• Welterweight

Hopkins: Pacquiao may never recover from Marquez loss

ESPN staff
December 14, 2012
Bernard Hopkins believes Manny Pacquiao of old may never be seen again © Getty Images

Former two-weight world champion Bernard Hopkins believes defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez has done irreparable damage to Manny Pacquiao's career.

Pacquiao's future hangs in the balance after he was floored by a brutal punch by his Mexican opponent last weekend, a blow Hopkins described as "career ending".

"That's the type of punch that takes more than one fight out of you," Hopkins told Jim Rome on Showtime. "It takes a couple of fights out of you. It's one of those types of knockouts that you can recover from in life, but I don't think you can recover fully in the sport.

"That was a devastating knockout that has a long-term effect. I know when you see a guy get knocked out and hit in that way, they are considered damaged goods and they live up to that title."

While the recently retired Ricky Hatton has urged Pacquiao to hang up his gloves, Hopkins believes the Filipino would be best advised to take a break from the sport and make a reasoned decision in 12 months' time.

"I would advise him to grab his wife and kids and take a long vacation," Hopkins said. "Take a long year off. Regroup physically, mentally, spiritually and then you make the decision there. Truthfully, it was such a devastating knockout that I don't think he will ever be the Pacquiao that he was."

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