How past returning fighters have fared ahead of Manny Pacquiao comeback
Lee Gormley | October 13, 2016
Manny Pacquiao comeback on November 5th
Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao called time on his illustrious career in April when comfortably outpointing Timothy Bradley in what was their third meeting, opting to focus solely on political duties for his home nation.
The sport’s first and only eight-division world champion had been completely outdone by Floyd Mayweather in the highest grossing fight in history during May last year, but bounced back to brilliantly blow Bradley away in Las Vegas.
Following just eight months away from the ring since that last victory, ‘Pacman’ will once again lace up his gloves to challenge for Jessie Vargas’ WBO welterweight title, after a very short-lived retirement. Pacquiao will enter as the massive odds-on 1/10 favourite with Coral, though Vargas is an 11/2 threat to retain his crown.
With the now 37-year-old making a swift comeback to the squared circle on November 5th, Coral look back at how past returning fighters have fared ahead of the legendary 10-time world champion’s latest bout…
Floyd Mayweather Jr
After producing a masterclass to nullify the tamed efforts of Pacquiao in the widely dubbed ‘Fight of the Century’, Mayweather made one final appearance in the ring when easily outpointing Andre Berto in September last year.
Although, many expect ‘Money’ to return to the ring in an attempt to clinch an impressive 50-0 record, having already come out of retirement in the past. The former pound-for-pound great stopped Manchester’s Ricky Hatton in 2007 during their Las Vegas showdown, before calling it quits.
The undefeated five-division world champion then returned to the squared circle after a two-year absence to clinically dismantle Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, then went on to boost his legacy further with wins over the likes of Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Following a successful defence of his then WBC heavyweight crown over Britain’s Danny Williams in 2004, Klitschko was later forced to retire from the sport due to snapping his anterior cruciate ligament in training.
The Ukrainian giant vacated his titles, but the WBC granted him the position of ‘champion emeritus’ and assured he would become the mandatory challenger if and when he opted to come back. That time came in 2008 as the former champion returned to halt Nigerian Samuel Peter and reclaim his place on the heavyweight throne.
Klitschko went on to defend his strap an impressive nine times, most notably against the likes of Kevin Johnson, Shannon Briggs and Dereck Chisora, before ending his career in 2012. Like Pacquiao, the older Klitschko brother has since entered the world of politics outside of the ring as the current Mayor of Kiev.
‘The Hitman’ Hatton had already enjoyed a successful career before his maiden defeat at the hands of Mayweather in 2007 and later was brutally stopped by Pacquiao as well two years later, following wins over Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi.
After that vicious knockout loss to ‘Pacman’, Hatton decided to take an indefinite break from the sport, stating: “At the moment I don’t have any fire in the belly for a fight or to get myself to a gym.”
Although, that fire returned almost three years later as he came back for a bout against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena. The much-adored Mancunian endured a disappointing comeback though, ironically being halted by a deadly body shot, a punch which he became famed for throughout his career.
After his failed comeback to the ring, Hatton immediately announced his retirement, declaring: “I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it – and I haven’t. I found out tonight it isn’t there no more.”
Legendary American Foreman, now well known for his ‘lean, mean, fat-reducing grilling machine’, rallied to his first ever heavyweight world title in 1973 with victory over Joe Frazier, before eventually retiring at the age of just 28.
‘Big George’ then incredibly made a return to the ring a decade on from his loss to Jimmy Young in 1977, and remarkably went on to become the oldest heavyweight champion in history at 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer in Las Vegas.
The sporting world lost a true great earlier this year with the sad passing legendary former heavyweight kingpin Ali, and arguably the greatest of all-time was one fighter that also refused to permanently hang up his gloves in his pioneered career.
Ali initially decided to walk away after the famous ‘Thrilla in Manila’ against Frazier, but returned to lose a points decision to Leon Spinks. The Louisville-born icon won the pair’s rematch then announced a second retirement in 1980.
That wasn’t the last of Ali though, as he once again returned to endure damaging defeats to both Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick before finally calling time on a decorated career.