Manny Pacquiao Meets Dr. Doom

By Robert Ecksel on January 3, 2013
Manny Pacquiao Meets Dr. Doom
Pacquiao is no Floyd Mayweather. He has been hit and hit many times over the years.


Since his religious awakening, Manny Pacquiao has spent an inordinate amount of time praying for our souls. Lord knows we need it. Most of us fear change, distrust surprise, and cling to threadbare stereotypes. We want our fighters to drink petrol and breathe fire, not invoke Jesus. But the latest news from the Philippines suggests that it might be time for us to do for Manny what he has been doing for us.

A Filipino neurologist has gone public and voiced concern regarding what he believes is Pacquiao’s worsening health. Although this doctor neither knows nor has examined Manny, he says that early signs of Parkinson’s disease are evident.

We need to be wary of doctors who make long distance diagnoses based on what they see on TV. But that wariness, which is called for under the circumstances, needs to extend to boxing as well, assuming it doesn’t extend to boxing already.

President of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines, Dr. Rustico Jimenez, dropped the bombshell during a radio interview.

“If you ask my opinion,” he said, “maybe it’s time for our national hero Manny to retire. Even though he still shows fast reflexes, I’ve recently noticed—and this is just another view, my personal observation—there are early signs [of Parkinson’s].

“You can see it in the hand movements. It’s usually the hands and not immediately in the head where you can easily see a little twitch. Although I am not seeing this up close, I am seeing there are some early signs.”

Marquez’s recent knockout of Pacquiao was one for the books. CT scans came back negative, but the effect of repeated punches to the head is cumulative. Unless there was internal bleeding, the damage might not reveal itself immediately.

Another Philippine physician, Dr. Raquel Fortun, the so-called “Mother of Philippine Forensic Pathology,” wasn’t as cavalier with her diagnosis. But she too is worried about Manny.

“[The brain] is fragile,” she told ABS-CBN News. “When it gets shook like that, it’s very dangerous. The brain, while it sits in the skull, is not truly fixed to the skull. When the brain jolts, there are broken connections and you get small hemorrhages.”

Their fancy titles aside, we cannot at this far remove determine the credibility of either physician. Nor can we be certain of their motives. Are they publicity seekers? It’s possible, the world is filled with them. Or are they as concerned for Manny as the rest of us?

What we do know is that boxing, however glorious, is ruinous to one’s health. Manny is no Floyd Mayweather. He has been hit and hit many times over the years. Would it come as a shock to learn that he is showing early signs of Parkinson’s? It’s the last thing we want, but we’re realistic and prepared for the worst.

The Empire Strikes Back

Even in the Holy Land, the faux diagnoses of his condition managed to reach Manny Pacquiao.

“There is nothing to worry about,” he assured everyone. “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.”

Jinkee’s protestations about Manny continuing to fight must have fallen on deaf ears.

“The statements by the doctors show a total lack of ethics and it was irresponsible,” added Pacquiao. “This was just personal opinion and there were no medical tests.”

Drs. Jimenez and Rustico are not quacks, far from it. But they may be too full of themselves to be taken as seriously as they might like.

Not that anyone was expecting Manny to say, “Yes, my hands do sometimes shake.”

Instead he said, “I am doing good. God is good.”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Manny Pacquiao showing early signs of Parkinsons Disease



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  1. Mike Schmidt 01:25pm, 01/10/2013

    Bodyshots I take you back to my Manny Pacquiao—No Fire, Retire article just before the fight—hey hey I just watched the old Burt Lancaster movie Elmer Gantry…. Marquez, an accountant by the by, is counting his dinero and smiling no doubt. In terms of the Manny stub toe you are of course 100% on target—the fact is that Nacho and JMM were lining that shot up the whole fight/night and you would have to blind to say otherwise—it was the same wide right hand (very unlike Marquez otherwise who is textbook arrow straight) that did the drop on Manny before the KO and the same wide right that shook him pillar to toe post the round after—JMM was firing that shot around Manny’s otherwise predictable hands high box like defence—adios amigo

  2. Bodyshots 10:28am, 01/10/2013

    Citing the standard and predictable hazards that emerge between southpaw and orthodox fighters is desperate and ultimately moot, e.g., Marquez’s foot also stumbled on Pacquiao’s* foot for that flash-KD and So What? that’s part of the built-in challenge to these matchups. Meanwhile, I’ve always resented Pacquiao’s* religious grandstanding and self-righteous bible-thumping. that brand of peasant worship is offensive to true believers and fight-fans alike. besides, I don’t think for an instant that Pacquiao* is more pious than Marquez who is NOT tainted with a history of gambling or womanizing. Ultimately, Pacquiao’s* guilty-conscience should be between him and his “god” not the entire sport of Boxing.

