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Category Archives: BOXING

Manny Pacquiao next Philippine president?

“Somebody asked me about the current choice we’re being given in the presidential election. I said, Well, it’s like two of the scariest movies I can imagine.”
–Dean Koontz

By Alex P. Vidal29572442_10211417967587760_356020253209754251_n

NEW YORK CITY –– Don’t be scared.
The hoi polloi in the Philippines failed to send action star Fernando “Da King” Poe Jr. to Malacanang in 2004 partly because of the “Hello Garci” scandal.
Come 2022 presidential election, will they try again and succeed when boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao becomes a candidate?
Like “Da King”, Pacquaio is identified with the masa, the“mamang sorbetero”, “isang kahig, isang tuka” and the bakyacrowd.
When Poe was “killed” in the film, some of his fans ran amuck literally (this happened somewhere in Mindanao when Poe was not yet a presidential candidate, according to some reports).
When Pacquiao lost a fight, some of his irate fans cried “wewuz robbed” and were determined to lynch sportswriters like me who explained why he was defeated.
Candidates like Pacquiao, Mocha Uson, Dolphy, Poe, Erap could easily hit paydirt in the Philippines.
Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person may be elected President unless he or she is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least 40 years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years.
Pacquiao, who will turn 40 on December 17, 2018, will be qualified to run in 2022 under the Philippine charter.

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At least two prominent leaders known all over the world have predicted Pacquiao’s ascension to Malacanang in the near future.
They were Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in sports and President Rodrigo R. Duterte in government.
I personally heard Arum predict and endorse newly crowned WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao during his conquest of Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas in 2008.
“Because of his popularity and the tremendous pride and glory that he gave the Philippines, Manny (Pacquiao) will definitely be the next president of the Philippines,” Arum, a lawyer, told us during the pre-fight press conference 10 years ago.
During Pacquiao’s 38th birthday in 2016, Duterte, who asked Pacquiao to retire after demolishing Lucas Martin Mathysse in Kuala Lumpur on July 15, 2018, told the crowd in the young senator’s party that “with your own style, alam ko na magiging presidente ka rin. Ipagpatuloy mo ang ginagawa mo(I know that you will also someday become the president. Just continue what you are doing). ”
Pacquiao’s popularity among the same quality and bracket of voters that gave Poe, former president and now Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, former senators Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla Sr., Bong Revilla and President Duterte overwhelming votes, has snowballed now that he has bagged the WBA 147-lb diadem and he is expected to provide the fans with more excitement and entertainment when he defends his title.

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Now that Pacquiao has revealed he isn’t yet quitting as a prizefighter at 39 and he will be promoted by his own MP Promotions without the need for any imprimatur from Arum and without any curfew from Freddie Roach, this would give him the leverage to solidify his political wherewithal and pile up more millions of dollars for his campaign kitty.
Fans have almost forgotten and have even forgiven Pacquiao for his lackluster performance against Jeff Horn and for hiding a shoulder injury in losing by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. that cost those who placed bets for him millions of pesos.
The way his seventh round KO victory over the Argentine dynamo was received by adoring fans in the Philippines could be a tell tale sign and a curt message for other presidential candidates with doctorate and Harvard degrees to begin shaking in their boots.

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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in BOXING

 

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WBA king Pacquiao is an ‘eyesore’

“Once you stop benefiting their interest, you become an eyesore.”

–Chayan Tain

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Of the four reigning world welterweight champions in the four world governing bodies today, newly crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Manny Pacquiao is the most divergent if not antipodal.

At 39 and toting a ledger of 60 wins (39 KOs), seven losses, and two draws, Pacquiao can also be considered as the weight category’s “eyesore.”
His ascension as the WBA champion after knocking out in the 7th stanza defending titlist Lucas Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) on Saturday (July 15) night at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was sort of a mockery of Sweet Science although he richly deserved the accolades for becoming a world champion once more.
We won’t deny Pacquiao the splendor of his latest victory as he really was impressive in putting away the defrocked Argentine, but of the four concurrent welterweight galaxies, the hard-hitting Filipino champion miserably pales in comparison.
If paraded with his counterparts in the World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Organization (WBO), and International Boxing Federation (IBF), the striking difference is easily exposed.

