Pacman should retire if reports are true
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
THE FIRST unpleasant news this year in world professional boxing was the report that Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Paquiao is on the brink of suffering from the dreaded “Parkinson disease” (PD) if he continues to fight. This was revealed by well-known Filipino neurologist Rustico Jimenez and forensic pathologist Racquel Fortun after the two physicians observed the hands of Pacquiao having some twitching during a television interview recently, but without a benefit of actual examination. It’s an early sign of PD, a disease that has inflicted former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.
The neurosurgeon’s unsolicited advice was that Pacman should pass a more rigorous medical test first before the eight-division world champion enters the ring again. Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, clarified that although Pacquiao has already passed a mandatory CT-scan at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas and a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan recently, the Pacquiao camp should conduct further assessment to save the future and the image of their prizefighter as well as our country.
In short, Top Rank Promotions czar Bob Arum should ask his prized ward to undergo a more extensive brain testing before making an arrangement to fight anew Pacquiao’s conqueror Juan Manuel Marquez, which is likely to be held in September.
According to my private physician (he asked not to be named), PD is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Early in the path of the disease, the most noticeable symptoms are movement-related like trembling of hands, stiffness, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and postural instability. My doctor also said that trembling or shaking of hands is the most apparent and well-known symptom and the most common. And that’s what Pacman is having now, if the speculation of Dr. Jimenez is to be believed. Of course, as expected Pacman fervidly denied it
Honestly, at 67 years old, I’m now also experiencing a bit of trembling and rigidity in my left hand’s fingers. My doctor said it is but common to feel a little trembling of fingers for an aging person, like me. But I also have a suspicion that these little finger tremors of mine I acquired could be due to my cycling competitions. Most of the times we were doused by buckets of waters by the spectators along the highway purposely to counter the scorching heat on our sweltering body, to refresh us but with much gusto. But my doctor said this was not really the cause, just a natural occurrence to an aging fellow. This is not PD because I was not a former professional boxer, the ones who usually get brain damage in the long run.
So if the reports are true, Pacman better retires for his own good, like what his mom Dionisia has ways called for. “Ang pera ay hindi mo madadala sa taas kapag ikaw ay namatay,” as the Filipino saying goes.
* * * *
I was in Hong Kong last week for a two-day respite when news broke out that American cyclist Lance Armstrong is contemplating on confessing about the allegation against him that he used an performance-enhancing drug to catapult him to victory in the Tour de France seven times consecutively, from 1999 to 2005. I was stunned because Armstrong, now 41, my idol, has been vehemently denying the accusation, describing the charge as a witch-hunt by the United States Drug Agency (USADA) that investigated the case and found him guilty. The verdict eventually prompted the world governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to strip Armstrong of the seven TdF titles. We, the cycling fans, expect Armstrong, whether being pressured or not, to finally make a confession to end once-and-for all the issue that has been hounding him for many years. The report says the confession will be done on January 17 (January 18 PH time) at Oprah Winfrey’s television program. Tsk, tsk, tsk, what a guy. Let’s wait and see.
* * * *
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. 1 CORINTHIANS 15: 50-52