  3. THE THRESHER 03:58pm, 01/08/2013

    From Ronnie Nathanielsz:
    Koncz said “what is the name of this alleged well known doctor as we are contemplating a civil suit for merit-less and unfounded accusations.”
    He said “tell me how can one make such allegations based on mere speculation as I am not aware that this alleged doctor ever examined Manny yet he makes such a diagnosis” adding “it’s amazing what people will do to get media coverage. Anyway I am done responding to this ludicrous diagnosis and we shall quietly enjoy our remaining time in Israel.”

  4. Don from Prov 06:25am, 01/07/2013

    Great comments from Jason and from Mike Schmidt—

    Manny was way out of position.
    And NYIrish nails the reality now facing Manny, IMO

  5. NYIrish 03:33pm, 01/06/2013

    Manny has lost his chance to bow out gracefully. He has to go out with an avenging win. A boxer turned politician doesn’t want the predominant image of his career being a cat nap on the canvas. Whether he can pull off a final victory over JMM is a question many are willing to pay to see answered. He’s got to try. So goes the fight game. Politics in his locale may be more hazardous than anything he’s faced.

  6. bob rosenberg 01:59pm, 01/06/2013

    Pacquiao has an arbitrary defense. He knows to move but he seems to miscalculate the “when” and “why.” Though he understands the obvious to avoid getting hit…he constantly moves into more trouble than he avoids. I suspect he feels by moving he avoids the full impact…or prays he does-of the big punch. But he was caught by Marquez and he is caught somewhat often. He’s not a magician in the ring, he is not a defensive tactician and over time it wears a fighter out. Why does he need to go on, what for? I would say bow out. Still, it’s Manny life, Manny’s health. IT IS HIS LIFE. And Pacquiao is nothing if not a warrior, a too proud warrior, but a warrior nonetheless.

  7. the thresher 03:19pm, 01/05/2013

    This"doctor” has now been inducted into my Hall of Shame

  8. fred jason 02:54am, 01/05/2013

    If he fight Marquez, Manny will be destroyed.  You can blame the word “MANNY GREED”

  9. the thresher 05:12pm, 01/04/2013

    I’ve been twitching for years but it’s just because I am a fossil.

  10. stephen cagulada 04:29pm, 01/04/2013

    Of course Manny Pacquaio is not Floyd Mayweather. Far from it Mr. Writer. Manny is not a chicken like Floyd. Manny fights whoever fighter placed in front of him unlike Floyd the great American ducker. Manny never failed a drug test not like Floyd a certifiied cyclocaine user. The best of all Manny is the only 8 weight division champion in the world and recognized worldwide as one of the all time greats of boxing.

  11. Mike Schmidt 08:31am, 01/04/2013

    Footsee or no footsee jason you are right on—no pun intended. Manny was way out of that imaginary box the old-timers would have their fighters draw, sniper like, in their mind—way too far over and he got clipped—it happens and that is boxing—give me fight number five—I think JMM does it again but what the hell that was one exciting fight (all on the basis—as in any fight, anywhere, anytime) that everybody is med clear and physically fit to go.

  12. Jason 07:56am, 01/04/2013

    Not luck at all. JMM is a righty, Pacman is a lefty. When pac moved in for the kill, he did not step to his right in order to cut JMM’s right hand in half. As a consequence, he walked right into a straight right.

    @ MIke Schmidt: I had not noticed the footsy as you described it. That makes sense and may very well be the reason he failed to cut JMM’s right in half. Either way, the outcome was the same.

  13. Mike Schmidt 07:16am, 01/04/2013

    Good stuff Sneak—and that was no lucky punch, no lucky punch at all—Nacho had that wide shot planned and bombing the whole night long—the only UNLUCKY part for Manny if you watch the video slowly on the view that shows there feet—right at the last second Manny caught his lead foot/toe on Champion JMM’s already firmly planted left foot and Manny, micro seconds to compounding the fact that he is wayyyy out of position, lost his balance and falls smack into the already launched right hand. No lucky punch though—same shot he was rattling Manny with each round and same wide loop shot that dropped Manny.

