Thank God, it’s over
There were fireworks ahead of the Las Vegas megabout in various viewing venues around Metro Manila on Sunday.
Just fine, nothing surprising there.
There was a happy treat of dancing in the streets, an impromptu fiesta, with the next day, a Monday, possibly being declared a national holiday.
That was all to be expected.
* * *
Despite the great expectations, prayers, hopes, devotions, the advance deifying of national boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, the unthinkable happened.
The fireworks were left untouched the rest of Sunday.
A pall of gloom and disbelief descended on the metropolis after unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Pacquiao.
* * *
In place of the fireworks rose hissing protests over the result of the contest.
Local fans refused to believe that Pacquiao, more intense, fiery, and definitely brimming with confidence and courage, could lose the contest billed as the Battle for Greatness.
President Aquino, for his part, extolled the dedicated and hardworking Pacquiao for continuing to be an inspiration to his poor countrymen.
Mayweather himself saluted Pacquiao as a truly great champion.
* * *
Regarding the megabout, which failed to live up to the monumental hype, Pacquiao did throw the bigger punches. Just the same, he was outboxed and outfoxed by his sharp and elusive foe, who threw a greater volume and connected with a bigger overall percentage (as borne by computerized statistics.)
Pacquiao visibly delivered all the talent, power and intensity inside the ring.
His gifted opponent, who was able to control the pace, however, proved superior in craft and competence.
Pacquiao, despite the loss, was cheered and hailed by the live crowd inside and around the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The eight-division world boxing title winner remained a true champion in the hearts and minds of his followers.
* * *
Pacquiao was indeed enjoying a championship moment.
He missed a chance at honest heroism in a closing interview, however, when he said he thought he won the contest.
This claim definitely fueled the restiveness of doubting fans, who mistook Mayweather’s deer-like cool escapes for cowardice.
* * *
“Pacquiao should man up and admit Floyd is the better man, at least in that fight,” said the respected veteran newspaper editor Roy Acosta.
Well, Pacquiao did recapitulate the morning after and admitted he lost to a better boxer.
There’s no doubting though that his initial claim that he had won it also added to the random clamor for a rematch.
Once is enough, please.
Thank God it’s over.
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