The "Pacman" is the current WBO welterweight world champion
Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao should fight twice in 2017 and then hang up his gloves for good.
The "Pacman" is a veteran of 67 professional fights over the course of a remarkable career which has seen him win world titles in a record eight different weight divisions.
The keystone fight of Manny Pacquiao’s incredible career took so long to materialise that he was past his prime when when he eventually fought Floyd Mayweather in 2015.
Although the super-fight drew over 4.4 million pay-per-views in the United States alone, it tanked as a spectacle after the Filipino injured his shoulder in the fourth round and, combined with Mayweather’s risk-averse style, the bout lacked the excitement the fans craved.
Pacquiao and Mayweather should have squared off in 2010. Back then, “Pacman” was on an incredible streak accounting for Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in succession.
Manny Pacquiao stands over Ricky Hatton after knocking him down in the second round
Image: ©INPHO/Getty Images
Mayweather had comfortably beaten Marquez and Shane Mosely after coming out of a brief retirement and the fight should have happened then.
Since losing to Mayweather, Pacquiao won the rubber match in his trilogy with Timothy Bradley and then deposed Jessie Vargas to become the WBO welterweight champion.
There are rumours his promotor, Top Rank, want the Filipino to do a four fight farewell tour this year. The idea is far-fetched and needless.
Pacquiao hasn’t fought four times in a calendar year since 2001. He’s been in plenty of wars and doesn’t need to absorb too much more damage at this stage in his life.
A fight in the summer and one at the end of the year will suffice as he continues to focus on his political duties as a senator in his native land.
To sell a fight in America, a bout with either of unbeaten contenders Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia would catch the imagination and could sell as the classic “master vs young-up-and-comer” clash.
His final fight should be in the Philippines. Whatever he decides, he should go out on his terms and allow the baton to be passed onto the next generation.