THERE was not a single phantom move from the boxer they called “The Ghost.”
What was truly amazing was the manner the incredible, untouchable Floyd Mayweather Jr. methodically dismantled Robert Guerrero, who had blithely vowed to deal his unbeaten opponent his first defeat.
If there was anything ghostly in the one-sided fight (for the world welterweight boxing crown) it was the eerie manner Mayweather busted The Ghost and, at the same time, re-stamped his reputation as the finest ring warrior of this era.
It was almost a secret, soundless start for Mayweather. It had, in fact, come to a point when the ringside crowd started to hiss and hoot in displeasure and disbelief.
But once Mayweather turned on the gold fire starting the eighth round, punctuated by a right-hand axe that nearly floored Guerrero, there was no doubting the final outcome.
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Floyd Jr.’s grizzled father, back in his corner after 13 years, claimed his son could’ve stopped Guerrero had he not hurt his hand midway in the bout.
There was, actually, no urgent need for a KO finish. Guerrero, quite predictable, was clinically reduced to a shamed, bloodied aspirant phantom of the ring.
Mayweather, 36, who landed 60 percent of his power shots against only 19 by Guerrero, said he should fight five more times before retiring.
That would be mounds and mountains of dollars for the best boxer of our time, who was said to have pocketed a total of $46 million in his last bout.
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Mayweather has also been christened “Money.”
With that theme, let me now offer my apologies for the discomfort I have caused friends and dear readers.
I have taken the gall to launch a book, my second after “Pacquiao, The Pacific Storm.”
This is not part of the game plan, so to speak, so I first had to get the nod of my handlers, the accomplished poet-novelist Erwin Castillo, and the ever-gracious Gilda Cordero-Fernando, bright guiding light of Philippine letters.
It’s like this: I am launching my book “Tales from My Lost River,” which took me over a year of stolen time to finish.
This is being published on credit through the kindness and generosity of Bethel Garcia of Merryland Publishing Corp., better half of our favorite city councilor in Mandaluyong City, Jess Garcia.
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The book, less than a hundred pages, should properly be called a booklet.
Thanks to the kindness of two artist friends—the celebrated Antonio G. Austria and the fast-rising Conneth Amido—the thin volume takes on the trappings of a small novel.
Normally, there should have been no rush to do the launch.
The story itself—how the Pasig died after being secretly stolen by heartless foreigners—could’ve waited. In the first place, the rape and abortion of the great river had been concealed through the years.
However, someone dear to our heart had been stricken by a nameless disease a couple of months after she resigned from her all-consuming job as a call center training manager. Her immune system broke down, she was given 24 hours to live, but luckily made it back after a week in the intensive care unit (ICU).
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Needless to say, there was a tremendous bill after her medical benefits were canceled following her resignation.
I had to fret and considered looking for creditors. However, Ambassador Antonio Cabangon Chua assured and urged me to proceed with the fund-raising project. The ambassador, a smiling, self-made tycoon, used to dive for (kandule) catfish in the old Pasig, his second home, as a young man
Yes, the P500 cover price is exorbitant, to say the least. Which means that what we have resorted to should be called names other than plain fund-raising.
Still, my prayer is that, lean as it is, you could find the small book worth your time and patience.
And, please pardon me for the apparent extortion!
God bless and thank you for your kindness.
(The place for the book launch, at 5:30 p.m. today, is the Executive (Blue) Building, Mandaluyong City Hall Complex (Maysilo) Boni Avenue. The multiawarded Mandaluyong Children’s Chorus will be singing for the guests. Sincerest thanks to Mayor Benhur Abalos and the city government of my beloved birthplace for hosting the program. Everybody is welcome.)