By Reni M. Valenzuela
It was an instance wherein the world’s heart was one good heart for one man at one particular moment.
The knockout could go down in history as the “shock of the decade” or “shock of the century.” Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao fell flat on his face, static and “lifeless” by a single stroke of a Dinamita “luck” in the sixth round’s closing two seconds of their fourth encounter at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Saturday. So everyone’s heart including that of Floyd Mayweather Jr. went with the boxer on the floor, except some heartless “creatures” under Darwin’s evolution theory and the few brutes in the mold of insensitive Justin Bieber on Twitter.
The dim scenarios of a Pacquiao return to the ring after the “ignominious” defeat and the current calls for him to retire are natural musings of an immediate sentiment by worried kababayans (countrymen) who are concerned about the personal welfare of Pambansang Kamao (National Fist). And I admit, similar thought and feeling dawned on me right after the fight.
But Pacman is unflinching. He passed both the medical and psychological trauma tests in the aftermath of the stunning loss to a better boxer, I mean “better” boxer. Pacquiao is eager to figure again in a brawl with Marquez for another rematch and he seems to be showing great confidence at this time like never before. The courage of Pacquiao is intact and the fire behind the smile still burns. Remember, Pac is better when he is hurt. He always comes back braver and stronger. Hence some pundits may indeed be correct in saying that Pacquiao could not be the same boxer anymore after the Marquez one-punch “magic.”
Such is the marvel of being a Pacman in an unfinished era whereupon purity of pugilistic prowess and ability is measured neither by PED alibis nor by PED muscles, but by the boxer’s grounded refusal to duck challenges, purely. If Marquez can get up twice each time he falls, Pacquiao I think can rise up double that from a bad fall. But let the fight be clean. What purer boxing can there be for a fighter who is always ready to face his biggest challenge without resorting to illegal substance even in a loudly clamored and long overdue matchup with another “pure” and famous boxer.
The knockout is not a lift of spirit for the fans of Pacquiao but it certainly is a lift out of darkness for those who put Pacquiao at a pedestal not distant from his Maker. For many of us, the knockout loss of Pacquiao may well serve to be a good lift out of ignorance of the truth that losing is part and parcel of a better life. Especially for a man of “unparalleled” fame and fortune who was on a winning streak for a long time like Pacquiao, losing becomes gold, ruby and diamond melted into one precious stone. Without such purifying process inside a furnace of painful experiences, any pilgrim of destiny on the planet might only be a step closer to his worst and final fall and still not aware of it.
Whatever road Pacquiao would take in the near future can be equated to the solid decision that weighs heavily in the balance of reason now – bounce back or retire?
Nothing went wrong for aggressive Pacquiao during the quadrilogy except the mistake of a single careless move by Pacquiao himself in round six but which was not his fault for it wasn’t intentional. Though, something went brass and naughty with Pacquiao aides Michael Koncz and Buboy Fernandez who got caught up in a scuffle with a photographer, as Pacquiao lies dormant on the canvass, regardless of the justifications why they did what they did. Sorry, public apology is not always a sign of humility and sincerity. It may simply be a way to get off the hook, if not to serve a concealed purpose.
Pacquiao did well from round one until the punch that hit him which he stated he didn’t see. Unlike Ricky Hatton who was carelessly aggressive throughout the whole duration of the two-round fight versus Pacquiao in 2009, Pacquiao was on track versus Marquez a week ago executing a new, clean and active approach.
Was Juan Manuel Marquez clean on December 8, 2012?
All probably went “perfectly right” for Marquez that evening in Las Vegas just as he defended his quick para-normal “transfiguration” from persisting logical steroid indictments and insinuations in a recent post-fight interview: “I am a clean fighter,” he said. But was he on December 8, 2012 or throughout his four-month training? There is no problem in hard work and the rigorous training of Marquez. The problem is in “hard work plus.”
Marquez vehemently denies he was on PED or Performance Enhancing Drug while bearing a number of possible sinister motives within himself and his camp why they hired the services of a conditioning coach who is a confessed steroids dealer and an expert at “what he does best.” We need not read the lips of Victor Conte, BALCO head. Conte has said a mouthful about an “angel” named Guillermo Hernandez.
“I am clean,” reiterates Marquez, but that’s what he claims, just what he said.
The Pacman story continues to unfold. It just gets interestingly colorful every time. And it is hoped not to end unfairly in a knockout gloomy setting designed by an arch nemesis who may have employed “strength” beyond neither the natural nor supernatural. Regardless of the test “findings” that was freshly released by Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Association, Keizer and Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions have several questions to answer why there was not an adequate pre-fight drug tests and blood testing that were supposedly to yield definitive results which could have been made available to everyone prior to the fight. Why the result only now when there were fights in the past that were prevented from hppening because one boxer was found out to “unclean.”
There is more than meets the eye in the “oversight” on pre-fight examinations and in the Mexican legend’s sudden physical transformation that goes beyond Angel Hernandez’ “science” of body strength and conditioning. How many crimes have already been committed in the name of “science”? We all came from monkey, and that is science.
The urine test of Pacquiao and Marquez has yielded negative result for Marquez, but that was not as credible as the negative result for Pacquiao from the same test. The Marquez “negative result” can be reasonably construed as having been manipulated and self-serving due to the earlier “lapses” by certain “responsible” officials just to ensure s that the staging of Pacquiao-Marquez quadrilogy would not be jeopardized.
Therefore an urgent “outsider” examination, evaluation and investigation are in order, far above the latest “astute-Bob” move of imposing hiatus on Pacquiao allegedly for “health” (or business) reason. Note that Arum had the widest grin upon hearing Pacquiao say, “fight again.”
The plot thickens as the Pacman saga is maybe culminating towards a happy ending in the final concluding pages of an epic book or in the closing mystery-laden episodes of a “fairy tale” movie entitled, “Manny Pacquiao: His Gloves and His God.”
Nobody in his right mind ever consciously entertained the repulsive idea that is “Pacquiao-Marquez V.” But given the unexpected drama or “drama” in the Pacquiao-Marquez IV, the idea just keeps on telling everyone’s subconscious mind – the fifth fight may be compelling, or damning.
“I wish Pacquiao nothing but the best. I wish that he can bounce back and he can recoup from this… Things happen. You live and you learn. The only thing he can do is rejuvenate himself and bounce back like a true champion.” – Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The knockout of Pacquiao by a battered, bruised and bloodied Marquez is heaven and earth apart from the knockout of Hatton by unscathed Pacquiao. One glaring difference is that Pacman, the evangelist and Filipino boxing hero, is not contemplating suicide, is not running amuck in life and is not considering hanging up his gloves, yet. Best of all, he’s not giving up on God.
“I will fight Marquez again.” – Pacquiao
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