By Reni M. Valenzuela

Great boxers have common trademarks. Most distinct among them is their ability to make a fellow “great” boxer look like amateurish. Who would ever conceive that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios would end up to be teddy bears for Floydie and Pac to toy around?

Manny Pacquiao’s easy win versus the hard-hitting pressure fighter last weekend was awesome. The same “old” Pacman is not only back, he is back smarter and stronger. He did not knockout Rios not because he could not. After round ten, I knew he would not. Not that Pacman didn’t have the power to execute a knockout to a durable boxer, he just had the “courage” to refuse doing it to an apparently losing, hurting and helpless opponent. Though, blood-thirsty, nape-sucking fans craved for more and they meant savagery, forgetting that boxing is a sport, not barbarism.

Excessive, unnecessary violence in the ring is perhaps the darkest side of boxing and Mixed Martial Art which pictures the ugly part of man. Boxing or MMA is a game of competition, not carnage – not a deadly “Hunger Games” gig. Pacman stated immediately after he won, “God gave me strength.” And it was so – certainly not for him to murder a boxer.

Be aware that Russian heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov’s condition worsens, having been put in a medically-induced coma after his fight with Mike Perez of Cuba on November 2 of this month in Madison Square Garden. Despite having won the bout, Perez could not rejoice fully for one main reason: “Mago is in my thoughts and prayers and I hope he recovers quickly. He fought like a true warrior, I’m happy to be victorious but my main concern is for his health.”

Recall that the young skinny boxer Pacquiao was moved to tears and inspired to turn pro in boxing by the death of his close friend Eugene Barutag, also a native of General Santos City, on December 12, 1995. Barutag collapsed in his corner in the final round allegedly due to the referee’s “oversight” to stop the fight in round four.

The Pacquiao-Rios was a Pacquiao-Margarito spectacle over again in the manner by which Pacman caused swelling and cuts in the face of Rios and wherein compassion was the factor why it turned out be “just” another lopsided unanimous conquest for the Filipino icon. Pacquiao asked then referee Lawrence Cole to stop the fight because how can he inflict further punishment on an opponent with both eyes almost completely closed and already with a broken orbital bone? “I did not want to damage Margarito permanently,” Pacquiao defended in an interview.

Nobody could have put it better than Pacman himself and he said it right after the Rios mauling: “Knockout comes when it comes. Boxing is not about killing each other.” Alas, and who can say it worse than a known Pacquiao ally who got exasperated over Pacman’s dissent to KO Rios. He blurted out: “Boxing is boxing. You are not supposed to hold punches under whatever circumstance. Go for the kill.”

Juan Marquez has comments to belittle Pacquiao’s evolution win over Rios because he finds relevance in boxing only in Pacquiao. Look how Marquez succumbed recently and easily lost his speed and power carrying on a war with a “lesser” opponent in a “No PED” welterweight showdown versus Timothy Bradley. Marquez sorely needs Pacquiao in as much as Pacquiao sorely needs to leave politics like he’s running away from a burning inferno, before it’s too late.

True enough, Pacquiao intentionally “missed” to knockout “Bam Bam,” proof that he made real his word to pray for him. Rios, for his part, failed miserably in fulfilling his vow to retire Pacquiao and “shut everyone up.”

Pacquiao’s prayer of supplication was heard.

However, his on-going and long-running battle with the Bureau of Internal Revenue doesn’t seem like Pacquiao prayed about it because had he done so, the “drama” could have not blown out of proportion. It was actually more of a failure by his lawyer or lawyers than anyone else, it appears. This is the trouble with many attorneys-at-law: They are experts at aggravating the situation and they’re more interested in prolonging the case for fat fees rather than solving the problem of their clients.

Double taxation is not just unlawful, but immoral and unconscionable. Nonetheless, the BIR people do not intend to do that to Pacquiao based on their pronouncements. It was just the IRS documents from the US that the bureau has been asking Pacquiao (for two years) to submit. So what’s the fuss about?

At any rate, compromise is the call of the day for Pacquiao and the BIR, not media war. For after all, no government agency anywhere in the world can afford to be “unbending” and cruel regardless of “statutes” and “precepts” because justice “here and There” stands by what is fair and upright.

Laws, with the assistance of thinking minds and feeling hearts, are put in place and implemented to serve the citizenry, not a corrupt system. Sadly, a “law,” created by sinful imperfect people, can sometimes be animalistic. Back then, in my four years of Gospel and social ministry inside the CIW (Correctional Institution for Women), I discovered that several inmates in that prison camp languish more as a result of implemented “laws” and corruption than crimes actually committed. Ruthless.

I believe in reason to be sovereign and supreme in tackling human disputes. Can anything be possibly and humanly above it? War and atrocity thrive only in the absence of reason and the soul to grasp the other side’s sentiment.

The lady BIR Commissioner put it so aptly:

“Simple lang.”