UNDEFEATED

WBC champion Keith Thurman is 30 years old and undefeated with 28 wins and 22 knockouts; IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. is 28 years old and unbeaten with 24 wins and 21 knockouts; and WBO champion Terence Crawford also 30 years old and also unscathed with 33 wins and 24 stoppages.
Crawford took the WBO crown with a violent 9th round knockout win over Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn on June 6, 2018.
Any attempt for a unification would be absurd.
For bringing home the WBA belt, Pacquiao was condemned to be exposed as a carpetbagger champion.
For the first defense of his WBA diadem, Pacquiao will definitely avoid the top three contenders: No. 1 Jessie Vargas; No. 2 Jamal James; and No. 3 Jose Luis Benavidez as they are all Americans.
Pacquiao will never defend his crown in the American rings owing to his tax woes with the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and especially now that he is estranged to Freddie Roach and former promoter Bob Arum.
If the WBA orders him to face No. 4 contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas of Lithuania, Pacquiao will most likely risk fighting a potential Jeff Horn as Kavaliauska is 30 years old and also undefeated in 20 wins and 16 knockouts.

‘LESS DANGEROUS’

The newly crowned Filipino senator will most likely settle for the “less dangerous” No. 5 contender Amir Khan of Great Britain, 31, and has impaired to 32 wins, four losses with 20 knockouts.
After fighting Horn in Australia and Mathysse in Malaysia, Pacquiao might fight next in London or even Lithuania.
No more glitzy MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas and panoramically enthralling Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Now that Pacquiao is “his own man”, is no longer beholden to Bob Arum’s Top Rank, and is not anymore under the tutelage of Roach, he can dictate his own terms and continue to ignore calls for him to retire.
The win against Mathysee didn’t mean though he should stay in the fistic business if he cares for his safety (he is turning 40 on December 17, 2018), but it did help to boost his ego and regain his confidence to continue racking up oodles of dollars for his presidential ambition.
He may have won the battle in wrecking Mathysee, but, man, he is a lonely king in the WBA throne; he is a strange bedfellow and an “eyesore” in the welterweight kingdom.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in BOXING

 

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Pacquiao-Roach love affair: Walang forever

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
–Hal Borland
By Alex P. Vidal
 
 
NEW YORK CITY— For 17 years, Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach became boxing’s version of Kirk and Michael Douglas, Julio and Enrique Iglesias, and Arthur Jr. and Douglas MacArthur.
They were a father and a son who epitomize congruence and plausibility.
It seemed like they were destined to swap engagement rings and share an epitaph.
No amount of intrigue and jealousy from other trainers and pugilists could put a dent on their solid romance as athlete-coach.
Not even a boarder wall could divide boxing’s most sensational and formidable partners.
Their collaboration since 2001 has produced some of the finest and head-turning performances in the history of prizefighting since Welsh sportsman John Graham Chambers wrote the Marquess of Queensberry Rules in 1865.
Their tandem has bankrolled the fistic game’s richest deal ever imagined, richer than what Muhammad Ali had earned in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974 and “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975 combined.
Unlike David and Jonathan, whose covenant of friendship has been recorded in the books of Samuel, the Manny-Freddie liaison has been written in the mayhem inflicted on some of the marquee names run over by the Pacquiao Express.

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“Walang forever,” so goes the bakya Tagalog saying.
“Everything is ephemeral: on a long enough timeline, everything ends,” suggest the minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
“Your relationships will end. Your happiness will end. Your depression will end. Your life will end. Nothing lasts forever–not even those diamonds in the advertisement.
Yet we live our lives like the best things will continue into perpetuity–like the good stuff will stick around and the bad stuff will go away once we obtain everything we want. But, good or bad, life is limited: everything is eventual, endings are inevitable.”
In his comeback fight on June 24, 2018 in Malaysia since losing to Jeff Horn in Brisbane on July 2, 2017, Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) will fight Golden Boy Promotions’ ace fighter, WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) for 12 rounds without Roach on his side.
For the first time since Pacquiao made a debut in Las Vegas in 2001 versus Lehlo Ledwaba for the IBF super-bantamweight diadem, Roach won’t train him before a championship bout.
The 29-year-old Pacquiao’s training will be supervised by his childhood buddy, Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez, and will be mostly held in Mindanao starting April.
It appears there was a falling out between Top Rank’s Bob Arum and the MP Promotions owned by the senator-boxer regarding the latter’s tax troubles with the IRS which has remained unsettled.
The Malaysia fisticuffs need at least $15 million and Arum remains skeptical unless an affront fund of $5 million has been released.
 
