Manny Pacquiao shadow boxed relentlessly in the corners of the Wild Card gym. He was swift and fast as his punches curved the hapless air. Manny at age 37 still moves like he is still on his prime.
After a brief 7-month retirement, Pacquiao is back again to his first love. Every retired boxer will come up with reasons why there is a need to lace that gloves back again. From Roy Jones Jr. to Shane Mosley all got one valid reason why they prolong their retirements. For Manny, after being the only boxer in history to win eight titles in different weight divisions and for being the people’s champ for years it’s still mind boggling why he still fights. The need to scratch that itch is just greater than to retire and end his career on a masterpiece performance against Timothy Bradley. Oscar De la Hoya had to retire after his right hand had no popped. Floyd Mayweather Jr. who has a brittle right hand had to take Xylocaine in order to numbed his hand before a fight has finally decided to retire. But Manny can still fight. He still has his speed and he still has that determination to win.
Jessie Vargas is ten years younger than Manny. The former two-time Mexican champion and a member of the 2008 Olympics, has only one lone defeat and it came out to be a controversial one against Bradley. Vargas will be the hungry lion looking for his first major win against a future hall of famer. And this is going to be a slug fest. Vargas has a five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage is gearing for a knockout. They are practicing what Juan Marquez had done to Manny way back in 2012, hoping Manny will be caught off guard again. Pacquiao had fought far more dangerous boxers than Vargas but at age 37, those punches that he usually received before, will be different now. Those stingy hooks that he shrugged off will come out this time to be stingy. Against a younger Vargas, Manny is risking his health and his legacy to end his career on a high note.
But should we be worried? Nobody thought a former 105-pounder can go up as high as super welterweight and won belts in return. Nobody thought he can go toe-to-toe against Oscar Del a Hoya and Miguel Cotto. Yes, Manny is an anomaly.
While the world moves on after retiring 7 months ago. As everybody thought the chapter of Manny Pacquiao has already closed. The boxer senator continues to fight. There is no need for real reasons, as long as he can fight everything is valid enough.
From the four corners of the Wild Card Gym, Manny continues his onslaught. Sweat moving down his face as he continues to boxed an invisible fighter. Just days left before his real fight, Manny will finally gauge how much left on his tank.