July 9th, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez
LONG TIME SINCE MANNY PACQUIAO INTRODUCTION
San Francisco, CA- When I first saw Manny Pacquiao in the flesh, it was prior to his fight with Agapito “Mr. Foul” Sanchez in 2001. Never could I imagine that this little Filipino would end up reaching the heights that he has both as a boxer and Filipino Congressman. Often I chide him over his shortcomings, but today, July 10, 2012, you have to acknowledge the advances that he has made as a fighter and a citizen since he was sitting on a bench outside of Gold’s Gym in the Potrero area of San Francisco are mind-boggling. Who would have thought that a guy supposedly with one “dress” sweat suit to his name would accomplish his feats, by “dress” sweats I mean something classy with your name on the back and or front of the suit, would reach #2 on top ten paid athletes on the Forbes list.
MANY REASONS PACQUIAO HAS BEEN GREAT FOR BOXING
Before I go, 1. My verbiage is true. 2. I’m not one to kick a guy when he’s down, a position Manny Pacquiao is in, a real “no-win” situation, Whether you think he beat Tim Bradley June 9 or not. Most of you do, but I think Pacquiao took the two first two and a half minutes off in some rounds, trying to rally from his inactivity in the final 30 seconds and that is not good when you have professional judging. What he decides to do with his boxing career right now is a choice Manny and his inner sanctum will make. The Marco Antonio Barrera first fight, Pacquiao’s domination and inside the distance win was really got him on the boxing map as a potential big player per se.
GREW UP DURING FIRST MORALES FIGHT
Losing to Erik Morales in their first encounter, a fight in which Pacquiao was seriously cut, it bothered him enough for him to lose by two points. After that Pacman treated the Mexican fighter like a bar-girl from the Zona De La Rosa (The Red Zone) of Morales’ home city of Tijuana, Mexico. stopping him in two additional fights. While I won’t give accolades or beating David Diaz at 135, that *itch slapping he gave in stopping Ricky Hatton (140) in the second round was a “highlight” reel clip for historians to look at a century from now.
NOT ALL THAT IMPRESSED OF LATE
The 147 title run, and subsequently in a “catch weight” fight with Antonio Margarito for a WBC 154 lb. title at 150, it is not something I think have not been all that stellar. With his election to Congress, trying to improve the small province that he represents, a hospital, his extreme benevolence with “poor” people who come to him begging, like the Beatles at one time, Manny is God-like. He’s also an easy mark, that Manny can’t say “No” to some people because his too kind hearted for his own good.
SILENCE IS DEAFENING
His silence since the loss to Bradley one month ago today, to me means Pacquiao is in the “thought mode.” What does he do? While his best shot would to be to go back to 140 lbs. and apply his trade. Be it for one, two, maybe three fights, that’s all that’s left, Manny Pacquiao has faults, as do other boxers, but if he wants to make the most out of the time he has left, it should be at 140. A fight with Floyd Mayweather I believe would have been made I believe long ago if Manny’s promoter Bob Arum wanted it to. Maybe Arum realizes when they take off negotiating, he’d be making the concessions, something he would prefer not to ever have to do in his life, especially with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
BETTER CONDITIONING OR HE WILL LOSE AGAIN!
If he takes the Bradley rematch, Manny can’t show up looking loose, less than 100% fit, was seemingly in need of oxygen in between rounds, all of this evident in the June 9 fight. Pacquiao’s strength surge from the sixth or seventh round on was amazing to Miguel Cotto, yet against Bradley, and even Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao’s never got stronger late in either the Bradley scrap or the last Marquez fight.
IS PACQUIAO TOO EASY A MARK FOR THE BEGGING?
But from street urchin to becoming a multi-division boxing champion, Congressman, and still he’s digging into his pockets for the downtrodden. This is such a noble act, but it can also result in giving away way too much, some to those undeserving, and while it may make Manny Feel good, he has to think about the future of him, his wife Jinkee and his children, all of them as well. In short, Manny Pacquiao has been an inspiration to people all over the world, not just his native Philippines.