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Posted by on March 11, 2018 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

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Like Hillary, Kovalev wins but loses in the judges’ ‘electoral college’

“As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.” –– Budd Schulberg

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Bad news for Vladimir Putin. Good news for his “favorite”, President-elect Donald J. Trump.
We have boxing’s version of the puzzling “electoral college”, the decrepit system that denied Hillary Clinton the presidency despite besting Trump in the popular votes in the recent election.
We respect the judges’ verdict, an identical 114-113 unanimous decision in favor of American Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), but the night belonged to dethroned Russian world champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in the battle for WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight belts on Saturday night (November 19) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
With 84 percent KO in his ledger, the 33-year-old warrior, born in Kopeysk, Russia, should have prevented a “hometown” decision by finishing off the 32-year-old challenger from Oakland in the early rounds.

RESCUE

But orthodox Kovalev allowed Ward to be rescued by the judges when he failed to put him away for good after scoring a second round knockdown which was worth 55 electoral college votes in the presidential race.
But unlike Clinton who gamely accepted her upset defeat, the Russian KO artist could only complain: “It’s the wrong decision. I don’t want to say my opinion. The witnesses are here – they saw it. It’s my job. It was a fight of my life. I am disappointed in the judges’ decision. He got maybe a few rounds, I agree with that. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds the whole fight.”
He added: “Of course, I want a rematch and I will kick his ass. I want to show good boxing. I am against here it is the USA and all the judges were from the USA. He is a boxer. It’s a sport, don’t make it politics. It’s a sport and I won the fight!”

‘NOT SURPRISED’

Ward, who earned my admiration when he blasted to smithereens the incredible Chad Dawson for the WBC and WBC super-middleweight crowns in 2012, believed he won the bout: “No, I was not surprised when I heard the decision, I don’t’ know where you got that from. I know it was a close fight – the crowd you can hear they thought I won…I have been a champ before I knew it was going to be a tough fight – it was the first time in my career I was dropped.”
Ward added: “He did everything I expected him to do. He started to show up as I expected he started to fight like I expected. My coach did a great job…It’s hard for me to call myself great. At the end of the day I am a two-weight division champion. Of course, I would do a rematch. I am not going to negotiate a fight right now I will go home and relax and see what’s next.”

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

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Superstition or coincidence?

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” Bill Gates

By Alex P. Vidal

LOS ANGELES, California — I talked to businessman Adriano “Rey” Golingan, Manny Pacquiao’s spiritual adviser two nights before the Fight of the Century on May 2 at the MGM Grand, while we were at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Gen. Santos City-based Golingan, a friend of former San Joaquin Iloilo mayor Daisy Sibya, said he asked the 36-year-old eight-time world titlist if there was still a chance for them to pray the rosary a night before the bout against Mayweather Jr. like what they have been doing in the past.
“Pacquiao answered me that when he prays he goes directly to the Lord now,” Golingan narrated.
“So there’s no chance anymore for us to be praying again for the intercession of Mama Mary?” he allegedly told the people’s champion.
Pacquiao did not answer him, he said.
On several occasions in the past, I saw Golingan lead the praying of the rosary at least two nights before Pacquiao’s battles against Juan Manuel Marquez (second and third matches), Oscar De La Hoya, David Diaz, Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley, which he had all won.
In 2010 when Pacquiao incurred back-to-back losses to Timothy Bradley and Marquez (in their fourth meeting), Golingan said Pacquiao did not anymore pray the rosary.
They did not pray the rosary before the Mayweather Jr. fight, but Pacquiao read the Bible several times together with his pastor friends.
I’m not insinuating something.
The story was narrated to me personally by Golingan himself two nights before Mayweather Jr. scored a lackluster 12-round unanimous decision against Pacquiao.
Was it a superstition or a mere coincidence?

