LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 14: Manny Pacquiao enters the ring before taking on Miguel Cotto during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao was hit so hard by a devastating knockout punch from Juan Manuel Marquez last weekend that he will be taking extra health precautions before resuming his boxing career.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Pacquiao for 120 days so that he can heal, and they told him to avoid any contact and physical activity for the first 90 days.
Pacquiao’s initial plan was to fight again in April, but that timetable has been delayed because of the knockout. Manny’s trainer, Freddie Roach, says September is the earliest Pacquiao could be back in the ring. Pac-Man’s impending return will also depend on his medical examinations.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, plans to have his fighter undergo extensive brain testing before another fight is scheduled, The Philippine Star reports.
“I have to take him to the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, the brain center, which is a brain specialist,” said Arum. “We’re going to do an extensive brain examination before we commit him to a fight.”
Pacquiao was literally out cold after the Marquez knockout. His team had to put a cold towel on him to wake him up after he was out for a minute. His eyes were said to be glazed over. Pacquiao’s coach says the fighter did not know where he was or whether the fight was over.
Pacquiao was taken to a hospital following his loss Saturday where he underwent a CT scan. He also reportedly underwent an MRI after returning home to the Philippines, and his results reportedly were clear. But that doesn’t mean Pacquiao is free of serious injury; the effects of a brutal punch like that don’t always immediately show.
Pacquiao has plans to travel to Israel next week. Arum hopes they will be able to return to Las Vegas for the testing at some point during the new year.
There are plenty of people who wanted to see Pacquiao lose to Marquez, but nobody wants to see anyone suffer serious health consequences. Like Pacquiao’s family, I’m hoping he retires to protect is health. He has already done so much in the sport and has little left to prove. He needs to take care of himself.