Now in the twilight of a magnificent career, Manny Pacquiao is one in the long list of sports superstars whose career will most likely take a huge blow due to the coronavirus pandemic that's troubling the world.
Pacquiao, 41, and now a senator of the republic, is planning to make a return to the ring in July, but this could change because of Covid-19, which has taken a toll to many stars who are now in the tailend of their great careers, like golfer Tiger Woods, NBA icon Lebron James, and a lot more.
"Pacquiao is planning to fight in June or July, but I don't know if the situation will have improved by then. Donaire is in line for a shot at WBC bantamweight crown in May, but this fight is also doubtful because of the crisis," boxing commentator Ed Tolentino told ABS CBN sports recently.
At least three world-renowed boxers are being mentioned in the list of the Pacman's possible contenders.
Another Pinoy boxer who'll most likely suffer a lot once the crisis gets worse is Nonito Donaire, Jr., who is already 37 years old.
Donaire, 37, is set to take on WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali on May 16, but that bout could be postponed, too.
"Both men are already in their dog years and this crisis just made them endangered species in the sport", added Tolentoino, reerring to Pacquiao and Donaire.
Ironically, Pacquiao has signed a partnership with Paradigm, a managerial outfit that handles the career of MMA superstar Conor McGregor. The deal was supposed to maximize Pacquiao's potential earnings in his final years in boxing.
But the pandemic could change it all.
"The days of Pacquiao and Donaire are numbered even before the crisis. Every fight could be the last. This crisis only aggravated the problem," said Tolentino, adding that both boxers need to remain active if they want to stay competitive in their next assignments.
Boxing rust, he said, is the last thing they need.
"It is very important for the two of them to return this year, even for just one fight, because the last thing they need is to be inactive for a year," Tolentino said.