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Legendary boxer Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao may have to end his storied career after reportedly exhibiting early signs of Parkinson’s disease. A neurologist in the pugilist’s native Philippines said he’s observed stuttering and hand twitching in the former world champion on Thursday. 

As reported by Philippines news site ABS-CBN, Dr. Rustico Jimenez has suggested that Pacquiao retire from boxing after early observations.

Dr. Jiminez On Pacquiao:

Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.

The current congressman of the Saragani province risks the same fate of hall of famer Muhammad Ali and celebrated trainer Freddie Roach. Both men have been stricken by the progressive disease which attacks the nervous system, thought to be the result of years of taking blows to the head.

Early last month, the blockbuster brawl between Pacquiao and longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez ended in explosive fashion. Suffering a crushing right hand blow that landed him face first on the mat, there were concerns then that Pac Man would never see the inside of the ring again. Although he has been cleared to fight after preliminary CT scans, Dr. Raquel Fortun said to ABS-CBN that Marquez’s blow may be more damaging than previously said.

The loss of the eight-division world champion would be devastating to boxing. Pacquiao’s health, however, is far more important.

Photo: Associated Press