Sports Eye

‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’

By Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.


AFTER a long one year layoff after his controversial defeat to Australian Jeff Horn for the World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight, Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao climbs back the ring to exchange blows this time against World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight titleholder Lucas Matthysse of Argentina on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It will be Matthysse’s first title defense after his eight round stoppage of Thailand’s Teerachai Kratingdaeng Gym to claim the vacant 147-pound WBA crown last January at the Forum in Inglewood, California. As expected, the two are drumming up the fight, trading barbs with each other with the Argentine boxer getting the better glare of publicity by tweeting to knockout the 39-year-old Pacman and send the Filipino national boxing treasure into permanent retirement. Yes, “it’s easier said than done,” as the saying goes. I guess it’s just a marketing ploy to catch the attention of boxing buffs across the world obviously to make the battle controversial and be marketable, like always

The Pacquiao-Matthysse fight is the second encounter between a Filipino and an Argentine this year. The Donnie Nietes vs Juan Carlos Reveco battle last February 24 was for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title at the Forum. We saw on TV how the Visayan boxer Nietes successfully defended his belt by mauling and eventually stopping the Argentine pugilist in the seventh round.

Filipino boxers already lost four world title bouts to Argentines. They were flyweights Leo Espinosa and Dommy Ursua who lost to Pascual Perez via unanimous decision (UD), junior welterweight Filipino born Morris East succumbed to Juan Martin Coggi via eight round halt and flyweight Rexon Flores lost to Omar Narvaez via UD.

Johnriel Casimero broke the losing streak with a 10th round stoppage in an interim IBF light flyweight title fight over their new boxing hero Luis Lazarte which was sparked by a riot held in Mar de Plata, Argentina in 2012. The fans took the referee to task for deducting a point from Lazarte and prematurely stopping the fight. World boxing scribes described the bout as one of the ugliest title bouts in boxing history.

Argentine Vicente Derado fought the first Filipino legend junior lightweight champ Gabriel “Flash” Elorde at Araneta Coliseum in 1966. Derado lost by majority decision.

Matthysse comes from Argentina’s long list of boxing legends like former world champions Carlos Monzon, Sergio Martinez, Victor Galindez, Perez, and Oscar Bonavena who fought Muhammad Ali and lost, to name some.
Now my two queries are: Do you think Matthysse can beat the aging Pacman on July 15, and Argentina to score its fourth WC title? Only the omnipotent God knows.

Argentina’s favorite sport is football, having been a former two-time World Cup (WC) champion in 1978 and 1986 and Olympic gold medalist in Athens 2004 and the Beijing 2008, and being WC three-time first runner-up. Yes, the Argentines are always a world title contender of WC. As of this writing (June 28), like the previous WCs, they entered again the tough round of 16 in the on-going 2018 Russia World Cup starred by their hero, now world number three-ranked Lionel Messi. (Their next opponent is 1998 WC winner France on June 30)

And in case the Argentines were unsuccessful in these two world’s prestigious events, then the sporting world will sing again Argentina’s famous ditty titled “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” I agree.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. MATTHEW 12: 32

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