Manny Steward gives Pacquiao two years on top

Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward predicts that pound-for-pounder Manny Pacquiao will stay at the top of boxing’s heap for another two years before the deterioration of his skills begins.

“I give him 24 months before the intensity starts fading for him, Steward told the Manila Bulletin. “He is so incredibly exciting. He is going to make a lot of money, no doubt about that. He is always exciting and he will leave his legacy in the ring. He is making his mark. But it’s his face-first style that will shorten his boxing career.

“That type of fighter, well, they seldom go past age 30. That type of guy does not age well.”

Steward has a point. Pacquaio’s blood and guts, do or die style, which makes him the most exciting fighter in the world, according to HBO’s wise man Larry Merchant, also makes him vulnerable to getting hit, never a good thing for any pro, no matter how offensive-minded or resilient he might be.

That said, maybe the tradeoff is worth it, when one considers all the fistic thrills Pac-Man has already given us, and is likely to give us during the next two years, before the inevitable slide, which Steward predicts, begins.