Manny Pacquiao will enter the ring for the 70th time as a professional when he faces unbeaten American Keith “One Time” Thurman next month. But there’s already concern from certain quarters that he shouldn’t put on his boxing gloves again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum made the assertion the 40-year-old Philippines icon runs the risk of suffering brain damage if he continues to fight at the highest level. Arum stated Zab Judah was a perfect example of a boxer carrying on too long – and suffering the consequences. Judah, a former two-division world champion, was stopped by Cletus Seldin in the 11th round of their Nabo super lightweight title in Syracuse, New York last Friday. Judah is 41 years old and suffered bleeding on the brain as a result of his defeat. He’s been discharged from hospital but faces an uncertain future. Back to running the hills of Griffith Observatory. #LosAngeles #TeamPacquiao #PacquiaoThurman pic.twitter.com/ZKhNi1fRjD — Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) June 17, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Arum said he worries for Pacquiao’s health too and fears the same fate would befall the beloved eight-time division world title-holder. “I am concerned, as I would be for any fighter, that when they get to a certain age, that they probably should not be fighting any more,” the 87-year-old promoter said. “When they get older the cranium is thinner, and when you get hit it affects – that would be the worst thing in the world if Manny Pacquiao suffered brain damage at this point.” Last day of training in the Philippines. Flying out to Los Angeles in a few hours to finish up training camp at the Wild Card Gym. Can’t wait for July 20 at the @MGMGrand #PacquiaoThurman @PBConFOX @FOXSports FOX PPV pic.twitter.com/vPPNprA9ve — Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) June 15, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> But hang on a minute. Pacquiao is not Judah, who lost four of his last seven fights and is clearly not the same fighter as before. Pacquiao is still regarded as one the best welterweights around and has a ring record that’s second to none – 67 victories, seven losses and two draws. He’s still ranked third among welterweights behind Americans Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jnr and still draws huge crowds every time he steps into the ring. When Pacquiao fights, the Philippines comes to standstill. Manny Pacquiao for Philippines president? Boxing icon plays down succeeding Duterte … for now Arum has followed Pacquaio’s career for years and was involved in his promotion for most of his signature fights. So it came as a surprise that he thinks the Filipino icon was on the same road to self-destruction as Judah or even Muhammad Ali. “The Greatest” suffered from Parkinson’s Syndrome but still fought Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick – his last pro fight in 1981 showing the shameful lengths that promoters would go to in pursuit of a fast buck. I watched this man train yesterday its gonna be a tremendous fight ...Kieth is very serious about his training and i damn sure wouldn't wanna get hit with one of those hooks....July 20 its gonna be a war #Pacquiao vs #Thurman its going down .dont miss it… https://t.co/IOxlgfLCHv pic.twitter.com/m6nhFRMKBE — Boxing Playhouse Inc (@BoxingPlayHouse) June 17, 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Pacquiao does not have brain damage the last time we checked. He’s healthy, still extremely quick and strong. And no, he hasn’t been seriously hurt in the ring. I’ve seen Pacquiao up close and personal in two of his fights in Macau when he fought Brandon Rios (2013) and Chris Algieri (2014), and both times his dominance was so overwhelming it wasn’t much fun for the other guy. Rios cried when he told reporters “Pacquiao was too fast” while Algieri was knocked down six times. Yes, Pacquiao is older and he faces a tough opponent in Thurman, but didn’t the 30-year-old American look ordinary against Josesito Lopez in January? Renascent Manny Pacquiao ‘like a fine wine’: Philippines cheers hero senator’s victory Thurman (29-0-0, 22 KOs) is fighting his own demons after he took a 22-month break from boxing and was hardly impressive against Lopez, who almost knocked him out in the seventh round. He will be better prepared against Pacquiao, but so will the Filipino who was brilliant in his last fight against an outclassed Adrien Broner, dominating every round on his way to a unanimous decision victory in January. Now if you were to ask me how many years Pacquiao has left fighting at the highest level, I would say another two to three. Pacquiao is hardly finished. He might be past his prime but he’s still an extremely dangerous boxer who would give Crawford or Spence a run for their money. In many sports, athletes are prolonging their careers thanks to better diets and advances in sports medicine. Roger Federer still reached the semi-finals of last month’s French Open at the age of 37 – and he only lost to the king of clay Rafael Nadal. Evergreen boxer Bernard Hopkins was still fighting at 51, challenging Joe Smith Jnr for the WBC international light-heavyweight title in 2016. Two years earlier, he was fighting Sergey Kovalev for the IBF, WBO and WBA world light-heavyweight titles. Look at any recent videos of Hopkins and he looks in super shape. Pacquiao is in great shape, too. Anybody who has attended any of his training sessions would have been mesmerised by his speed, power and incredible work rate. He has remained active since he was a boy scrapping for food and he’s not about to roll over against Thurman as they fight for the WBA super world welterweight title. “Pacman” has a few years left in him so we had better get used to it. Thurman says he will “retire” Pacquiao but once the 30-year-old American steps into the ring and feels Pacquiao’s punches, he won’t be feeling so confident.