Twelve Rounds

Much has been said about the controversial Pacquiao-Bradley fight yesterday. It is written all over the blogs, news portals, tabloids, and broadsheets. It is the content of almost all the local news programs and I expect it to last for at least one week and another week after Manny Pacquiao’s homecoming.

I am writing this not to sound as an aspiring sports columnist. Or as a sports writer/blogger. Or some expressive bandwagon rider who writes his opinion on almost every issue.

I am writing this as an ordinary viewer who tried to keep focused on watching the fight despite a nasty hangover brought by an inuman session with his friends the night before the match. And as an ordinary Filipino boxing fan who, together with his fellow countrymen, felt robbed of a good and clean entertainment.

Please take note that these should be taken with a grain of iodized salt.

  1. Pacquiao was undefeated for the last seven years (fifteen fights) of his boxing career – until the tragedy came yesterday. Perhaps we are just always accustomed to his victory that’s why we were all shocked by the tragedy. How about that?
  2. Karl Marx once said that ‘Religion is the opium of the people’. Well here in the Philippines, it’s showbiz, television, social media, and the fights of Manny Pacquiao. In a country plagued by tragedy, corruption, impunity, and crime, there must always be something to uplift our spirit and temporarily escape these tragedies and Pacquiao’s fights are one of them. So I understood our grief. It is like taking away from us our painkiller.
  3. But of course, you will argue that yesterday’s fight was a clear victory for Manny Pacquiao. First, you are not the judges (who happen to have the final say on that match). Second, some boxing analysts saw a ‘relaxed’ Manny Pacquiao during the last, crucial rounds of the fight and they would have called it a draw. And third, as what Pontius Pilate said, “What I have written, I have written”.
  4. The  tragedy of Manny Pacquiao yesterday reminds me of the same boxing tragedy of Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also robbed of what would have been the country’s first Olympic gold medal. What happened? Did we create the same noise? Did we support Onyok’s protest? Maybe I was just too young then to know these things. And times are different now with the age of social media. (The last time I saw, Onyok plays as a co-host and one of Pacquiao’s sidekicks on his shows. But that’s another story.)
  5. Some (including my Erpats) said that Manny’s loss was a justice for the supposed victory of Juan Manuel Marquez during his third fight with the former. Plausible? (Maybe we should call the Mythbusters to test this.)
  6. Another conspiracy that came out yesterday was Bob Arum was behind all of these. He wants a more hyped rematch for Pacquiao and Bradley which will only mean two words for the boxing promoter – Kaching! Kaching! (With these, I suggest that Manny Pacquiao’s entrance song on his next fight would be ‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J and not the overused and Rocky-ish ‘Eye of the Tiger’.)
  7. With yesterday’s aftermath of the match and most of the people’s reactions, I have once again proven that the word ‘loser’ (or ‘talunan’) is not in our dictionary. We use the equally synonymous terms dinaya,niluto, and  pinagkaisahan. They are commonly used during the election period.
  8. One of the most retweeted tweet/joke yesterday was ‘Niluto ang labang Pacquiao-Bradley. Sa sobrang luto, nasunog si Bradley!’. Wow! Just a few days ago, most of us went berserk on the alleged racism of the Bayo advertisement. I admire our inconsistency. Mabuhay!
  9. I felt bad for Manny Pacquiao’s sons. It was their first time to watch their father’s fight on ringside. Some moron may look at this as a bad luck but hey, Daddy Manny would still go home with Money Many Prizes. Kaching! Kaching!
  10. And yes, win or lose for Manny, Mommy Dionisia would still get her Hermes bag. So the ‘No Hermes’ trending topic yesterday is a blasphemy against Manny’s riches.  Kaching! Kaching! (After all, Manny has already bought Mommy D. a new van for her birthday last month).
  11. As what Jessica Zafra said on her column today, it is natural for us Filipinos to look for someone or something to blame – his new-found love for God, Politics, show business, and the people around him. but let’s just leave it there. After all, Manny Pacquiao, despite his loss yesterday, will still (and always) be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest boxer of all time.
  12. Comic artist Gerry Alanguilan (Komikero) tweeted this yesterday“I think we all need to lose once in a while. To keep us from being complacent. To keep us hungry. To have some humility.” Boxing is a game. There are winners and losers. Manny may have lost but this is not the end of him. And I think his new-found faith in God will help him deal with this loss. Or maybe this is the proper time for Manny to pass the torch to the next generation of great Filipino boxers.

Elsewhere:

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