THE ONCE improbable fifth fight has suddenly become almost a certainty.
Bob Arum, prime promoter of all things good and bad for Philippine boxing, said there should be a fifth encounter between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, possibly this September.
Pacquiao, serving the mandatory 120-day ban after sleeping on the job during his fourth fight with Marquez on Dec. 8, said he should be able to resume boxing in April.
But hold it for a moment, please.
There’s no need to rush.
Pacquiao, groping for an alibi, claimed he became overconfident as he chased the embattled but alert Marquez against the ropes in the sixth round of their fourth encounter.
You’re free to believe that. But before Pacquiao even takes his first comeback step, he should make doubly sure it’s in the right direction.
Or at least, make sure Marquez would still be there because, in a posting yesterday, the Mexican ring hero said he was undecided on whether or not to continue fighting.
Pacquiao should, first of all, determine what really went wrong.
He became overconfident?
Pardon this, but a more objective look at that knockout loss would show Pacquiao did not become overconfident. He honestly became careless!
Now, if to a losing champion race car, Pacquiao may not require an engine change. But he may have to effect a major overhaul, not only in his feeble defense, but with people and things around him.
Advises the philanthropic Dr. Jim Sanchez, who has been waging grim battles for indigent patients, mainly with off-shore hospitals and clinics.
“Manny will fight again. Why? Because of several reasons, to name a few: Pride, redemption, more money, to extend his shattered legacy. Do you think it will be any different the next time around? I don’t think so. He will be working on the same set of mind, same conditions, same environment, same people.”
In fairness to the honorable Congressman from Sarangani, Team Pacquiao appears on the verge of a clean-up, if not a serious revamp.
This according to team insider Hermie Rivera, who sends the following exchange, an actual dialogue he labeled faithful and authentic.
Rep. Pacquiao to Michael Koncz: “Take a bath, you Stink.”
Koncz: “I already did, Boss.”
Pacquiao: “When? Last month or last year?”
Koncz, reminds Hermie, is a senior advisor of Manny on hygienic concerns.
Koncz, by the way, figured diabolically in the mauling of a noted professional photographer, who tried to take shots of a senseless Pacquiao face down on the floor.
Koncz maybe retained, although he, together with assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, helped project to the world an image of the Filipino as sore loser.
Of course, Freddie Roach, despite a dismal record of losing all his big bouts the past year, is sure to stay.
But they should at least try to determine if Roach finds overconfidence and carelessness as one and the same thing.
Maybe Pacquiao should also be protected from his trainer?
Based on filmed evidence, Roach had unwittingly guided Team Marquez on the path to the knockout with a vivid demonstration of Pacquiao’s careless offensive, where he was seen leaving his chin uncovered as he tried to stop a sparmate near the ropes. This was shown worldwide in the final HBO episode on the fourth encounter between the grim rivals.
Meanwhile, Hermie Rivera says he’s flying back to Manila after the holidays. He says he would assist Sen. Gringo Honasan in crafting a bill aimed at protecting PH sports heroes, like Pacquiao, from “notorious power enhancers like Angel Heredia.”
Well and fine. But shouldn’t Pacquiao be also protected from himself?
Happy New Year to all.