Sports Eye

Will Pacman win?

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

A WEEK from now and the much-awaited World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight unification title showdown between our boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and American Keith Thurman will definitely push through on July 21 (PH time) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Surprisingly, odds makers who prematurely picked Thurman to win the bout citing the ten-year age difference, suddenly reversed their choice favoring now Pacman to win the clash. That irked and annoyed the undefeated Thurman. That prompted him anew to lambast our aging Filipino national boxing treasure and predicted to win by stoppage to force Pacquiao to retire and to prove that the boxing specialists are wrong. “I’m destroying the legend of Pacman and my legacy begins. Pacquiao never fought somebody young like me, strong and hungry,” said the showy Thurman.

The loquacious Thurman was hallucinating and very mistaken, obviously uninformed that Pacman’s latest victim was younger than him. Pacman beat the 28 year-old American Adrien Broner convincingly via unanimous decision and defended his WBA throne. But like in the past, the Holy Bible-reader Pacquiao remains cool, humble avoiding to trade barbs. He just simply said, “My opponent is saying useless words too much and I’m going to teach him in the ring.”

The Kibawe, Bukidnon-born Pacquiao, now 40, already suffered three stoppages in his 70 professional fights (61-7-2 win-loss-draw with 39 knockouts) since he became a prized-fighter on January 22, 1995. His first was from compatriot Rustico, Torrecampo on February 9 1996, Bonsai Sangsurat of Thailand on September 17, 1999 and the monumental and memorable defeat to mortal-foe Juan Manuel Maquez of Mexico on August 12, 2012. I followed all Pacquiao’s fights and that was his most ugly defeat of his sterling career, his face kissing first the canvass and was counted out.

 Admittedly, the American stylish fighter from Florida has never been stopped but his last three fights were not so impressive. He won over country-mate Shawn Porter via unanimous decision, defeated Mexican-American Danny Garcia via split verdict and beat another Mexican-American Josesito Lopez via majority result. The undefeated Thurman, 30, with 30 bouts on his card had won 29 with 22 stoppages and one no-decision contest.
Yes, I’ve seen also some fights of Thurman and the two ring combatants have a similar speed and power, meaning , both can throw rapid punches in succession. Although Thurman is younger, taller and hungrier, I believe Pacman has a better footwork and more agile, making him hard to pin him down. Also with sturdy tummy, unlike Thurman with malleable bell, it’d be difficult to bring him down.

Let’s watch the July 21 clash and the slurring, rude taunting and trashy smugness will definitely end inside the ring.  Yes, I still pick Pacman to win. Siya nawa.

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As I’m writing this piece (July 11), a cycling friend of many years, Gorio Belen, informed us that two-time Tour champion Domingo Quilban was rushed to Chinese General Hospital due to blood clot. My heartfelt prayers for him. Hopefully the surgical procedure will be successful. The Nueva Vizcaya-born Quilban, 76, is my kumpadre, the ninong of my only cycling son Jazy. He won the ten-day 1969 Tour ng Filipinas and the nine-day 1976 Tour of PICCA bikathons. He’s also the track king in 1967.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. PHILIPPIANS 2: 10

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