Perpetual Student: Boxing is NOT ALL Skill
By Atty. Danrex Joseph V. Tapdasan
09 Dec 2009
My respectful and humble greetings to my co-“addicts” of philboxing.com!
All journeys start with a maiden voyage.
This is the Perpetual Student’s “first trip” in the ocean of the sweet (and sour?) science.
“The maiden voyage of a ship, aircraft or other craft is the first journey made by the craft after shakedown.” (http://en.wikipedia.org)
Being a member of the Philippine bar, the two (2) most important letters in my career are the letters Sand C. Read together as an acronym, these letters epitomize the highest legal authority, which no lawyer should defy or disobey, the “Mighty” SUPREME COURT. The cardinal rule is that you must obey the SC all the time, or else, your dream of a successful and fruitful practice of law will be burned into ashes.
To reach the pinnacle of success as a BOXER, the letters S and C should also be inseparable.
S is for Skills and Cfor Character.
Skills can be easily evaluated by the punching power, foot work, defense, speed, accuracy, and reflexes, among others. This aspect of the boxer can be seen inside the four corners of the 18 feet X 18 feet squared circle.
A fighter should have good, if not great Skills to become a legitimate WORLD CHAMPION. During the times when there was ONLY ONE CHAMPION on every weight class, great skills are required to become champion. However, with the influx of several boxing organizations, good skills are adequate to own a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BELT nowadays. This is only my personal opinion, with all due respect to those who may disagree with me.
A boxer with great Character with poor Skills will become a favourite opponent to those so-called prospects only intending to fight to “pad” their records with a sure win. Meaning, a boxer who is all character with no skills is part of a group amusingly called “patsies” by boxing writer and commentator, Ronnie Nathanielsz. This group of fighters follow the biblical verse: “The meek will inherit the earth”, (but “they will not become world boxing champions”)
In the Philippines, we are gifted by nature with countless skilful boxers. My question now is, “Will all these skilful Filipino fighters become world champions?” The answer is obviously a resounding NO!
To become a WORLD CHAMPION, it’s not all skill that is enough. A good CHARACTER should accompany the good or great Skill.
Character may also be observed and evaluated inside the boxing ring. This can be observed by the intelligence or ring smarts, ring generalship, focus on the fight, bravery, resiliency, ability to adjust, following the coach’s instructions, obeying the referee’s instructions, among others.
However, Character is equally important outside the ring. This can be observed by the faith in GOD (depending on his religion), humility, hard work in training, getting away from vices or unhealthy activities, willingness to study the style of the future opponent, willingness to continue learning, willingness to share some of his blessings to the needy, among others.
In the Philippine boxing scene, it is as clear as purified or distilled drinking water that our own MANNY “PACMAN” PACQUIAO is the “Greatest Asian Boxer of all time”. Many even argue with corresponding basis that he is the “Greatest Boxer of all time in the whole world”. I am one of those who strongly believe on the latter argument.
It could not be argued that the Pacman’s Skills is second to none compared to other boxers that stepped on the sweaty square canvas. However, what’s not too obvious is the Great CHARACTER that he possesses.
All boxers should learn from Manny Pacquiao when, in one of his post-fight interviews, he was heavily praised by the ring correspondent of the network commentators and he was asked if he considers himself the “greatest boxer of all time”. Manny’s answer produced “goosebumps” in me. He told the interviewer, with ease and calmness, that “I CONSIDER MYSELF AS AN ORDINARY BOXER, WHICH IS JUST BLESSED BY GOD. MY WIN TONIGHT WAS A PRODUCT OF FAITH IN GOD, TRUE HARDWORK AND CONTINUOUS LEARNING. I STILL NEED TO LEARN MORE THINGS TO BECOME EVEN A GOOD BOXER”
Pacquiao possesses all the above-mentioned traits of a boxer with Great CHARACTER both inside and outside the boxing ring.
I can say with great confidence that skill-wise, there were, and there are, boxers who are even better than Manny Pacquiao. Even several respected boxing experts then and until now still doubt that he is the most skilful boxer that came out of the Philippine Islands. Some even call him “all power and speed” but only has ordinary skills in general. But these other boxers with more superior skills than the Pacman did not, or will not, surpass or even equal the amount of success owned and possessed now by the “Pambansang Kamao”, because Character is equally important with the Skill of a boxer.
Therefore, may all other boxers who are dreaming to reach the pinnacle of success in boxing try to emulate and imitate the Great CHARACTER of the Filipino’s pride, our idol, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
Maiden voyages may be a first of a hundred or thousand travels, or it may end in a disaster.
My heartfelt gratitude to the www.philboxing.com family for taking time to give me the rare opportunity to be a part of this
very popular and prestigious boxing website.
With the grace of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the support of my family and friends, let this maiden voyage be shaky but safe and will reach its destination….. the hearts of the avid readers of this website.
Then, finally, I pray that this trip of mine will not suffer the fates of RMS Titanic, RMS Tayleur, Batavia
and the Swedish warship
Vasa, Ranga, and Union
That In All Things, GOD May Be Glorified
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