LAS VEGAS, Nevada: I am convinced that Manny Pacquiao did not feel too sore in the shoulder, so he decided to push through with his bout with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. last Sunday in Las Vegas.
With what were at stake, to call off the fight was unimaginable.
After over five years of waiting, he probably thought, “It’s now or never.”
But Pacquiao showed good faith in disclosing the “torn tissue” in the right shoulder, which did not stop him, anyway, from aggressively pursuing the undefeated Mayweather.
Unfortunately, the elusive opponent may have taken advantage of such injury which the Pacman aggravated during the intense fourth round.
There are claims that Mayweather may have known about the injury, in fact, the American was repeatedly warned by the referee for clipping Pacquiao’s right arm.
During my interview with the Filipino champ at his Beverly Hills home Tuesday (Wednesday morning in Manila), he told me he believes in his heart that he outpointed Mayweather enough to have been declared the winner.
Even some of the biggest names in the boxing world like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Oscar dela Hoya are convinced that Pacquiao fairly won.
For how could Mayweather have prevailed with more hits when he retreated and clung to Pacman for the most part of the match?
But, the Filipino champ himself graciously abided by the judges’ unanimous decision in favor of homeboy Mayweather.
Lapses committed by his handlers in properly disclosing the shoulder ailment prior the fight are insignificant in that Pacquiao clearly brought the fight to Mayweather.
It is Floyd who should be made to answer to the outrage over the uneventful boxing match dubbed as the “fight of the century.”
It is the so-called “pound-for-pound king” that single-handedly killed the thrill for the sport.
In the wake of the controversy over Mayweather’s questionable victory, the five-year old rivalry remains an “unfinished business.”
And, only a rematch can set the record straight.
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Such malicious and frivolous “class suit” for perjury filed against Manny in Vegas will not prosper.
And, it will not in any way diminish the appreciation and admiration the Filipino nation has for the Pambansang Kamao.
Sans the stunning championship belt that was stolen from him on Sunday, Pacquiao triumphs as the great fighter of the century.
Instead of unjustly portraying and demonizing this world sports icon as a “tax evader,” the Noynoy administration should instead pay tribute to Pacquiao as a living legend.
In fact, the Philippine government must bestow Pacquiao the highest honors for earning the country accolades that no other Filipino in any field of endeavor has ever accomplished in the same magnitude.
I humbly propose that the 16th Congress take the initial steps to make this possible.
For once, do the right thing!
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In a related discussion, I would like to echo the timely commentary of my colleagues at TV5, Atty. Mel Sta. Maria and my co-host Martin Andanar, that it is high time that the government give all-out support to the sports sector.
The issue, of course, came up after last Sunday’s Pacquiao-Mayweather bout that practically held the world on a standstill and “froze” time, particularly in the entire Philippine archipelago.
Metro Manila’s streets were literally deserted that morning.
As a consequence, there was “zero crime incidence” for the duration of the 12-round chicken run by Mayweather and foot chase by Pacquiao.
“If such a feat as zero crime incidence can be achieved by a single sports event, imagine what a fully supported sports program can accomplish,” says Atty, Mel.
Martin concurs, “A no-nonsense sports program, in fact, could be the key to the elusive peace that all the while we’ve been searching for.”
I agree a hundred percent that both the government and the private sectors must pursue this stroke of genius by my colleagues.