SPORTS ANALYSIS by dJAY ABBAS
The PACMAN’s Renezvous with Destiny
This Sunday morning June 29, 2008 (Manila Time), Manny Pacquiao of Mindanao, Philippines finally met his destiny – to be the first Asian to win championships in FOUR categories – flyweight, super bantamweight, junior lightweight (super featherweight) and lightweight. He thus joins the likes of Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar de la Hoya – all all-time greats.
Pacquiao is also now considered as the world’s greatest pound-for-pound boxer.
All he had to do to meet this destiny was to beat Mexiacan-American David Diaz, the WBC lightweight champ. And he did it in a spectacular way.
Manny Pacquiao was back in his old form — the aggressive, fast-punching killer machine.
Pacquiao’s last fight in March 2008 was against Juan Manuel Marquez for the super featherweight crown. It was a horrible fight for Pacquiao. He did all the wrong moves. He was slow and was counter-punching instead of attacking. It was a bittersweet victory for Pacquiao. It was his first legitimate boxing crown since giving up the super bantamweight title in 2003. But the fight was anybody’s call and some people thought that the fight should have gone to Marquez.
The second Pacquiao-Marquez fight was quite karmic. In their first fight in March 2004, it was declared a DRAW even though Marquez was floored three times in the first round. One judge was later found to have miscalculated his scorecards (he gave a 10-7 score in the first round when it should have been a 10-6 score because of the three knockdowns. In other matches, three knockdowns equal a knockout.) Thus, Pacquiao was robbed of 2 boxing titles – WBA and IBF world featherweight titles – that night.
Four years later, Marquez was holding another title – WBC Super featherweight champ – and Pacquiao still had no world title to his name. But this time, karma went against Marquez. Though he was the defending champion and it was a VERY close fight, the judges went for Pacquiao.
GLORY AT LAST
But with the Diaz fight, there was no need for judges. Pacquiao was back in his old fighting style. It was all vintage Pacquiao – pummeling the WBC lightweight king David Diaz to a bloody pulp.
Pacquiao was super fast. And he was moving all the time. And like in the old times, he was throwing punches left and right. It was superb.
After fighting for almost five years without a world championship belt, Pacquiao now has two in two categories – junior lightweight and lightweight. And he has made history and joined the ranks of boxing’s all-time greats.
Instead of speculating on a Pacquiao-Valero fight or a Pacquiao-Hatton spectacle, the Pacman and the Filipinos should just sit back and savor the glory Manny Pacquiao has brought to himself and to Philippine boxing. Three cheers for the Pacman!
Published in Mr. & Ms. Trendspotting, July-Aug 2008