Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wha-Pak Man

Before I joined my current company, I never watched a boxing match in full. (When Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier at the Araneta Coliseum for “Thrilla In Manila,” the whole grade school trooped to the auditorium to watch it live on TV. I couldn’t sit through one round; I was standing and walking around the whole time.) But thanks to my job, I was able to watch Manny Pacquiao in his last three fights.

When Manny whupped Cotto’s ass, I wasn’t so impressed, though I could see the difference in his skill level compared to the undercards before him. But then my trainer at the gym, noticing I was getting bored with our usual routine, made me do boxing—sparring mostly. That’s when I realized that boxing wasn’t just physically grueling, it was also mentally challenging. It requires a grim determination and steel-cold discipline to meld both mind and body into a well-oiled machine that can think quickly on its feet. After that, I had newfound respect for the sport.

When he pummeled Clottey, I realized that Pacquiao’s power comes from his lightning speed and power punches—imagine being hit by a charging rhino again and again on all sides in rapid succession. That’s when I got really impressed with the guy.

You may laugh at Manny the Wannabe Singer. You may cringe at Manny the Wannabe Actor, Comedian and Host. You may even dismiss Manny the Congressman as some neophyte do-gooder whose popularity got him voted and whose naiveté will be his Achilles Heel. But one thing is undeniable: Manny the Boxer is the world’s best, pound-for-pound.

In the fight last Sunday with Margarito, Manny was easily winning. The Mexican did his best to subdue Manny, but with every punch that connected, Manny retaliated with six more that hit with laser-like precision. Margarito suffered a nasty cut under his right eye, which had swollen so much he couldn’t see with that eye anymore. By the eleventh round it was pretty clear Margarito had no chance of winning. Then everyone saw it: Manny looked to the referee as if asking him to stop the fight.

Suddenly, Manny was elevated from just being the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Despite talks of marital infidelity, unprofessional tardiness and the like, in that instance inside the ring in Texas facing a bigger opponent, Manny Pacquiao looked every inch like a true gentleman.


piebuko said...

I enjoyed reading this. I've read numerous reviews of the fight, but i like where your article focused on. he was a gentleman. :)

Ming Meows said...

i noticed that too. he wasn't that agressive during the 12th round. naawa kay antonio. walang ganyan si mayweather.