Buboy Fernandez believes his boyhood friend Manny Pacquiao deserves a fitting sendoff.
“It’s not nice seeing him retire from the sport of boxing coming off a loss,” Fernandez told Daily Tribune on Tuesday from Polangui, Albay, where he is the incumbent vice-mayor.
Fernandez, who has patiently served as Freddie Roach’s sidekick for two decades, insists a fighter in the caliber and status of Pacquiao merits an appropriate going-away party.
Pacquiao absorbed a 12-round unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas of Cuba last month in Las Vegas.
Calls for him to retire immediately prevailed with chief trainer Freddie Roach saying the loss was evidence that the Filipino eight-division champion had probably hit the wall.
“This could be it,” he said.
But Fernandez swears Pacquiao, who turns 43 in December, still has a lot left in the tank that he can do one final fight before hanging up his gloves for good.
“We’ve learned our lessons. We know what went wrong and we know what to do in the event he decides to fight again.”
If ever Pacquiao makes one final push, Fernandez feels it can happen as early as December or in early-January.
“It’s up to him. It’s his call, his decision to make (if he wants to fight again),” Fernandez said, stressing that the Pacquiao who lost to Ugas was not the proper way people should remember the boxing great.
“He should retire on a winning note and cap his career with a big bang.”
Fernandez said the last fight could be against anybody, not necessarily against Ugas.
“The important thing is for him to win that last fight because it’s just not right that you leave the sport coming from a loss. That’s going to hurt a lot,” he said.
For Fernandez, the legendary fighter warrants a memorable curtain call, something that would read like this in a newspaper headline: Pacquiao leaves in a blaze of glory.