Manny Pacquiao’s 68th professional fight on Saturday night ended in controversy. In what was dubbed as the “Battle of Brisbane”, the eight-division world champion lost to then lesser-known now heavily critiqued Australian boxer Jeff Horn via a controversial unanimous decision verdict.
While the general sentiment from both casual fans and analysts is that the wrong decision was put out, a good handful would argue that it was because Pacquiao, now 38 years of age and a product of countless ring wars, could be slowing down.
But for his long-time promoter Bob Arum, it could be because he is currently juggling his fighting career with his duties as a full-time senator back in his home country.
“I think you cannot spend so much time as a senator and expect to be a world-class fighter,” Arum said during the post-fight press conference (via RingTV).
Freddie Roach, who has also been Pacquiao’s mentor since the early 2000’s, agreed with Arum.
“I’m gonna have a long talk with him about that,” Roach said. “Because I think maybe being a senator, being a fighter, both is maybe too much. I’m gonna give him my feelings on this because I’m a little bit in the middle because he didn’t fight badly, he did well in some of the rounds.”
“He just wasn’t consistent enough for what I want.”
Pacquiao won the senatorial seat in May 2016, even after a lackluster six-year stint as a Congressman. While he did amass more than 15 million votes during the 2016 election, he is still heavily criticized by a good number of his own countrymen for his political run.
The Filipino boxing icon says he is open to take on Horn in a rematch, stating it would be “better if it were held in the Philippines.” But do not expect Sen. Pacquiao to pay attention to either Arum or Roach and take a back seat on his legislative duties.