Roughly a month after the eight-division titlist was rendered unconscious by a spectacular overhand right thrown by WBO “Champion of the Decade” Juan Manuel Marquez, neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez expressed concern that boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is exhibiting initial signs of Parkinson's disease.
In their fourth savage affair, Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) was knocked onto Queer Street by the 39-year-old Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) at 2:59 of the sixth round.
In a genuinely scary scene, the 34-year-old Pacquiao, who had controversially earned a draw and two conquests over the ballooned Mexican since their first meeting in May 2004, remained motionless on the canvas for several minutes.
"Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement - it's just another view, my personal view - but it seems like there are early signs," said Jimenez, the president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines. "There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It's in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven't seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs."
Pacquiao, who pocketed in excess of $20 million for what amounted to his second consecutive defeat, had floored Marquez in the fifth and was leading 47-46 on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the knockout.
Regardless, Pacquiao, voted “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s by the BWAA, is clearly a shopworn scrapper who needs to permanently shelve his gloves.
If “there are some signs," Manny Pacquiao shouldn’t even consider a return to the squared circle and the Filipino icon needs to immediately vacate the sport that helped him earn millions of dollars.