After the brutal KO of Manny Pacquiao at the hands of fellow legend Juan Manuel Marquez many people had different outlooks on Pacquiao's future. Some encouraged retirement. Other's recommended taking time off away from boxing. A vast majority of "experts"believe psychologically Pacquiao will never quite be the same should he decide to fight again. It is true there is a heavy psychological toll placed on a fighter following a one punch knockout "OUT", but it is by no means a death sentence.
On June 15th 1984 Roberto Duran was knocked out cold (much like Pacquaio face first) by Hall of Famer Thomas Hearns. Going into that fight ,other than Estaban De Jesus in 1972, 1974 Duran had never touched the canvas. The sight of an unconscious Duran laying belly first knocked out was unthinkable. Unthinkable too was the notion that Marquez who in 36 previous rounds hadn't knocked Pacquiao down, could with a single right hand, "ICE" the ironed jawed filipino superstar.
After Duran's loss to Hearns the same sorts of opinions towards Duran's prize fighting future are being echoed about Pacquiao's today. Duran was far from finished as a boxer. He fought on and 5 years later won the middleweight crown from Iran Barkley (who 8 months earlier stopped Hearns to capture the title).
It is true that boxing is very much a psychological game. When Antonio Tarver challenged Roy Jones for the first time both engaged in many punching exchanges especially late in the bout. In the second fight however Jones was knocked out by a single devastating left cross. Psychologically he wasn't the same by their 3rd contest. Jones seemed hesitant and exchanges were rare. Despite losing a decision it almost seemed as if Roy earned himself a moral victory by merely surviving the 12 rounds. It should be also noted too that Duran never fought Hearns again. Possibly being in the same ring again with the same rival that "cut your lights out" bears a heavier weight than just continuing your career against different opponents. Maybe Pacquiao should never get back in the ring with Marquez, but a KO defeat is by no means a death sentence. Duran regained his confidence and hopefully Pacquiao can too.