Sen. Go needed in Pacquiao’s off-the-ring fight
By Al S. Mendoza
IT was unfair that the World Boxing Association (WBA) removed Manny Pacquiao as its world super welterweight champion.
That was more than a knockout blow.
It was immoral. It was unfair. It was against the grain of sports itself.
The verdict came as a shock as Pacquiao didn’t see it coming.
It was like treachery.
While Pacquiao wasn’t looking, he absorbed the illegal shot from nowhere.
How can one deflect a hit that wasn’t unleashed within the terms of engagement?
It was like a stab in the back.
While Pacquiao was busy doing his job attending to his constituents’ COVID-19 concerns, he got blindsided.
It was like a sneaky punch delivered by Pacquiao’s foe while the referee was still explaining the rules of the bout.
Where is justice there?
Pacquiao wasn’t even given his day in court, so to speak.
The verdict was just handed down unannounced.
Brushed aside was due process.
There was no hearing at all.
Aren’t boxing officials supposed to be the chief endorsers of fair play?
Suddenly, sportsmanship, the bulwark of every sporting activity, was gone to the wolves.
And what, again, was the reason behind Pacquiao’s dethronement?
Not being able to defend his crown for more than a year.
What a lame excuse.
How can one fight, much more prepare for a world title bout, when virtually everything has been paralyzed by the coronavirus?
So virulent is the virus that it has basically crippled sports.
Gyms closed. Arenas off-limits. Even simple warm-ups and exercises have been halted in strict observance of distancing protocols.
Isn’t sports mainly contact-driven, boxing being brawling and punching and clinching almost all throughout?
While it may be a WBA rule—titles must be defended within a year—it ought to be waived in lieu of the pandemic that has ravaged, is still ravaging, mankind.
Just months after Pacquiao defeated by split decision Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the COVID-19 struck the world.
Suddenly, with the virus in constant attack, mankind was virtually thrown in disarray.
The world was at a standstill. People were restricted to their homes to avoid contracting or spreading the plague that has now killed more than 2.2 million worldwide.
But there is hope for Pacquiao as Baham Mitra, the country’s boxing chief, has appealed the decision to WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza.
With Pacquiao relegated to “champion in recess,” the WBA named Cuban Yordenis Ugas as Pacquiao’s replacement.
What a travesty of justice.
Perhaps, it would help if Sen. Bong Go, a staunch sports supporter, put a word or two on behalf of Pacquiao?
Go has the moral mandate to do so as he is the chairman of the Senate committee on sports.
By supporting Mitra’s position, Go will, in essence, show his robust belief in coming up to the defense of every aggrieved Filipino—especially on the world stage.
It might help that Pacquiao is Go’s colleague in the Senate.
Two senators teaming up with Mitra could help Gilbert Jesus Mendoza see the light—if not soften the heart of my “long-lost cousin.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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