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IF the system can be adopted in the Philippines, we can save a lot of taxpayers’ money and finance social and health programs and activities for the poor.
Automation and paperless transactions.
The United States government has eliminated paperworks in most of their agencies, a move that enabled them to save money and reduce their expenses.
We learned this when we arrived on April 27 and when we recently went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew our driver’s license.
Like other foreign visitors who arrive via air or sea, there was no longer need for us to complete paper Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or Form I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record.
Our application or renewal of driver’s license will not be accommodated if we don’t bring the downloaded and printed copy of our I-94 Admission Number along with all of our birth date and legal presence documents.

PASSPORT

Several years ago, we only presented our passport and the forms we filled up in the DMW.
Not anymore today. No copy of I-94 Admission Number, no identification card or driver’s license.
If we need to prove ourr legal-visitor status—to employers, schools/universities or government agencies—we can access our CBP arrival/departure record information online.
CBP now gathers travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection explains that because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.
Meaning that if travelers need the information from their Form I-94 admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization, the record number and other admission information they are encouraged to get their I-94 Number.

STAMPS

Upon arrival, a CBP officer stamps the travel document of each arriving non-immigrant traveler with the admission date, the class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until.
If a traveler would like a paper Form I-94, one can be requested during the inspection process.
All requests will be accommodated in a secondary setting.
Upon exiting the U.S., travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure.
Otherwise, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.
The automation has streamlined the entry process for travelers, facilitated security and reduced federal costs. CBP estimates that the automated process will save the agency $15.5 million a year.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in BOXING

 

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Iloilo to California: water crisis

By Alex P. Vidal

LOS ANGELES, California — HAS the water crisis become a global phenomenon?
Barely two weeks since the Iloilo City Council in the Philippines declared the city under a “state of imminent water crisis” due to projected prolonged drought, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWCB) has approved an emergency 25 percent cut in the cities’ water use.
The Council declaration in Iloilo City came as a response to the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (ICDRRMC), chaired by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, which made a resolution to allocate P3 million for possible water rationing.
It emphasized the need for funds “in preparation for long drought as brought by the prolonged dry spell has identified possible alternative water distribution mechanisms and alternative water sources.”
This will enable metro villages to prepare their calamity funds now that many villages have reported that their wells have dried up, according to Mabilog.

PORTRAIT

California data released May 5 painted a stark portrait of the uphill struggle Californians face in achieving a mandated 25 percent reduction in urban water use, with one official joking grimly that dealing with severe drought was similar to grappling with the five stages of grief.
Reports said cumulative water savings since last summer totaled only 8.6%, according to the State Water Resources Control Board, far short of the historic reduction outlined in an April 1 executive order by Gov. Jerry Brown.
ICDRRMC said at the same time, most of the state’s water suppliers issued 20 or fewer notices of water waste in March even though they have received thousands of complaints.
“It’s a collective issue we all need to rise to. I keep thinking that we are in some stages of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,”Felicia Marcus, the water board chairwoman, told the Los Angeles Times, referring to the psychiatrist who wrote “On Death and Dying.”
“It’s a collective issue we all need to rise to. I keep thinking that we are in some stages of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,” said Felicia Marcus, the water board chairwoman, referring to the psychiatrist who wrote “On Death and Dying.”

DISCLOSURES

The paper reported that the disclosures came as board members May 5 night unanimously approved new conservation regulations set to take effect in time for summer, when outdoor water use traditionally accounts for 50 percent to 80 percent of residential consumption.
It quoted water board staff scientist Max Gomberg as saying that California residents and businesses used only 3.6% less water in March than they did during the same month in 2013, the baseline year for savings calculations.“We need to do more,” Gomberg told the LA Times. “Conserving now and over the summer is imperative.”
Despite the meager savings, some outside experts said it was still possible for the state to achieve the governor’s goal in the coming months.
Brown is seeking hefty fines for water wasters, and some local water agencies have been crafting tougher conservation plans in recent weeks.
In the Philippines, the P3 million fund can be mobilized once Iloilo City is declared under crisis, said Councilor Joshua Alim who blamed the Metro Iloilo Water Districs (MIWD)’s inability to supply sufficient water because of narrow pipes.
The fund can be used to buy water containers for water distribution in affected barangays and for fuel expenses in transporting the water.

