THE Filipino sports writers embedded in the camp of Manny Pacquiao proved to be a big disappointment in failing to write about his shoulder injury before his May 2 fight with boxer-dancer Floyd Mayweather.
Did they fail to do so because they really knew nothing about the injury? Then they are what we call “natutulog sa pansitan.” If they were sleeping on the job, then they did no justice to the huge expense shouldered by their publishers (did they really?) in sending them to Las Vegas to cover the event.
Or, did they know about this but were asked to keep it off the record? If so, then this could mitigate their offense as journalism professionals. However, this doesn’t explain how come they continued to write up to May 2 that Pacquiao could win by knockout even.
Just imagine – if only they had written about Pacquiao’s shoulder injury, there would have been a big pressure on our “Pambansang Kamao” against fighting Mayweather virtually one-handed. Then, there could have been a postponement and a better fight at a later date would have ensued. Bettors would have been forewarned and there would have been no class suit against Pacquiao and his handlers.
What’s more, had they written about the shoulder injury, they might even get some inside info on why some of Pacquiao’s handlers didn’t want it to be known to the public or the fight postponed. Was it because they wanted to immediately get hold of their share in Pacquiao’s multi-million earnings from the ring? A headline: “Pacquiao’s handlers veto fight deferment” with the drop head: “They want money in a jiffy.”
Of course, the “messengers” aren’t entirely to blame for failing to deliver the message. I may be excoriated by his millions of fans, but Manny Pacquiao isn’t entirely faultless on this. He remains our hero, he remains our best boxer and one of the best in the world. He’s one in a million and his legacy as a boxer has already been cast in cement. However his sheen has diminished with what some writers call “shoulder-gate.”
Could it be hubris that made him decide to fight Mayweather despite his injury? What made him believe that he could wage a credible fight against an undefeated and wily boxer with an aching shoulder? Fight stats showed that he was completely out-boxed. His usual volume of punches was nowhere to be found when it would have mattered most. What’s more he was out-hit by Mayweather although it should be stressed that Mayweather is no strong puncher. In fact, Pacquiao’s face was unmarked despite the many jabs of Mayweather.
I don’t buy Pacquiao’s explanation that he was feeling better before the fight and that he felt the pain only after the fourth round. If this is so, why then did he reiterate his request for the permission of the Nevada Sports Commission to be injected with painkillers? Or, had the prospect of having his hand on about $120 million made him ignore his injury.
Latest report is that Mayweather has changed his mind on giving a rematch to Pacquiao whom he arrogantly described as “a coward and a sore loser,” negating his earlier praise of Pacquiao right after the fight. Pacquiao is no coward and is never a sore loser. However, he should forget about getting a rematch. That statement of Mayweather meant that he could give a rematch only if Pacquiao humbles himself and accept all ridiculous conditions Mayweather would impose. The arrogance of Mayweather in seeking to humiliate his opponents should no longer be tolerated but should be completely ignored.
The fight last May 2 was enough. Pacquiao already was given the chance to fight at his best and muffed it. If it were any consolation, Pacquiao will remain more popular among the ordinary people, even among Americans, than Mayweather, although the “shoulder-gate” fiasco could have dented it.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I want to cite the two mothers who mean most to me: my own mother Tempora Limos Danao and my wife Lynn, mother of our two children.
My mother, a barrio lass, finished only Grade 7 but she could correct my grammar and spelling. Oh yes, she was always first honor and graduated valedictorian. Like my wife Lynn, she was the disciplinarian of the family. They’re both excellent singers (like my daughter Irene). They both could gift dear friends and visiting far-away relatives with a sack of rice each but they would pick even a single grain dropped on the ground.
Oh yes, this is one of the funniest text messages I had ever received on Mother’s Day: “Happy Mother’s Day to all the girls who have become mothers because of you.”