Can Pacquiao profit from Chavez loss?
In that speed test inside a Las Vegas boxing ring on Sunday, Sergio Martinez enjoyed every minute of it while his foe, to put it mildly, was a fish out of water.
Martinez was a fire-breathing race horse pitted against a cold, dragging elephant named Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
If to two schoolboys left to scrub the room floor, Martinez frolicked and enjoyed every minute of it.
Chavez Jr. grumbled, visibly trying to find an excuse to get out and go home.
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It was a mismatch—until the closing round.
Chavez suddenly snapped back to life, went for the kill, connected, and floored his foe.
In that brief, shining moment, Chavez indeed appeared like the legit world middleweight boxing champion.
He, however, fell short and failed to finish off the staggered foe.
The final verdict, the unanimous count by all three judges for the superior warrior, was not even close.
But thanks to that inexplicable burst of brilliance, the punctuating power, there most likely will be a rematch.
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Chavez did lose his world crown but aptly gained the respect that had eluded him through the years.
The nod was unanimous: Junior has a real warrior’s heart and fully deserves to be heir to his legendary father, Senor Julio Cesar Chavez.
Of course, there were serious questions left unanswered.
Did the young Chavez honestly think he could swing it by playing possum all night long?
What took Freddie Roach too long to give the ultimatum to his sleepy, lumbering fighter?
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Of course, it was not necessarily Roach’s fault that Chavez decided to go for the kill only in the closing round.
There’s very little reason to doubt Roach had given strict marching orders much earlier than the start of the 11th round.
Chavez, known for his stubbornness, must’ve tried to do it his silly way.
At least, Chavez can be expected to be more obedient (to Roach) if and when a rematch takes place.
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There’s no reason to give Roach his walking papers the way the inept and gutless Amir Khan had fired the many-time trainer of the year.
But expect critics to lambast Roach for what’s been perceived as yet another sloppy cornering job last Sunday.
At least, in Manny Pacquiao’s scheduled rematch against long-time nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, Roach won’t be caught napping.
Roach has in fact sent out orders for Pacquiao go to for a compelling KO well ahead of the Dec. 8 match against Marquez at the Las Vegas MGM Grand.
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Not too quick, please.
For the record, Roach had been quoted as saying he had originally ordered Pacquiao to go for the body (after he repeatedly got outpunched) starting the fourth round of his third bout against Marquez last November.
Pacquiao had instead gone head-hunting while blindly digging in for a knockout.
Result: the eight-division champ and pound-for-pound marvel finished atrociously after Marquez expertly counterpunched him.
Pacquiao was lucky to have eked out a controversial majority decision despite having to agonize for most of the bout.
Pacquiao, a quick-learner, certainly will not reprise the Chavez stubborness.
But there’s a bigger problem.
Pacquiao has been ordered to stop a tested Mexican warrior, who has gone down a few times, but has never ever been knocked out.