At 37, Manny Pacquiao showed he still has the speed, the sting in his punches and the stamina to last the full round after his unanimous decision against deposed WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.
Some people may not totally agree when he came out of retirement, just months after declaring it’s over for him in boxing.
But we can see that Pacquiao hardly lost a beat against Vargas, whom he dominated with his hand speed, while unleashing his trademark lethal punches in various rounds of the fight.
And he was able to pull off that feat considering he’s also a full-time Philippine senator, has a big family to attend to, helps out on the poor in his province and a host of other commitments.
He continues to bring pride and glory for our country, while maintaining in an earlier press statement why he’s returning to the sport he dominated since 1996– “boxing is my only means of livelihood to support my family and to help those who are in need. Politics, to me, is a vocation, not a means to eke out a living.”
Pacquiao will turn 38 in a month’s time, but we all know he’s not the first pro athlete to make that giant comeback from retirement.
Michael Jordan “unretired” sometime in 1995, just over a year after shocking the world that he was quitting the game he dominated for three straight NBA seasons and shifting to baseball.
Jordan’s “second coming” saw him lead the Chicago Bulls to three straight NBA titles from 1996 to 1998.
Eight years before that, George Foreman made a historic comeback at age 38, slugging it out with Evander Holyfield in 1991, before becoming the oldest world heavyweight champion in boxing history after scoring a KO win against Michael Moorer. He won the heavyweight championship belt at 45.
Magic Johnson retired in Nov. 1991 after his shocking revelation that he had HIV.
Months later, he came out of retirement, played for the very first NBA-led US national basketball team, now known as the “Dream Team” and went on to win the 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold in basketball.
Michael Phelps, America’s legendary swimmer, also unretired over a year ago, made one, giant splash back to the 2016 Rio Olympics where he upped his total Olympic medals to 28, 23 of them gold.
Locally, the PBA’s “Mighty Mouse” announced his return to active play in August 2015, just seven months after calling it a day.
His return saw him serve as the Bolts’ leader on and off the court, leading Meralco to its first-ever Finals appearance in franchise history, before losing to Barangay Ginebra, 4-2 in the just-concluded PBA Governors’ Cup championship series. On Nov. 3, 2016, Alapag said he’s retiring for good.