Top Rank CEO Bob Arum called “ludicrous” the recent, long-range assessments of at least two Filipino doctors who have claimed, without personal examination, to have seen signs of Parkinsons’ disease developing in Manny Pacquiao.
The physicians, doctors Rustico Jimenez, and, Raquel Fortun, offered their opinions of the Philippines’ national hero in the wake of Pacquiao’s being left lying face-first and motionless following December’s sixth-round knockout loss to Mexican four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez.
“They based it on eyeballing,” said Arum. “It’s ludicrous.”
Arum said, nevertheless, that he will suggest that Pacquiao undergo a neurological examination at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which is engaged in the most comprehensive brain imaging of professional boxers to date.
“When I talk to Manny, I’ll recommend that he gets a thorough checkup at the Lou Ruvo Clinic’s brain center,” said Arum. The facility has already imaged the brains of a large number of professional boxers and mixed martial artists.
“They’re the best in the world. My wife is on the board of directors, and I think that for those of us who realize that boxing is just a way-stop for Manny Pacquiao’s life and career, that it pays to be over-cautious.”
Junior lightweight Juan Carlos “Mini” Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs) is gearing up during training for his HBO-televised Jan. 19 title fight with WBO beltholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) at the Theater in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Burgos has won five straight fights, two of them by knockout, since falling by unanimous decision to Hozumi Hasegawa in a failed bid to win the WBC featherweight belt in November of 2010.
“I don’t want to let this opportunity get away from me,” said Burgos. “I have been in this position before. When I faced Hasegawa, I know I could’ve done much better that night. It could have been a life-changing victory for me, but I let that one get away. Not this time.”
“I have grown mentally and physically and I am prepared for a fight like this, and I know it will be exciting. I have to show the whole world what I am capable of. Martinez is the champ, so I have to get that belt away from him, it won’t be easy but I know I can do it. Not only do I want to get the victory and be a champion but I want to please the crowd and make sure that the fans get their money’s worth.”
The event also has Philadelphia-based junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado in pursuit of his eighth straight triumph and his sixth stoppage win during that run against WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, who will be after his 12th consecutive knockout.
In addition, recent Top Rank signee Felix Verdejo will pursue his second junior lightweight victory against an opponent to be determined on the HBO-televised triple-header..
KEANDRE LEATHERWOOD FIGHTS MICHAEL WALKER ON JAN. 19
Junior middleweight prospect Keandre “Lightning” Leatherwood (12-1-1, 8 KOs), of Birmingham, Ala., will face Chicago’s Michael Walker (19-17-2, 12 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder on Jan. 19 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind.
Leatherwood fights out of Atlanta, although he was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he was often around 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder, a heavyweight prospect who is 26-0 with 26 knockouts.
VYACHESLAV GLAZKOV FACES MALIK SCOTT ON FEB. 23
Heavyweights Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov (14-0, 10 KOs), a New Jersey resident from Lugansk, Ukraine, and Malik Scott (35-0, 12 KOs), of Philadelphia, will meet in a 10-rounder on Feb. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington, NY., in the main event of a nationally televised NBC Sports Network Fight Night show to begin at 10:30 P.M. ET, Main Events announced on Thursday.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org