By Reni M. Valenzuela
What one thinks and believes is what one sees and concludes.
”I THOUGHT Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” a judge in the Pacquiao-Bradley said. ”I THOUGHT a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I THOUGHT he was throwing wildly.”
There goes the problem. Duane Ford and the other judges merely thought about everything in judging the fight and they didn’t see anything the 99% of the people around the world saw.
Timothy Bradley like Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a lot of “form” and showmanship in style to impress. But boxing is a scoring game where blows and a boxer’s power mean a lot. Boxing is hitting and and hitting hard while risking being hit and hit hard. Robinson, Armstrong, Dempsey, Louis, Pep, Marciano, Ali, Haggler, and Chavez Sr. are true warriors. They have proven their worth in boxing unpackaged. We saw (not thought) that they had what it takes when they fought as superstar champions inside the ring.
Pacquiao may not be as handsome as Tom Cruise and he may not have much of the “form” that some shallow “experts” want and require in a boxer, but Pacquiao has enough substance and heart of the sport as do the greats of the past have. So that’s what makes Pacquiao the Pacquiao that we have now and for the past years.
Pacquiao started his professional boxing career as a 16 year-old 4’11 Light Flyweight kid in 1995 who weighed 108 lbs. He won his first major boxing world title as a 112lbs Flyweight contender in a spectacular knockout of Thailand’s Chatchakai Sakul in 1998. And in that fight, right after the stunning loss, Sasakul commented, “Pacquiao is fearless, has a kind heart and with the heart of a champion.”
That was fourteen years ago. But can anyone disagree that the same description by Sasakul can be said of Pacquiao today? Pacman is the same Pacman who rose to stardom from 108lbs Light Flyweight skinny boxer to a 154lbs Light Middleweight belt holder. Pacquiao has been at the top of the pound-for-pound roster in the truest of all lists, within the sport’s truest estimation.
Boxing is not a stage show. Neither is it a marathon nor a car air-bag. It is not about “acting skill.” It’s a fight sport.