Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters to ever step in the ring, but after suffering a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, it's time for Pac-Man to hang up his gloves.
Pacquiao put on a brilliant show before being leveled by Marquez, and it's clear that the 34-year-old is still an elite boxer. Unfortunately for fight fans, the simple truth is that boxing is one of the least important things on Pacquiao's to-do list.
The legendary fighter is also a congressman in his native Philippines, a historically corrupt country with extremely high poverty rates. According to statistics released by the Philippine government, 23.1 million Filipinos (26.5 percent) are below the poverty line. That means they earn less than 16,841 Philippine pesos, or $410.21, per year.
The country is also a hotbed of natural disasters, with frequent earthquakes, flash floods and typhoons ravaging the country on a regular basis.
The Filipino people often face extreme hardships, and Pacquiao's position as congressmen is more important than his position as a boxer.
Yes, his fighting career earns him millions and millions of dollars, which he can use for charitable efforts. But boxing also leads to Pacquiao absorbing devastating punches, like the one Marquez landed earlier this month.
In order to help his people as much as possible, Pacquiao will need every brain cell he has. If he is missing congressional meetings to train and get concussed while he's in the ring, then Pacquiao is hurting his ability to serve his countrymen.
Unfortunately for Pacquiao, I'm sure it won't be easy to walk away from the sport he loves. Boxing has made him wealthy, famous and put him in a position to help those in need.
But in order to maximize his potential as a philanthropist, Pacquiao must leave the ring, preserve his brain and dedicate his time to the House of Representatives of the Philippines.
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