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EVEN in California, bettors who lost in the Fight of the Century continued to bemoan the lackluster performances of both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 2 in Las Vegas.
Many Hispanics claimed they were shocked when Pacquiao, who is now facing sanctions from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his failure to disclose a shoulder injury before the bout at the MGM Grand Arena, peformed below expectations.
“What happened?” Mario Sosa, a customer in a T-Mobile store in the City of Lake Forrest, asked this writer. “I haven’t tasted a free dinner from my wife, who offered to give me one if Pacquiao would win.”
“I expected too much from Pacquiao because videos released on TV before the fight showed he was prepared and very strong. But during the fight, he hardly threw punches and it was the defensive fighter (Mayweather Jr.) who was the one initiating the fight.”
Former San Miguel, Iloilo councilor Reynaldo “King” Uy said he and his fellow bettors in the Filipino community lost heavily believing that Pacquiao would beat Mayweather Jr. “even only on points.”
“Some of our kababayans lost their salary equivalent to one month,” he revealed. “Others lost $5,000. Many of them are still shocked.”
Las Vegas Filipino community leader Raul Sabido, who collected all the bets from his California friends for Pacquiao, said he is now convinced that Mayweather is the better boxer pound-for-pound.
“Pacquiao should stop giving excuses. Let’s move forward,” said Sabido, president of the Central Philippine University Alumni Association Las Vegas Chapter.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in BOXING

 

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Mayweather shows why boxing is called ‘sweet science’

By Alex P. Vidal

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Instead of ribbing Floyd Myweather Jr. for “running away like a scared rabbit”, we must, in fact, credit him for giving justice to boxing’s billing as the “Sweet Science.”
Daniel Petrov Bojilov exposed our ignorance when we lambasted the five-man jury for awarding the lightflyweight (48-kg) gold to the tall Bulgarian who reduced Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco Jr. into a homunculi during the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.
Like Mayweather Jr., who jabbed and bicycled his way to a 12-round unanimous decision victory against Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand Arena, Bojilov used science to the fullest to bamboozle the smaller Velasco.
Some of us are again displaying utter ignorance if not lack of understanding why scientific boxers like Bojilov and Mayweather can be dominant when matched against sluggers or brawlers like Velasco and Pacquiao.
Mayweather Jr.’s mastery of the ring was a mixture of science, skills, intelligence, size and reach.
Scientific fighters usually have long legs and a thin frame like Salvador Sanchez, alexis Arguello, Aaron Pryor, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Hector Camacho in the lighter division; and Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield in the heavy category.
They throw punches like windmills and their movements synchronize with how their brains work while weaving and boobing.
Sicentific fighters maintain springy legs which they use in order to stay away from danger zones.
Mayweather effectively utilized his footwork and crisp jabs to hold Pacquiao at bay and made the Filipino lefty eat the dust.
Scientific fighters look awkward when they avoid head-on collisions but that’s how they are made of; they just can’t dance in the tune of a brawler who demands a slugfest by enforcing their own program of works in the ring.
Scientific fighters flick a jab, display cunningness and a virtuoso of ability meant to confuse and befuddle a brawler.
Brawler Pacquiao wanted to come in on various occasions but hesitated for fear of being zapped by Mayweather’s laser-laced left hook.
Pacquiao lacked activity. His work rate was dismal and timid.
There was no more fire in his belly and Pacquiao’s eyes were no longer emitting volcanic fireballs.
Pacquiao was simply outshuttled, outgunned and outjabbed by a superior fighter who confirmed the dominance and mastery of scientific boxers with amazing amateur background.
Mayweather was a bronze medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He fought and swapped tongs and hammer vis-a-vis the best amateur simonpures in Europe, Asia, Africa before he became a prizefighter.
Pacquiao, “Kid Kulafu” in a brief amateur life that was never tested in the national amateur boxing championships or any AIBA-sanctioned tournament, never fought the best Cuban and Bulgarian amateur World Cup champions en route to turning professional in 1995 via a four-round scrapper.
In a nutshell, there’s a whale of difference between a street-fighting slugger and brawler with no fundamentals like Pacquiao, who topples opponents on sheer guts and power, and a smart aleck, Olympic Games-cultivated, tall and fast titan like Mayweather Jr.
In a truest sense of the word, running or showboating is not an act of cowardice. It’s science. It’s brilliancy personified.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2015 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

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