Editor's letter | Highlight 1 | Issue | Premium | Jul 23 2019

Manny Pacquiao and suspicious minds

After beating Keith Thurman last weekend, Manny Pacquiao’s legend gathers pace but so do the accusations being aimed at him, writes Matt Christie
Boxing: Pacquiao vs Thurman
Boxing: Pacquiao vs Thurman  |  Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports

MANNY PACQUIAO wins again. Another young buck defeated, another astonishing victory to add to his long list of astonishing victories and, at the ripe old age of 40, another performance worthy of true greatness.

For some, though, it’s all a little too astonishing. The more the Filipino defies logic, the older he gets while beating fighters like Keith Thurman, then the harder it becomes for the cynics to accept that “Pac Man”, who started his professional boxing career 24 years ago as a malnourished light-flyweight, is a simply a force of nature. He’s collected world titles all the way up to super-welterweight while gathering speed and increasing his muscle mass and power. Therefore, say those cynics, he must have had help in the form of performance enhancing drugs.

The suspicions surrounding Pacquiao have been common since his peak, when he soared to welterweight and savaged the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. His form was awe-inspiring and his victories utterly devastating. A payment of $114,000 was made to Pacquiao in 2012 after he filed a lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather when the American accused the Filipino of cheating.