Legendary boxer Bernard Hopkins believes Manny Pacquiao will fight well into his 50s.
That would give the 40-year-old former eight-division world champion a further decade in the ring.
Hopkins turned pro in 1988 and boxed on for a remarkable 28 years, retiring at the age of 51. As recently as 2014, when he was 49 years old, he held he WBA and IBF light heavyweight world championships.
In July Pacquiao claimed a piece of the welterweight world championship when he defeated previously unbeaten American Keith Thurman for the WBA title.
Now Hopkins can see the Filipino superstar exceeding his own remarkable career achievements.
“Pacquaio probably will break my record and fight way into his 50’s,” said the 54-year-old Hopkins to EsNews.
“Because he lives right, he’s got good bounce in his legs, he got a good spirit. He looks energetic, he looks like he can handle anybody out there that’s younger than him.”
Former unified lightweight champion Mikey Garcia is firming as a likely opponent for Pacquiao when he returns to the ring next year in a fight that could take place at a catchweight between 140 and 147-pounds.
The 31-year-old Californian is coming off a 12-round drubbing at the hands of IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr in March.
“Ain’t too many people grabbin’ Pacquiao and use him as a big name to extend or put credibility on (their) record. Manny now is probably ducked by a lot of young fighters,” Hopkins continued.
Pacquiao has long coveted a rematch with arch nemesis Floyd Mayweather Jr, who he lost a unanimous decision to back in May 2015.
But Hopkins doesn’t see Mayweather coming out of retirement to make that fight happen regardless of the big money available to make the bout a reality.
“I don’t think anything is gonna happen different than the first fight,” Hopkins predicted.