Taken for a ride (‘Madami ang naloko’)

Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

Cries that Manny Pacquiao got robbed in his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3, and curses the American did not fight like a man proves one thing: many boxing fans were taken for a ride by the supposed “Fight of the Century.”

Translated in Filipino “madami ang naloko.”

From the very beginning, I was very vocal the fight won’t deliver the same thunder of the marquee fights in the welterweight to middleweight divisions in the 1980s. And I was marveled at how the fight was hyped to a point only a military showdown in the South China Sea or the Korean Peninsula could stop it.

In the first place, Pacquiao and Mayweather are past their prime and no longer had knockout power entering the fight.

And even if much of the Philippine nation went gaga over the fight, even putting a patriotic dimension to it, Mayweather was very vocal about the supposed mega bout being just another fight or payday for him. We should have believed him.

“To me, this was another day at work. I feel the same way I did when I fought my third fight as I did this fight right here,” Mayweather was quoted as saying in the article “Mayweather Easily Beats Pacquiao In A Borefest” written by Antonio Santoliquito for the CBS Philadelphia website.

Besides preserving his unbeaten record, perhaps Mayweather simply wanted another huge paycheck to add more Lamborghinis Ferraris, Bentleys and Roll Royces to his extensive car collection. And if you were in his position of having so many cars and enjoying your millions, honestly will you risk fracturing your face by brawling with Pacquiao on fight night?

Days before the fight, I checked The Ring magazine online on the polls it usually conducts for championship fights. For the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, The Ring polled a record 50 boxing personalities ranging from active and retired boxers, to trainers and promoters, on who would win the bout.

The result was 42 saw Mayweather winning with most of them, however, not seeing the American winning in spectacular fashion or by knockout or a shut-out decision. Only six saw Pacquiao winning, while two were undecided. If that poll was held prior to the signing of the fight deal and its results published in all major daily newspapers in the world and the Philippines, then many fight fans would not have gone crazy over the fight.

After getting hold of the results of The Ring magazine poll, the more I never expected the fight to end up like any of the marquee fights Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran figured in. And I wasn’t surprised at all that after the fight, millions of fans cursed Mayweather for not willing to mix it up with Pacquiao. But I wonder – how many of the fans that rooted for Pacquiao cared to watch any of Mayweather’s recent fights? Were they expecting Mayweather to stand in front of Pacquiao to trade punches? That’s like asking Mike Tyson to counterpunch.

Were most of those who watched the May 3 fight boxer’s fans or boxing fans?

On the other hand, Pacquiao was made to carry the whole weight of the nation’s sentiments and the campaigns in the Philippines to hype the fight made many boxing fans believe he still could deliver an impressive win. That’s a grand way to create disappointment on one part of the globe, even if on the other part of the globe, most boxing pundits did not see anything spectacular unfolding at fight night.

But let us get this straight – Mayweather won the fight. I also must state – the loss does not denigrate significantly Pacquiao’s impressive boxing legacy. All that I wished from Pacquiao after the fight is that he accepted the loss with grace. Against a backdrop of Mayweather praising Pacquiao after the fight, I wonder if boxing fans (as opposed to boxer’s fans) will see the Filipino’s insisting he won as gentlemanly behavior.

So I hope many boxing fans will learn their lesson from the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. As for me, I learned my lesson from the Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks fight. In the Tyson-Spinks bout, the promoters and some boxing analysts saw a competitive fight. But the fight ended in one round. Guess who won?

In the meantime, guess who are laughing their way to the bank.


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