Pacman not ready yet to hang up his gloves?
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
AFTER one week of rest and treatment of the bruises he sustained in his botched attempt to regain the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight diadem from defending champion Yordenis Ugas of Cuba last August 22 (PH time) in Las Vegas, our boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and his entourage finally returned last August 30 and were met by hundreds of Pacman’s avid admirers, close friends, media men, relatives, government officials at NAIA’s Terminal 2 carrying welcome posters as if he was the winner in his recent fight.
As expected, he avoided to answer intriguing questions from the media pertaining to his politics, not his sports career whether he’s retiring or not. Like what he told the world’s press four days after his defeat, he said he might be back in the ring again and believes a rematch with Ugas will most likely happen in January next year, but no definite date was mentioned.
“Yes, I can come back in January, I will see about it. I know I can rematch him if I want. I‘ll just need to tell promoter Al Haymon and that would be no problem,” Pacman said. “I will think about it because I can’t believe that one of the easiest opponents, I ever faced did that to me. Yes, his chief trainer and bosom buddy Buboy Fernandez echoed what Pacman said. “Duon na lang ba matatapos ang career natin?” Buboy told Pinoy scribes.
The 42-year-old fighting senator said he was hampered by cramps on both legs after the second round that caused his lateral movements to vanish. Or whether they were caused by overtraining or by his age, we don’t know. “In every defeat, there’s an alibi,” as the saying goes but I believe sans doubt being a former professional athlete myself, I experienced and suffered minor cramps during my cycling days, too. Alibi or not, let’s be considerate.
With the exception of Jeff Horn of Australia and American Floyd Mayweather to whom Pacman lost by decision, Pacman always opted for a habit to rematch with his tormentor or nemesis like he did to Mexican legends Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and American Timothy Bradley. He fought each three times and four times with Juan Manuel Marquez. But his fourth encounter with Marquez unexpectedly turned to be an ugly, devastating and memorable debacle for Pacman. He was knocked out cold in the eighth round, after a draw verdict in their first meeting and two decision victories in second and their third meetings. Pacman asked Marquez for a fifth battle which will be hosted in the Philippines with a guaranteed purse of 100 million U.S. dollars for Marquez but Marquez surprisingly turned it down saying that “prestige comes first before everything.” That quote saw print in our national dailies. Short to say that Marquez is not a money greedy hombre, unlike the others.
Pacman’s close friends are hinting that one or a maximum of two fights are still possible for the world’s only eight-division champion Pacman before he finally and officially hangs up his gloves. And if that happens, his farewell fight should happen here in his homeland. I believe that’s logical. If the Philippines can host the monumental heavyweight world title fight called “Thrilla in Manila” that featured Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier during Marcos regime, I don’t see any reason why we cannot do it this time that will feature the Philippines’ boxing jewel, Pacquiao.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. EZEKIEL 18: 21
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