Verbosity, not action, has become the mode of combat in the runup to two vital contests—the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez Act 4 bout and the Philippine Olympic Committee polls.
Nothing truly unusual because, in the case of Pacquiao and Marquez, there has been no verbal outburst with the damning loudness of either Muhammad Ali or Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Of course, the colorful exchanges could also make the coming fight sound like a Word Championship, not a sublime physical debate inside the ring.
Based on their loud claims, Pacquiao and Marquez could be rated even in the propaganda war.
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Bob Arum did right in warning that Marquez could find himself at a disadvantage based on his announced battle plan.
Arum took a point from Marquez for his claim that he would go all out and be extra aggressive this fourth time out.
It could be a disadvantage, Arum repeated, because “Marquez, whose biggest edge is counterpunching, has vowed to be a lot more aggressive as well.”
No need to be a Larry Merchant to know that Marquez in going bang, bang, bang, would’ve to sacrifice his defensive competence.
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At least both Marquez and Pacquiao did back their loud claims with sterling physical display over the weekend.
Marquez bared amazing muscle buildup during a media workout in Mexico City.
Not to be outdone, Pacquiao countered by flooring an unbeaten (13-0) Mexican sparmate at Wild Card Gym the following day.
These only pointed to the utmost need for adjustment, shifts, and more adjustments come fight time.
So far, Marquez trainer Nacho Beristain has proved the sharper and wiser of the two main cornermen.
But we’ve got to side with Freddie Roach when he said he would be ready to counter anything his rival would bring into the ring.
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Meanwhile, down at the POC election corral, we take time out and give way to this press release from a group seeking relevant changes in PH sports. Please read on:
There is a group of National Sports Association leaders with a clear program and vision that will help uplift sports in the country. The group also wants to instill the spirit of Olympism among athletes and coaches.
The group, which includes Monico Puentevella, Manny Lopez, Bambol Tolentino and Romy Ribano who are vying for choice positions in the coming POC polls, has vowed to re-chart the country’s sports programs in the next four years.
Among the programs that the group will push are propagation of “Olympism,” “Sports by All” Program, development of coaches and respect for NSA autonomy.
The group claims that propagation of Olympism is one of POC’s main functions under its constitution and should be included in the teaching programs of physical education and sports in schools and universities.
The group also wants to put premium on training and development of quality coaches, emphasizing that “only an elite coach can produce an elite athlete.”
The group is also pushing for autonomy for NSAs, believing that the POC should not interfere with the election of their officers, operations, activities and their training programs.
The group said NSAs should be given the responsibility for their activities, including the performance of their respective athletes, and accountability for the results of the PSC financial assistance given to them.
The group aims to bring POC back to basics by clearly emphasizing its primary role, which is to propagate Olympism.