Good luck to Pacquiao’s hidden agenda
By Al S. Mendoza
TODAY, July 15, should be one of the most important days in Manny Pacquiao’s life.
It will rank as equal in prestige to that day when he knocked out defending world bantamweight champion Lehlo Ledwaba of South Africa in 2001 in Las Vegas.
It will rank as equal in prestige to that day when he knocked out Erik Morales of Mexico in the third round for a final 2-1 edge in their fabled trilogy in 2006 in Las Vegas.
It will rank as equal in prestige to that day when he became the first in history to win seven world titles in seven weight divisions when he knocked out world welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in 2009 in Las Vegas.
It will also rank as equal in prestige to that day when he became the first in history to win eight world titles in eight weight divisions when he decisioned Antonio Margarito of Mexico for the world super welterweight crown on Nov. 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.
Pacquiao’s much-hyped encounter today with Lucas Matthysse is downright drama-fraught.
Scary, too, I must say.
One, it could decide Pacquiao’s career that is as checkered as a path trudged on by one true to the script of a rags-to-riches story—as in PacMan’s.
Two, it seemed like, suddenly, the bout is a make-or-break for Pacquiao who shouldn’t have been in this fight in the first place—Pacquiao being perilously close to pastureland. Or, isn’t he there already—him being 39 years old?
Three, what’s Pacquiao’s business being the promoter of his own fight? Would it mean more money for him? Why? Isn’t he a billionaire almost 10 times over already?
Him acting out a first-time role as promoter isn’t a first in Pacquiao’s storied saga.
And this is the most puzzling part of the fighting senator’s unfolding chapter: For the first time since 2001, Pacquiao will not have Freddie Roach, the fabled Hall of Fame trainer, in his corner.
Remember, it was in the last 17 years or so of the Pacquiao-Roach partnership that PacMan scored all his biggest wins against all the best fighters of his era.
Thus, Buboy Fernandez, like Pacquiao, will have the toughest, most acid, test of his boxing life as he was tasked to replace Roach.
In Pacquiao’s 59 wins, 38 were by knockout. Handsome.
But how about this? In Matthysse’s 39 wins, 36 were by knockout. If that’s not scary enough, what is?
As his fight’s promoter, I can see Pacquiao dreaming of a big win against a rated fighter. Matthysse seems to fit that billing.
Pacquiao will not earn anything in this fight. A huge sacrifice.
His intention, I surmise, is to make this fight his ticket for a comeback bout in Las Vegas. That’s where the money is since time immemorial.
A win will assure him that. But only if it’s by knockout.
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