales."
"Sabi nga nila, 'You can't win them all, but he almost won them all.' So that's not bad, di ba?"
Hampered by painful leg cramps, a 42-year-old Pacquiao tried but failed to turn back time when he challenged the younger and taller Ugas.
The Filipino legend was not able to do his usual side-to-side movements, making him vulnerable to Ugas's left jab-right straight combination. He could not also generate enough punching power due to his stiffness in the legs.
Tolentino said a younger Pacquiao would have adjusted well even with leg cramps.
"Noon 'yun noong bata pa siya. E ngayon 42 ka na at 2 taong walang laban," he said citing Pacquiao's forced hiatus due to the pandemic. "Nakalimutan nating tumatanda rin si Manny Pacquiao."
Pacquiao was visibly frustrated and was apologetic after the loss.
But Tolentino said Pacquiao has nothing to be sorry for.
"For me the time has come to discover there is life after boxing," he said referring to Pacquiao's political career.
"Masyado na tayong inispoil ni Manny Pacquiao. 'Manny labanan mo ito, labanan mo iyan, labanan mo ito, labanan mo iyan.' We pushed him so far, nakalimutan natin he's already 42 years old at may pinaplano nang ibang buhay outside boxing."
Fans should instead be grateful to witness Pacquiao's greatness, he said.
A rematch won't be beneficial to Pacquiao. Tolentino said the Filipino boxer should make his exit with his head still intact.
"You don't need to settle the score with Ugas. Hindi ka naman namin doon maalala. Tama na ito that at the end of the day you were still able to finish the fight na nakatayo ka, maayos ang kalusugan," he said.
'Yung mga greats like Muhammad Ali, nabugbog ni Tervor Berbick sa huling laban niya; Oscar De La Hoya, nabugbog ni Manny Pacquiao sa huling laban niya; si Sugar Ray Robinson, the greatest of all time, 'yung huling laban halos walang nanonood."
"For me there's nothing to be ashamed of kung ito na nga ang huling laban ni Manny Pacquiao."