PACQUIAO WATCH: Go back to your roots Manny
By Edwin G. Espejo
02 Sep 2008
AGAINST an ageing but still dangerous Oscar dela Hoya, Filipino pitbull fighter Manny Pacquaio should take a page from his being a Mindanaoan.
Crazy? No, just being an armchair boxing analyst.
You see, Oscar dela Hoya is more powerful, taller, bigger, and has the ability to take a punch from a middleweight.
No way Manny Pacquiao could do a Diaz caper against Oscar.
He can wear out Oscar dela Hoya, provided he does not get tagged early on in the fight.
He can outrun the Golden Boy of boxing, maybe, but he cannot overpower him. He can't outslug delay Hoya from the inside. The 1992 Barcelona gold medalist will eat him alive. He can't stray too far away either. Oscar will just repeatedly tag him with jabs.
Pacquiao, instead, should take a tip or two from the Lumads, the Indigenous Peoples (Lumads) in Mindanao who will stealthily stalk their prey and wait for the opportune time to launch their fatal strike.
Manny should turn the ring into a jungle, disappearing from Oscar's lethal left hooks and heavy jabs as soon as gets to land some few combinations.
He cannot recklessly lunge his left straight while leaving and dropping his right hand from defense. His being a southpaw will make him a sucker for Oscar's vaunted left hooks and crosses.
The reigning World Boxing Council lightweight champion should use is speed in the manner a civet cat uses it blinding speed in the night.
Yes, Manny should turn off the lights in Las Vegas if he wants to survive Oscar.
Of course, when that fails, there is always a fallback strategy.
Under the blare of the scorching sun (read Vegas glare), Manny could make the forest disappear and offer Oscar a wide clearing.
In so doing, follow the lead of the Lumads. Be a kainginero, a slash and burn farmer – sacrificing the thick foliage for food production.
He has to use his speed advantage to slash in and burn Oscar with his powerful combination and hope that these will bear fruit as the match progresses.
Make the terrain difficult for Oscar to catch up with him.
Remember, the Lumads are the masters of their own territories.
Give Oscar a choice of his own poison ivy. The jungles of Mindanao have plenty of lethal flora and fauna and their terrain is one of the hostile places in this part of the world.
Let Oscar get lost on the very center stage where he is at home with. Make Las Vegas the Filipino's native land.
In short, Manny should have a gameplan of his own against one of the best trained boxers of all time.
Top photo: Manny Pacquiao dresses as Lapu-lapu, a Philippine native who slayed the Spanish invader Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Photo by Giovanni Omega.
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