Please don’t buy into that WBO fraudBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BEFORE they enter the heist in the crime logbook, it should be noted that Manny Pacquiao was not the first Filipino to fall victim to the schemes of cold-blooded crooks masquerading as responsible boxing officials.
Long before Pacquiao was savaged by the judges in Las Vegas, there was the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who was robbed of his rightful crown in more shocking fashion.
Here’s international matchmaker Lope Sarreal Jr., brother-in-law of Elorde, for the details: “Good day. The highway robbery loss of Manny Pacquiao is not new to us old boxing people. Flash Elorde lost to Sandy Saddler at Cow Palace in San Fran-cisco and the referee was banned for life.”
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The year was 1957. The gutsy, sharp-punching Elorde, a great sparkle on the international boxing horizon, had gained a crack at Saddler’s world featherweight title after beating the reigning featherweight king in a nontitle clash during a Manila stopover.
In the San Francisco championship, Elorde was more dominant and masterful. He continued to manhandle Saddler who, with all the leeway from the referee, characteristically resorted to headbutting and elbowing the fearless Filipino southpaw.
Elorde suffered cuts and was bloodied. He was, however, digging in for the kill, pummeling Saddler’s head and body, when the referee jumped in.
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Then, in mocked concern, he raised Saddler’s hand.
“The referee, whose name escapes me, was trying to say Elorde was no longer in a condition to defend himself or continue fighting,” Sarreal recalled.
After an earth-shaking protest was felt all the way from Manila, the referee was banished from the boxing scene.
For his part, Saddler got the full-fledged notoriety as the Pike-like Featherweight.
Clearly robbed, Elorde did get justice.
Then, three years after being victimized in that abominable ring butchery, Elorde stopped Harold Gomes of Rhode Island in the seventh round of the WBA junior lightweight championship at the Araneta Coliseum on March 16, 1960.
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Anyway, going by the dumb explanation of Duane Ford—who evidently could not even do simple math—Pacquiao had similarly been savaged in Las Vegas where they stole his WBO welterweight crown in broad daylight.
Unlike Elorde, though, Pacquiao may not even see his day in court.
Of course, there’s the graver danger of Pacquiao being lured into a shallow, meaningless rematch.
It’s like this. While Pacquiao has made his countrymen doubly proud with his humble acceptance of the bum decision that rewarded the badly beaten Tim Bradley the crown, there lurks the danger of Pacquiao falling prey to another scam.
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Pacquiao did admit he would have raised hell had he been cheated, say, two or three years ago.
The odd thing is that he has also vowed to be merciless next time—“I’ll be a warrior, next time”—in an initial postfight interview at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Honestly, did he think he needs to settle a score with a retreating, worthless challenger who even hid behind the referee after getting blasted in the third round?
If Pacquiao fights Bradley again, that would be as big a stink as approving and buying officially into the June 9 fraud.
Pacquiao would do his countrymen terribly thankful and proud if he next heads for Mexico to settle a score with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Fighting a perennial nemesis in his home turf takes loads of Christian honesty and courage.
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