End of Manny Pacquiao?
Writing about Manny Pacquiao’s loss at the hands of Floyd Mayweather this early is suicide. Especially when millions of Filipinos are reeling from a heartbreaking loss. Most, if not all, are lingering in emotional limbo- understandably unbelieving the fate of their national pride. Any adverse view on Manny’s performance will be burned at the stake (or at the very least be labelled a ridiculous opinion of a boxing expert-wannabe). However, a reading of this piece by a loyal Pacquiao fan will show that it is actually about another thing that Filipinos are also know of worldwide. It is their resilience – the extraordinary ability to bounce back from any state of defeat and come out victorious in the long run.
First of all, are we all convinced that Manny lost the bout? The majority of fair boxing commentators will agree that Manny lost the match fair and square. The statistics will show that despite the volley of first that Manny let go, he lacked solid punches that should make the mark. He was attack and attack while Floyd was avoid avoid avoid (often mistaken for run and run). In reality, Floyd was a thinking fighter – waiting for the right time to deliver his counter-punches. In one instance Floyd was even offering an open cheek for Manny’s punch only to counter-strike with his signature right hand punch. In fact, Floyd made Manny believe that he was winning all the rounds by doing all the rapid firing punches. But the truth is – Mayweather prepared well for the bout as if the boxing ring was a chess board. He went FPJ for the first few rounds only to come- guns ablating in a steady rally to seal Manny’s fate.
Manny, on the other hand, did not do his homework in checking Floyd’s well-known antics (the chickening around and hugging tactics that were also employed against Shane Mosely and Marcos Maidana). They have months and months to figure out an antidote. However, the arrogant Fred Roach and his think tanks seemed to prepare Manny for a slugfest that never happened. It was Roaches’ over-confidence that sealed Manny’s fate (how many times did he underestimated Floyd, even saying that the flamboyant boxer has lost his legs during the fight). He wanted Manny to floor Floyd in the fifth round – a tall order for somebody who does not have the wingspan to deliver its lethal payload. Manny was doomed as the rounds come and go – without him delivering the knockout punch.
End of Boxing?
I think that Floyd’s unorthodox way of winning against Manny redefined the sport of Boxing. From one which is predominantly brawn, the slugfest has emerged into a cat and mouse game where the wisest emerges as winner. Under King Floyd’s reign, the secret formula of winning boxing matches also involves shrewd manipulation of the boxing promotion and preconditioning of public opinion. And man, how Floyd “the Showman” Mayweather did a good job in doing this. His 48-0 record is a well-thought streak now justified by a Pacquiao loss. Regardless of the accusations of fixing lopsided matches in the past, Manny Pacquiao as the 48th win is the proverbial “the end justifies the means.”
Does it makes Floyd Mayweather the better fighter?
Yes, definitely (even if this is hard to say). Simply stated Floyd mastered Manny. Thats it. He studied the anti-dote to the famous “South Paw” knockout and danced his way to victory like a chicken running (maybe all that dancing made Manny dizzy). For once, Filipinos have to admit that we were glued to the edge of our seats as we were not confident that Manny will win over Floyd. There was no confidence as in the Timothy Bradley or Miguel Cotto fights. We all know at the back of our minds that Manny may probably lose. So what is wrong when Floyd actually won? Is that confirming the fear that was always behind our heads?
What now for Pacquiao?
Manny has reached the end of the road and should graciously retire. Like the numerous brave gladiators of Rome before him, he is lucky he did not fall dead on the arena floor. He still can walk out with a brilliant career. Even with this latest defeat, Manny fought gallantly, with the usual heart and pride. But as to the hunger of the vintage Manny “Kid Kulafu” Pacquiao, there is a cloud of doubt hangs over. How can he be hungry when he is a billionaire even before the fight?
So what should Manny do now that his reign is over?
Do not go into politics or basketball, pulezz!
Going seriously to politics will only make politicos drain you of your hard-earned money (you should prepare for a life after boxing especially that your family is already accustomed to the high life). Going deep into professional basketball will only mock you more- a losing has-been boxer-at-the-twilight-of-his-years shooting-over-young-Fil-american-6 footers will only make him no better than a court jester. You have to be reminded that no politicians -even a Philippine President or a midget Filipino basketball player can achieve the respect and admiration you got as a professional boxing champion. It is only in boxing that your are Manny Pacquiao.
WBA Interim Ligt Flyweight Champion Randy Petalcorin.
IBO Light Flyweight Champion Jay Loreto.
Save yourself, Manny as we love you. Go into the development of Philippine boxing and young and deserving Filipino boxers instead. Develop boxers and look for the next Pacquiao who may be just waiting for a chance in the construction sites, farmlands, fishing ports and squatters area of the Philippines. Make good your Manny Pacquiao Promotions just like Floyd is serious about his The Money Team (TMT) or Oscar Dela Hoya has established his Golden Boy Promotions. Manny can find redemption that he will not find again in the boxing ring – in a new boxer that he can help train in the same way he trained and beat the world’s best boxers. He will only realise that with his personal promotion and maybe a scintilla of his boxing earnings he will be able to hone Filipino boxers to fight future Mayweathers.