Manny Matters

The biggest boxing story for the past year was, to nobody’s surprise, the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight that never happened. “Pretty Boy” had more conditions than a kidnapper, ranging from the split of the earnings of the potential mega-buck fight to the blood test he wanted Pacquiao to take before and after the fight.
Now, however, Mayweather has more problems than Pacquiao. In fact, with a slew of legal battles he had to face in court, boxing is the least of his worries, so everyone moved on.
From a list which included old nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez and newcomer Andre Berto, Pacquiao found a new opponent in the form of Sugar Shane Mosley, who is just a few years removed from a divorce settlement and had wanted a fight with him for the longest time.
Their welterweight title fight will take place on May 7 at the MGM Grand in downtown Las Vegas, and even when there is still an eternity of preparation left for both camps before fight night, “The Pac-man” is already an overwhelming 9-1 favorite against the former five-division champion—with good reason.
Make no mistake: I’m not saying that there’s no chance at all that Shane Mosley can beat Pacquiao, but when this May 7 date with Mosley is placed beside a third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez or a fight against up-and-coming Andre Berto, the Mosley fight just pales in comparison.
The 37-year-old, hard-as-nails Marquez forced the pound-for-pound king into a controversial draw in 2004 before losing an equally controversial split-decision in their rematch in 2008.
Berto, meanwhile, is still undefeated in 27 outings, although he is yet to clash with a fighter with a big name. Pacquiao could be that fighter who would punch his ticket to boxing stardom, but he was deemed to be unpopular among casual boxing fans despite claims that he would prove to be an acid test for the Filipino.
Apparently, in the sport of boxing, making sure that those arena seats are occupied come fight night still takes precedence over a highly anticipated fight demanded by the fans.
A third Pacquiao-Marquez tiff would be a good option since the Mexican has been claiming that he had been robbed of victories against Pacquiao. A clear-cut victory by Manny would silence the Mexican and his camp. A fight with Berto would likewise prove that Pacquiao scan still hold his own against the next generation of fighters.
However, Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions instead chose to pair Pacquiao up with a man who is weeks shy of his 40th birthday and whose last two fights was a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in which is he was visibly outclassed, and a draw against Sergio Mora which saw him visibly tired towards the end. He may have defeated the likes of Oscar Dela Hoya and Winky Wright, but that was when “Sugar” Shane Mosley was saccharine-sweet.
He didn’t look sweet at all when he was punished by Mayweather, where he staggered during the second round but was unable to fully capitalize.
In the words of ESPN’s Boxing scribe Dan Rafael, “A one-sided loss and an awful draw is not how you land a fight with the pound-for-pound king and the sport’s most prized fighter”
On the seventh of May, the crime rate will still plummet and, to the chagrin of various religious leaders, church attendance will still take a steep nose-dive, as it had always been. The bustling near-90 million nation of the Philippines will still collectively draw their breaths in anticipation of another Pacquiao fight. VCDs of their encounter will be a commodity as hot as the looming April sun in the ensuing days after the fight.
All of these things will still happen, like in previous Pacquiao fights, not because promoters have picked the right opponent for the pound-for-pound king, but because Filipinos will always love their steel-fisted modern day hero Pacquiao and the inspiring story of his ascent to the pantheon of elite prizefighters.
For the more deserving fight fans waiting for a slugfest that is worth their hard-earned money, they know that a blatant disservice had been done to them. They may also opt to pass on this one, and instead catch the delayed telecasts shown on free television.
They also could probably wait for news websites to start posting information regarding what transpired that Saturday night in Sin City or maybe even wait for the following day for the morning paper to arrive, which will undoubtedly be riddled with articles and photographs regarding the fight.
As for me, I’m thinking about those VCDs they sell at the local mall a day after the fight.
Erratum: We apologize for the Green and Lady Fencers for not being published in our December Issue, as their December 9-11 Fencing Meet in the UAAP last year coincided with the layout of our publication’s December issue. The remarkable ascent of the Lady Fencers from sixth place last year to the bridesmaids this year should also be included among the Top 10 Sporting Highlights of DLSU for the Year 2010. We apologize and at the same time congratulate them for their feats.

Imman Canicosa

By Imman Canicosa

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