Reports out of the Philippines yesterday caused quite a stir, as a pair of doctors who had not examined Manny Pacquiao said they had concerns about his health going forward, with one doctor saying he thought he'd seen early signs of Parkinson's disease in the fight, and another saying she was not convinced of good health by a post-fight CT scan he underwent following his KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December.
"There is nothing to be worry about. I am 100 percent healthy and right now I'm enjoying this memorable vacation with my family in this beautiful country of Israel. I will return to the Philippines on January 14 and in early February because I want to get to the gym because I want to have a fight in April and in September I want the fifth fight with Marquez.
"The statements by the doctors show a total lack of ethics and it was irresponsible. This was just personal opinion and there were no medical tests."
Pacquiao, 34, passed his CT scan after his scary, face-first knockout, and the doctor who made a "diagnosis" (it wasn't a diagnosis, and wasn't intended to be) did make clear he was just expressing his personal view. But when someone is as famous as Pacquiao, this can spiral quickly. I can say on our end, we talked about it because it was worth getting out there and saying something about the original article, and also because it's one of those things that opens the discussion: Does Manny Pacquiao have any great need to fight on?
If he's healthy, as he assures us all that he is, then he will. Even if he wasn't, he probably would. It happens all the time. You can dismiss this all if you want to, and I think that's a fair enough judgment call for anyone, but it's a discussion, and it's a concern for any fighter. With Manny's name attached, it becomes something people actually talk about.
And aside from that, it looks like Pacquiao is hoping to get back in the ring soon. His original next fight date was April 20, which still is not booked by HBO or Showtime. It's kind of a tough ask to hope boxing fans will buy a $70 PPV on April 20 and another one on May 4, though, so that might not really work out for the best. Something in mid-to-late June would seem wise, given that Pacquiao isn't going to be ready by March, and there's not enough time to promote a Pacquiao-level fight for March now anyway.