“You have been trapped in the inescapable net of ruin by your own want of sense.”
By Alex P. Vidal
If we truly love Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and we want to preserve him as a national sports icon, we must start a nationwide campaign to convince him to retire now that he is still “ahead” by virtue of that face-saving 12-round unanimous decision win over Brandon Lee “Bam Bam” Rios in Macao last November 24.
Many of us are still probably overjoyed that Pacquiao “is back” after that lips-first flat fall disaster against Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8, 2012, but only few have realized that an “ambush” is waiting for him in his next fight if Top Rank’s Bob Arum will bring him back to Las Vegas, the lion’s den.
Aging Pacquiao will only be fed to the lions and he could suffer worse than the Marquez one-punch brutality that made many of his fanatics cry and run amuck in shame and disgust.
In Las Vegas, the rich will further enrich themselves, the tired and weary will further wear a crimson and exacerbate his physical deterioration. They will pit Pacquiao next against fighters who have studied and memorized Pacquiao’s style; and, thus, they know how to avoid being drilled and bulldozed into submission like what Rios did. To survive the distance with Pacquiao was already a “victory” for upstarts like Rios and wily promoters love this scenario.
Pacquiao is still good; he has the speed of Don Quixote’s windmills; the congressman tots a menacing stoppage ledger; he can still land a tornado blow and rearrange a camel’s ribcage, there is no doubt about it.
But he is on the way to the slammer and the tell tale signs are crystal clear: his knockout percentage has declined. The last time he scored a short cut win was four years ago or eight fights ago when he bludgeoned Miguel Angel Cotto in the 12th and final stanza for WBO welterweight jewels at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Except for the fourth meeting against Marquez, all of Pacquiao’s seven previous fights (5 wins, 1 KO loss to Marquez, 1 draw to Marquez) after wrecking Cotto lasted the distance.
“Pacquiao has lost his sting,” observed an American analyst who had predicted a 9th round knockout win for Pacquiao against Rios.
The Rios victory was good for the pride of the country reeling from the aftershocks of super typhoon Yolanda, but it confirmed–more than anything else–that our pambansang kamao (national fist) was seemingly “tired” and now deserves to be shielded–or to put it bluntly, protected from dialectical materialism creeping the industry.
As a prizefighter, we will never hear religious Pacquiao squirm in protest that he is tired of disfiguring handsome faces; we can never hear him grumble “I quit” even if his work rate has ebbed and his kinetic energy has subsided. As long as Uncle Bob and the behemoth Top Rank promotion call the shots, Pacquiao will continue to break bones and damage retinas in the square jungle.
Still fresh in our memory was the shellacking he inflicted on unbeaten Timothy Bradley on June 9, 2012 in defense of Pacquiao’s WBO belt in Las Vegas.
If a pugilist couldn’t nail a KO win, Pacquiao’s performance that night was an excellent paragon of why boxing is touted as sweet science. And yet, they robbed him and committed the biggest injustice in history of Marquess of Queensberry by handing to Bradley the WBO bauble on a barbaric split decision.
Las Vegas bookies “punished” Pacquiao for his failure to score knockouts in his last four assignments before facing Bradley thus Bradley became the beneficiary of that “mortal sin.”
The unanimous decision victory in Macao certainly failed to convince them once more as they were baying for a knockout so they could give Pacquiao a red carpet welcome in Las Vegas, the mecca of boxing and entertainment, when Arum, et al uncork the imprimatur for Pacquiao to duke it out against either Bradley or Mayweather next.
Now that Pacquiao failed to deliver in Macao, we fear another “punishment” reminiscent of the Bradley boondoggle. We must save our hero. He must retire now!