Manny Pacquiao Shouldn't Risk Fighting Juan Manuel Marquez Again

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

The career of Manny Pacquiao should be reaching its end
The career of Manny Pacquiao should be reaching its endAl Bello/Getty Images

There's simply too much on the line for Manny Pacquiao in a prospective rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Almost immediately after Marquez's stunning knockout of Pac-Man, fans began clamoring for a fifth fight between the two. They may get their wish, as Alfredo R. Berrios of ESPN reported earlier in the week that Top Rank is putting together the pieces necessary for the two to meet again.

He spoke with Top Rank spokesman Fred Sturnberg. Sturnberg said:

"He's indicated he will fight again. Bob (Arum) has indicated (that it would be) September," said Fred Sternburg, spokesman for Top Rank, Arum's promotion company. "Between the suspension and the election and campaign in Philippines, we think we can do it."

Later in the article, he's quoted as saying:

"I think they can do it. Bob has stated it over and over. The fight did so well financially, it is a no-brainer," Sternburg said.

By now, every boxing fan in the world is probably aware of the news that a doctor has expressed concern that Pacquiao is showing signs of Parkinson's Disease (via Forbes). It's far from an accepted fact, though, so it could just be nothing more than a false alarm.

Whether or not the Pac-Man has early signs of Parkinson's, there's still not much left to gain aside from money in a rematch with Marquez.

A financial windfall would be nice. However, Pacquiao has amassed so much money throughout his career that he could retire right now and be set for two lifetimes. His net worth is projected to be around $85 million (via Celebrity Net Worth).

At a certain point, money alone needs to stop being a motivator.

Regardless of the validity of the medical scare, few should doubt that Pacquiao has been on the decline in recent years. The Pac-Man is only 34 years old, but looked about a decade older in his loss to Marquez and the disputed fight with Timothy Bradley.

He's relied so much on his physical abilities throughout his career. Pacquiao has been able to move around the ring and avoid his opponents' best punches.

The problem now is that that asset is waning and he hasn't been able to compensate, much like Muhammad Ali when he aged.

The longer Pacquiao stays in the ring, the more he'll continue to be a stationary fighter. He'll stand in there taking his opponents' best punches in the hope that he can land that knockout blow that it doesn't seem he has anymore.

Then the Parkinson's scare will become all too real, as it has with Ali.

It was cringe-inducing to see the condition of the former champ as he was paraded out for the opening game of the Miami Marlins. That's not how fans want to see Pacquiao at an older age.

As this stage, Pacquiao's legacy is already secured. He's beaten Marquez before, and no one is doubting or second-guessing what the Pac-Man has accomplished just because of the knockout.

The risks involved in Pacquiao continuing his career, especially against a fighter like Marquez, far outweigh the benefits.