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List of Articles by Salvador Lopez



Pacquiao the Boxer and Anand the Chessplayer – A Fitting Comparison?

By Salvador Lopez
PhilBoxing.com
27 Mar 2014


Anand.
We know that Manny Pacquiao plays chess. But we are not sure whether he knows Viswanathan Anand, whose nickname in the chessworld is “Vishy”, the former world champion from India. However, if Vishy’s ongoing success is to be an indication, things appear to be looking bright for the prospects of the Filipino boxing sensation n his upcoming April 12 rematch with Timothy Bradley.

Both men were regarded “invincible” during their reign of terror but perceived to be “over the hill’ after sufferring major losses. To me, Manny and Vishy equally have a champion’s heart and that they still possess their competitive spirit.
After wresting the world chess title from GM Vladimir Kramnik, conqueror of the legendary Gary Kasparov, Anand reigned the chess world for several years until losing to Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen in their historic world chess championship match in November last year held in Anand’s very hometown in Madras, India.

Following such loss, Anand was quickly brushed off by the so-called “experts” concluding that his time of glory has passed and rightfully destined to oblivion. Not a few people, mostly from the press, opined that he no longer has the ambition to continue playing chess professionally, an observation not shared though by most of his fiercest rivals and contemporaries.
Alas, a month after losing the title to Carlsen, Anand came back to play in the London tournament with a fairly good result. Such proved to be a tune-up tournament for Anand as he is currently dominating the currently ongoing 8-man Candidates Tournament to select the challenger to Carlsen’s world crown. Whether or not Anand goes on to win this challenger tournament, he already proved that he is far from being a has-been.

In Pacquiao’s case, well, too much disregard of his capability had been made following his split decision loss to Timothy and the knock-out defeat to his bete-noire, Juan Manuel Marquez. To the so-called boxing pundits, Pacquiao is considered a” washed-up old man” who longer has the desire nor the ambition of a champion. Even his impressive performance against Brandon Rios failed to alter such thinking.

It should be noted that Pacquiao did display a lot of aggressiveness in his first fight with Bradley, a fight where the latter was thought to be a beneficiary of a gifted decision. Moreover, he was on a vicious mode on the verge of knocking out Marquez when he was caught by that fateful right cross counter by Marquez that totally re-wrote the script of the fight. These performances, as well as that against Rios, would hardly speak of a man lacking in desire and ambition. Rather, they epitomized a man possessing a champion’s heart with a insatiable will to win. It’s a pity that many of these so-called “boxing experts” from the media failed to realize this. The old adage “it takes someone to know one” probably applies in this case. Without a champion’s spirit, they fail to read the champion’s heart.

Barely two weeks remaining of the Pacman’s crossroad fight and we shall be seeing him put his heart into action. In a promotional face to face standoff between the fighters hosted by Max Kellerman, the Desert Storm blatantly told the Pacman that he no longer has the hunger nor the desire to win, perhaps a psychological ploy to shake Manny off.

So, will Manny’s heart bring him to victory? As with Vishy Anand, it is more than likely. Nonetheless, this will be answered come fight-time on April 12. As the Pacman himself said to Bradley, “well see”.


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