Setting the record straightBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Of the many things said and written after Manny Pacquiao’s tragic fall at the hands of old nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, who has reportedly gone parading proudly around Mexico like a returning conquistador with the Pacman’s head in his upraised right hand, we find this one by respected boxing writer Manny Piñol most relevant and appropriate. Please share it:
People who are suggesting a fifth fight between Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez are either foolishly consumed with pride or they are simply afraid that with the Pacman out of the ring, their opportunity to make more money will vanish.
The knockout suffered by Pacquiao at the hands of Marquez was not just a result of a “lucky punch” as some pseudo boxing experts would like to call it. There are no “lucky punches” in boxing. Every punch thrown is aimed at hitting the opponent.
The only antidote to that is to avoid the incoming “lucky punch.” If he is able to evade the punch, it is the defending boxer who is “lucky.”
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If the boxer is hit, the punch is not “lucky.” It simply means he is slow in reacting to an attack.
Manny’s knockout loss was simply a result of too many fights, in too many nights, in too many rings.
The first knockdown suffered by Manny came from a punch that a younger Pacquiao could have easily withstood or avoided.
But Manny just stood in front of Marquez with his left hand slightly lowered, thus opening his left temple to the right which sent him to the canvas, both feet up.
Pacquiao is no stranger to the canvas. He was knocked out cold by Rustico Torrecampo when he was younger.
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In another fight a few years later, he should have lost by knockout to Australian fighter Nedal Hussein had he not been aided by referee Carlos Padilla Jr. following a fall in the fourth round of their fight in October 2000.
Padilla delivered the mandatory 8-count in utter slo-mo fashion, thereby allowing the crawling Pacquiao to recover.
Pacquiao came back from that fall to knock out Hussein in the 10th round.
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In another fight against a Kazakh challenger Serikzhan Yeshmaganbetov in 2003 at the Rizal Park, Pacquiao also kissed the mat in the fourth round.
Of course, he also got timely assistance from the referee, a Makati City cop, who did everything to stall the onslaught, like untying the tidy glove of the Kazakh before tying it back.
Pacquiao finished off his frail, famished foe in the fifth.
There were other instances when Manny would be hurt but the fighting spirit and the youth in him helped him withstand those terrible tests.
When Manny was floored by Marquez with a plain right hook in the third round of their fourth meeting in Las Vegas on Dec. 8, I already had a discomforting feeling.
I had a premonition that something bad would happen as Manny went back to his gung-ho style in attacking his opponent, again leaving himself open to counterpunches.
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That was what exactly happened in the dying seconds of the sixth.
Instead of relenting in his attack since the 10-second bell had already rung, a show-boating Pacquiao came in with his guard down.
He was knocked out cold by a perfect right that hit the button.
Marquez is one of the best counterpunchers and the most resilient fighter I have seen in the business.
Remember the three knockdowns he suffered in the hands of Pacquiao in their first meeting in 2004?
Well, he came back from those knockdowns to bring the fight to an exciting end which was scored a split draw.
If it had been the other way around, there would’ve been no way Manny could stand up after those three devastating knockdowns.
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I had misgivings about the fourth fight actually.
Early on, I thought that it was a pointless fight. There was nothing in it for Manny to gain.
Besides, I really felt that Marquez is a very difficult opponent for Manny because of his counterpunching style.
Manny’s people, and even Bob Arum, if he really cared for Manny, should have realized that and refused a fourth fight.
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A rematch with Timothy Bradley was the more logical fight for Manny.
If at all, the fourth encounter was a fight designed to give Marquez a chance to redeem himself, not for Manny to prove that he is the better fighter.
Marquez did just that.
A fifth fight would not only be foolish. It will be a virtual push to the yawning crevice of ignominy for Manny.
It could even be a virtual suicide.
Only people who do not care for Manny and who only crave for his money will suggest a fifth fight with Marquez.
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