By: William Holmes
Sports writers are like a pack of hungry wolves.
At the first sniff of reportable news, we all rush to our laptops to announce the big news that will increase our number of views . Purely speculative opinion based articles can attract a horde of commentators to criticize you or praise you.
But sometimes a writer’s opinion on matters does not matter, and should not matter.
Dr. Rustico Jimenez, a neurologist and the president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, has recently publically stated Pacquiao may have preliminary twitches that could be a sign of the early stages of Parkinsons disease. (Source: http://www.worldboxingnews.net/2013/01/manny-pacquiao-reacts-to-parkinsons.html)
Of course, Dr. Jimenez is not Pacquiao’s doctor and has never physically examined him.
Pacquiao has already responded and stated that he feels great, and his advisor Michael Koncz has threatened to sue Dr. Jimenez.
Koncz stated, “Tell me how can one make such allegations based on mere speculation as I am not aware that this alleged doctor ever examined Manny yet he makes such a diagnosis” adding “it’s amazing what people will do to get media coverage. Anyway I am done responding to this ludicrous diagnosis and we shall quietly enjoy our remaining time in Israel.” (http://philboxing.com/news/story-79275.html)
Koncz is right. Pacquiao’s health diagnosis is known to Pacquiao and a few select people. No doctor should ethically diagnosis him as having Parkinsons unless they have physically examined him. And no doctor who has examined Pacquiao should public release his diagnosis without his permission.
Of course, this doctor’s opinion has unleashed a multitude of articles on the internet about Pacquiao’s health and whether or not he should continue his career. These writers should not be given any more “clicks” or “views” than they already receive, but many are floating around on the internet. (http://www.examiner.com/article/pinoy-doctors-may-be-early-but-not-wrong-warning-of-manny-pacquiao-brain-damage)
Even Jose Sulaiman, who’s irrelevant opinion somehow manages to snake it’s way into the news, has stated that “No one could withstand such a powerful punch, right on the button, and that is worrying.” Somehow Sulaiman is aware of the physical limits of the human body, and more specifically, the limits of Manny Pacquiao. (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/01/06/13/wbc-president-worried-about-pacquiao?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)
Of course such a diagnosis would not be surprising. It still gets overlooked that Pacquiao rarely weighs above 149 on the night of fights. This is a sport where competitors often put on 15+ pounds from the night of the weigh in to the night of the fight.
We’re talking about someone who could probably make the lightweight limit and has been taking punches from naturally bigger fighters for a majority of his career.
But Pacquiao has seen the ravages of Parkinsons that his trainer Freddie Roach is afflicted with. He is aware of the dangers he faces every time he steps into the ring.
The only person who should announce on whether Pacquiao has Parkinsons or not is…..Manny Pacquiao.
A doctor who has not physically examined Manny Pacquiao should not publically diagnosis him. And no writer should tell Manny to retire from the sport based on the opinion of a doctor who did not examine him.