Boxing News 2014: Muhammad Ali’s Physician Sends Hint to Mayweather & Pacquiao that Boxing After 35 Accelerates Early Death
By Vittorio Hernandez | August 15, 2014 8:52 AM EST
The organisers of the dream match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr better ensure that the bout take place in 2015 for them to maximise the potential pay-per-view sales of such a gargantuan boxing match.
World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) of the U.S. and World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Marcos Maidana of Argentina face off during an official weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2014. The two champions will meet in a WBC/WBA unification fight at the arena on May 3. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
The reason behind that urgent tone from the former physician of heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is not so much due to missed revenue opportunities, but a hint for the two ageing pound-for-pound contenders to push through with their plans to retire from boxing.
The consequence of going beyond the ideal limit of 35 years old is their risk of early death, hinted Dr Freddie Pacheco, the personal doctor of the great boxer Muhammad Ali. The doctor was pushing the former Cassius Clay to hang his gloves at 35, but the attraction of higher purses and the fame that went with the titles was too much too resist for Ali, who is now paying for the price of his decision in terms of suffering from Parkinson's Disease.
In an article written by Pacheco for the New York Times quoted by the Digital Journal, the fight doctor explained that a person loses elasticity and resiliency by age 35 as part of the ageing process.
He wrote, "The simplest way of characterizing the aging process would have to be loss of elasticity. With the loss of elasticity comes the concomitant loss of resiliency, the ability to bounce back, to recover from the injury, whether by natural causes, illness or trauma."
When resiliency is gone, it affects the brain the most, linked to the number of punches that landed on the head of the boxer from his amateur days all the way to his professional career. Injuries to the body tissues are multiplied when a person ages, on top of the effects of the normal ageing process, and it would speed up the downhill course.
Pacheco stressed, "Boxing is a young man's game until the age of 30, the body is on the upswing, building itself, getting stronger and stronger." He added, "From 30 on, the loss of elasticity and resiliency is diminished - slowly, but progressively deteriorating until death. A boxer who fights after age 30 is helping nature along on the downhill course."
The doctor said that the boxer who fights after 35 "is pushing the gas pedal, accelerating toward an early demise and making his trip there uncomfortable."
Mayweather, who is 37, has 3 more fights until his contract Showtime ends. On Sept 13, he will have a rematch with the younger boxer, Marcos Maidana of Argentina, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao is 35 and has announced plans to hang his boxing gloves soon, after his contract with Top Rank Promotion end. In the meantime, he will fight 30-year-old WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri in Macau on Nov 22. Ahead of his retirement, Pacquiao has started the sports career shift by becoming the playing coach of a Philippine basketball team.
If the dream match would not take place in 2015 - when Mayweather is already 38 and Pacquiao 36 - the two better forget about a match because fans would surely notice the slow down in their boxing skills. But more than losing potential PPV buys, Pacheco warns the two in so many words through the article that while they could earn mega millions from future bouts, they could be digging their graves at the same time.
Pacheco reminisces about Ali in this video.
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