Where I work at, we live by a contemporary standard, a totem of some sorts.
You are only as good as your last.
I used to be a sports writer when I was in grade school. And even when I was already the managing editor of the High School paper, I still specialized in sports writing. My ticket to the RSPC (regional schools press conference) in Gen. Santos City when I was a senior high school student.
Incidentally, the man I am doing a blog entry on, hails from that part of the country.
I’m all praises for Pacquiao. Even when I think he is going to make a fool of himself as a congressman, I never lost my respect for him as an athlete.
And so the tales go on, as you may all know. A lot has been written about his 4th meeting with Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico. The boxer he had the most fights with, followed by Erik Morales of the same country.
His knock down on the 3rd round is largely unexpected. He fell butt-first to the canvass as he stared quizzically at a waiting Marquez.
What ran in his mind at that instant? We never know. But some watchers laughed at him, ridiculed the great boxing hero. “Haha you’re human after all” “Ano ka ngayon?” “Yes! Panalo ako sa pusta” were what I heard and saw in networking sites facebook and twitter.
With one second into the end of the 6th round, Marquez threw what has been dubbed as the “perfect punch”, which Pacquiao admitted to having not seen coming. Based on some reports, our beloved champ was unconscious even before he hit the canvass. You can tell by the way he fell that he was hit hard. It took him a few minutes to regain his consciousness.
Others rejoiced. Others were shocked.
Two days after his loss, he is still being talked about. It is guaranteed that it will make the year’s top stories. Even Justin Bieber had something to say about Manny and his loss to Marquez. I’m sorry but, who is he, again?
My take on this is, it’s sad how we just remember the worst, or the last, performance.
Do we need reminding that he is the First and Only Asian to win 8 division titles? Read: 8 weight divisions. All won.
Did we forget how he knocked out Marco Antonio Barrera (then the most feared Mexican boxer) on the 11th round of their fight, giving Barrera his ONLY KO defeat in his entire career, and sending Pacquiao to his 3rd Division Title?
Did we forget how Manny knocked out Erik Morales on the 10th round of their 2nd match in 2006, which AGAIN gave Morales his 1st ever KO defeat in his illustrious boxing career. Their 3rd match in the same year, 10 months after, found Manny knocking out Morales again, and this time, on the 3rd round of their match, sealing the deal of their arch-rivalry.
Morales eventually became a co-endorser of SMB, if you guys remember.
Did we forget how Manny knocked out another Mexican boxer legend, David Diaz, in 2008 to clinch his 5th Division Title?
Did we forget Jorge Solis and the Golden Boy Oscar dela Hoya, both TKOd by Manny on the 8th round of their 2007 and 2008 bouts, respectively?
Did we forget the British Ricky Hatton, who was knocked out cold by Manny only in the dying seconds of the 2nd round of their 2009 match?
Did we forget how Manny stopped Miguel Cotto in his tracks on the 11th round KO of their 2009 match, which gave way to Manny’s 7th Division title?
What about Antonio Margarito, who was rushed to the hospital right after the match, since Manny fractured Margarito’s bone? That was Manny’s 8th Division Title.
Remember Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley?
Oh, and critics might bring up Timothy Bradley, who won the 2011 bout in a very controversial fight, where, a few days later, the WBO Chanpionship Committe had to announce that Pacquiao should have won the bout after all.
For me, that wasn’t really a loss. Let’s just say, it was a “glitch”.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4? I’m sure Marquez was hungry for this. He prepared for it, waited for his shining moment. He believes that he was stripped off the win in all their 3 previous bouts and he wants to settle it in the 4th installment, and remove all shadow of doubt cast on the last 3 matches they’ve had.
I have no question about who won the match. Even Manny knew who won it.
My only concern is that, we shouldn’t claim we were cheated on (did you see the picture of Marquez stepping on Manny’s foot right before the KO?), nor badmouth the winner.
Because like Manny, a true athlete, a genuine boxer, is gracious, even at his defeat.
He may have fallen in this game, but no, I don’t think he has to hang his gloves. His change of religion, too, has very little to do with his wins or losses.
If you watched the match carefully, you would know that Pacquiao led the judges’ scorecards for the first 6 rounds.
In what turns out to be a twist of fate, Marquez threw the perfect punch at the perfect spot at the perfect time. Manny would have been saved by the bell if Marquez was a second late.
But no, the punch came when Marquez needed it. And like Manny, who was gracious and sport enough to accept that he lost the game, let us all accept what had happened with an open mind and a humble heart.
Because even Micheal Jordan missed some shots and lost some games. Even Tiger Woods lost some tours, Micheal Phelps’ records got broken, and Babe Ruth has struck out at least once in his lifetime. But they’re all hall of famers. Just like Manny. They’re not perfect. Their professional records have blemishes, too.
But that’s exactly why we love heroes. They’re bloodied. Hurt. Fallen. Flawed.
And we love them because they always get up.
After. Every. Fall.
Mabuhay ka, Manny!
photos courtesy of rappler.com
information from wikipedia.org