Netizens cry ‘robbery’ but worry over Pacquiao’s lost ‘killer instinct’
MANILA, Philippines — Some felt Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Timothy Bradley was a complete robbery, others thought Pacquiao had just lost his killer instinct, while others saw it as another deal in the lucrative business that has become boxing.
And netizens around social networking sites, when just minutes after the split decision was announced in favor of Bradley – a rematch seemed already like a done deal.
“Absolutely, I have to give Manny [Pacquiao] a rematch,” said the newly crowned WBO weltwerweight titlist Bradley in the interview at the ring with HBO – a thought which got an immediate nod from the People’s Champ himself.
And with the millions of dollars – from seat sales to pay per view revenues – set to come in with an anticipated rematch like this, even Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum, who had suggested the month of November as a date, admits he “would “make a lot of money.”
“What’s the promo code for this fight? Choreographed!” said @kj3tweets in response to @INQUIRERSports’ question on Twitter.
When the comments on Pacquiao’s first loss in seven years – snapping a tremendous 15-fight winning streak – most fans on Twitter were either stunned or upset with the decision, but a lot of netizens thought they can see right through.
“I knew it, gusto lang ng rematch…pera pera na lang ba (He just wanted a rematch, is it all about money?),” said @mjmalabanan.
“Game is obviously fixed. Bradley even said the date of the rematch. Nov 10.,” said @mondalborte.
“The rematch was already schedule prior to the fight!” said @JSCasting, also on Twitter, while @BrownEvangelist even jokingly suggested, “Oh, bukas na daw yung rematch (The rematch is tomorrow).”
And with a setback, though unconvincing for some, of this magnitude – which could leave a stain in Pacquiao’s legacy – it’s impossible not float the name of archrival Floyd Mayweather Jr., who’s serving time in jail at the moment, around.
Negotations between Mayweather and Pacquiao’s camps have repeatedly broken down because of money – and some think this might be the inch Mayweather has been looking for so he could tilt the negotiating table to his favor.
“The loss is a strategic bait for Mayweather next year,” said @aldrinpogi, as the undefeated Mayweather could gain momentum knowing Pacquiao could be beaten.
Even Ricardo – in a spirited discussion in the comments section of INQUIRER.net – had the same theory about Pacquiao’s loss.
“Why Pacquiao lost, it’s purely business reasons. 1, Both fighters are under Arum. 2. It is a bait for Mayweather. Pacquiao can be beaten. 3. Arum sees another blockbuster trilogy,” he said.
Some spectators, though, are questioning whether Pacquiao – who hasn’t knocked out an opponent since 2009 – still has that killer instict to finish his opponents off like he did in his heyday.
With the another fight going all 12 rounds – fans can’t help but compare the “Pacman” who knocked Ricky Hatton cold and beat Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto to a pulp to the one who’s been settling for a decision in the last few fights.
“I am a Paquiao fan but I didn’t see his passion in this fight. He is not in the moment, no aggression, not a warrior,” said @mengomana on Twitter.
“Manny [Pacquiao] has become softer inside & out,” said @micofrappe.
“If there’s anything wrong with what Manny [Pacquiao] did today, yeah that’s it. Killer instinct… dapat pinatumba na kanina [He should have knocked Bradley out earlier],” said @sirjhaydelacruz.
Pacquiao’s affinity to religion has become stronger than ever, spending his free time during his training camp over Bible studies compared to worldlier pursuits – and some people couldn’t help but notice the change it brought.
“The Bible is how I have peace of mind and relax. In my life this the new Manny Pacquiao. In boxing, I still wanna be better,” said a beaming Pacquiao in an interview with HBO before the fight.
“There’s nothing wrong being religious but ever since Manny [Pacquiao] changed, he became soft & lost his killer instinct when it matters most,” said @IdrisMiraflor.
Others, though, saw Pacquiao’s being gentle as simply admirable in the face of the loss. Despite believing he won the fight, Pacquiao still urged the people to “respect the judges’ decision.”
“The result isn’t really that bad. The fight has shown the world how humble and religiously faithful our Pambansang Kamao is,” said @maAYAfrancisco.
But the most reverberating cry that was heard all day from Filipino and foreign fans, international celebrities and even boxing media, alike was this: Pacquiao was robbed of the victory.
“To take the belt away from a champion you have to be convincingly dominant. Bradley wasn’t. Even he thought so,” tweeted former Representative Gilbert Remulla to @INQUIRERsports, using his account @GilbertCRemulla.
“Terrible decision. [Timothy] Bradley could have won at least 1-2 rounds but Manny Pacquiao clearly won,” said @pat_laroco on Twitter.
“Robbery! Pacquiao had a tremendous edge in punches landed compared to Bradley,” said @kenbpangilinan.
“Those two judges who scored it for Bradley have ZERO credibility now and should never judge another boxing match,” said @Kswagger85.
Boxing writers from the US, who have been covering Pacquiao in the past decade, also couldn’t shake off the disbelief of what has just transpired.
“Presser is over. Sense of disbelief by everyone here. This wasn’t arguing a close fight. This was outrageous,” said ESPN’s Dan Rafael on his Twitter account.
“Bradley is gone and Manny is here [at the presser]. [Pacquiao] Says he respects decision but 100 percent believes he won. I don’t respect that decision,” he added.
“ I am shocked, stunned,” said Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole, also on his Twitter. “ I had Pacquiao 9 to 3. I thought Pacquiao landed more punches and the harder punches.”
Win or lose, though, fans still naturally got Pacquiao’s back – and most of them still want to see him exact revenge and beat Bradley up, another time.