  14. Sancho 07:01am, 01/04/2013

    What’s that saying?  I’d rather be lucky than good.  I don’t believe it was so much luck on JMM’s part as sloppy technique by Pac.  I suppose JMM should hold back until Pac is ready to fight the next time they meet.  All boxers face these risks.  Until he’s been examined by a physician…...

  15. Dranreb Datsboygym 06:27am, 01/04/2013

    All Human being are subject to leaved this world in proper time, and there is no one exempted so for now, its good enough for the GREAT PAC to finally settle ONE LAST TIME fighting for the FIFTH TIME with the Juicy lucky puncher Marquez…. Win or Loss after that retired from this kind of sport and look ahead of a much bigger stage in life: POLITICS!

  16. Mike Schmidt 06:23am, 01/04/2013

    Write on Pac Fanatic, right on! Exactly the point of my Manny Pacquiao: No Fire/Retire article back in November before the fight number three. No game and no part time sport this hurting business

  17. Pete The Sneak 06:04am, 01/04/2013

    Anyone of note in the Philippines knows that any comment about Manny will bring forth some serious free publicity. So why not make a TV Diagnosis as serious as the possibility of having Parkinson’s. Couldn’t hurt business. Schmiddy hit it on the head. If Manny wins big on his next fight, or would have won the Marquez fight despite being knocked down, these type comments would not be fit to print in the Phil’s or anywhere… Incredible…Still, have to agree with some of the comments posted by boxmeister below, particularly if Manny indeed wants to pursue higher office in the Phil’s and be able to do so capably. Rest assured however, that Manny is a fighter and has too much pride to end his career in the manner in which his fight with Marquez did. He’ll be in the ring again. And lastly, I would tend to think that a man of Manny’s stature would have his own team of doctors who can examine him and let him know where he may be standing healthwise. Peace.

  18. MANNY FANATIC 05:39am, 01/04/2013

    Since everyone knows that boxing is a brutal sport, Manny should treat this not as a hobby but his means of living, He must forget politics, showbiz, singing career and all of distractions and must focus 100 % on boxing alone, like when he was a kid in General Santos who fought with all his heart. Otherwise, forget his dream of coming back again in the ring and avenge his lost. For sure he will not succeed, because his opponent JMM is always focused and ready to humiliate him and will not give him any chance to win.To be able to win, NO DISTRACTION and 100% FOCUS only in BOXING.

  19. Mike Schmidt 04:58am, 01/04/2013

    Annnnnd- Did Manny suffer trauma to the brain—OF COURSE HE DID- HE GOT KNOCKED OUT—the brain suffered a lack of oxygen supply and brain cells were leaving Manny for all any of us would know a zillion plus miles a minute yep—unfortunate but true BUT does that allow a non examined jump that he is suffering from Parkinson’s or perhaps (and yes I know that was not mentioned here) early signs of pugilistic dementia-that’s a jump not even the great Galactus could put in the diagnostic mix—now let me get back to my Spiderman and Rocket Robin Hood cartoon fearless Editor—I wish we wouldn’t give these type of things the press they do not deserve. Yours was about as evenhanded in only the word way you could play.

  20. Mike Schmidt 03:30am, 01/04/2013

    I would put as much credence in Dr Doom as I would in Mr Fantastic or the Silver Surfer dropping on by- -reat article BUT BUT wow could we have some cross-examination fun with these—...“When is the last time you examined Champ Pac, what did you find on his CAT and EKG comparitive to your last findings ladee da da Can you attribute his physical symptoms to any other source—does he shake like that when he laughs—lets look at a video, does he look like that when he gets a hug from his wife, hmmmmm, Do you disagree with the medical tests done in Las Vegas, have you even looked at those medical results ladee da da da Manny got knocked out and that is the nature of the business he is in—if he comes back and wins big, or if he had won this last fight would we be getting all these Fantastic Two type comments nah nah nah

  21. boxmeister 02:45am, 01/04/2013

    If Manny Pacquiao really cares about his family, he should stop making his bread and butter his part time job.  He is now a walking time bomb and his ego is playing against him with him not knowing it…it is better to be safe than sorry and the most smart move he can make is hang up his Cleto Reyeses or he won’t enjoy his family and accumulated enormous wealth for the rest of his life.  If he has the ambition for higher office, he better keep himself intact otherwise, his dreams of serving the Filipino people will shatter into pieces just because he thinks he will still be able to survive the cruel sport of boxing.

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