By Ludwig Daza
When it was reported that Floyd Mayweather personally called Manny Pacquiao to talk about a possible fight, I thought maybe this fight is finally going to happen. But when Mayweather announced that his next fight will be against Miguel Cotto, then I surmised that such dream fight will remain just a dream. But I still gave myself a chance that I might awaken and find myself watching Pacquiao vs Mayweather.
Then I saw the Pacman on TV, quoting a verse in the bible word for word, and quoting it with sincerity in a manner of a preacher or pastor, demonizing his life on the fast lane. This scene left me a little dazed. Has Manny Pacquiao gone soft. Maybe not. Evander Holfyfield is himself a prizefighter and a bible ambassador of sort. Such thought comforted me. Manny is not gonna hang up his gloves yet to take up bible ministry. He can do both.
Then the next scene on TV was like a slap on my face that left me stupefied in front of the TV. It was not Manny on television I saw saying he was hanging up his gloves, but what I saw was a vast expanse of farm where fighting cocks are bred and conditioned, yet not a single feathered animal can be seen. Manny’s fighting cocks have been given to his friends, according to the TV reporter. I fear Timothy Bradley will be his last fight.
Manny is a natural born fighter, and like any fighter, one is drawn early on in life to fighting cocks. In the Philippine milieu, fighting cocks is much a part of its culture like bullfighting is to Spain.
The ferocity of fighting cocks is something to behold of and emulate if one has a fighter’s spirit. And Manny was drawn to them because he admires their agility and fierce spirit that he himself display when fighting.
But when one stops admiring them for the simple reason that fighting is anathema to one’s belief or faith, then it must be time. When a fighter cringes at the sight of cocks fighting, he stops being a fighter. That must be happening to Pacquiao now.
If 2012 is the time for Manny to call it quits, then so be it. The rise of Nonito Donaire will cushion the early departure of one of the greatest fighters to grace the earth. It seems Nonito is up to the challenge to be the next Filipino idol.
When Pacquiao bolted into the consciousness of the boxing fans the world over by beating the likes of Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Oscar De la Hoya, he said that with power comes responsibility.
When the Pacific Storm (coined by Philippine Sportswriter Recah Trinidad) that was Pacquiao swept into the boxing world he left in its wake plenty of casualties. Now that he’s hinted of retiring next year, he now leaves an area of responsibility that will not witness another storm with similar destructive force.
With or without Mayweather, It’s been a hell of a ride. Thanks for the memories Manny Pacquiao.
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