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Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
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List of Articles by Rene Bonsubre, Jr.


 

The World without a Pacman

By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
PhilBoxing.com
05 Aug 2006

The rumors are started as whispers. Slowly the noise got louder until it reached the decibel level of a runaway firetruck. Manny Pacquiao will be leaving the square ring and enter the political arena.

When I first heard about it I dismissed it as just another useless gossip. The kind that gets started by drunks, bored hairstylists, slothful employees looking at the clock, and crazy texters. When it reached the reputable national newspapers I almost spilled hot coffee on my lap.

Pacquiao retiring in 2007? Say it isn’t so!

The Pacman means a lot of things to a lot of people. That may be the understatement of the decade. I belong to the generation that has begun to question its heroes. The people who promised us freedom and a better life when we were teens. I also belong to the generation that saw its sportsmen come up short to our great expectations. Many faltered when the stakes got higher. Some had the misfortune of being victims of shady characters that inhabit the sporting world.

Pacquiao answered the long burning question “Can we Filipinos really become winners?” He answered that with a booming “Yes!” in that fateful November night in San Antonio almost three years ago.

If the rumors are true he will leave us with a legacy that is somehow incomplete. I was hoping he would unify the superfeatherwieght division. I was hoping he would win a lightweight title as a form of homage to the late great Flash Elorde. I was hoping he could become the voice of less fortunate boxers.

Maybe the political arena will give him an opportunity to do some good outside the ring. But everybody knows politics is a world that devours the most decent and level-headed people and spits them out to be eaten by scavenging insects on the roadside. Boxing, despite its behind the scenes shenanigans, can be simplified into just beat the crap out of the guy standing in front of you. The political world is a lot more complicated. That too is another understatement.

The bottom line is that only Manny Pacquiao can choose the road that he will travel. His retirement from the ring will leave a gigantic black hole in Philippine sports. For the past two years, the likes of Yukka Gejon, Rodel Mayol and Randy Suico came up short in their bids for a world crown. Rey Bautista is still a couple of years away. But Pacquiao has set a standard so high that one cannot help but wonder if we will see another boxer match his accomplishments in this lifetime. The next Pinoy world champ will be carrying a heavy burden. Especially when he gets the “next Pacquiao” labeled on his chest.

Life will of course go on. The internet has become a great publicity tool for up and coming fighters. The existence of this website is also proof of Pacquiao’s iconic status. Pacquiao has managed to attract people who never really cared about boxing before. The interest and excitement level will definitely wane after his retirement.

If he does decide to leave I hope to be able to write another article thanking him for what he has given us. Definitely it will be better than this one. Manny Pacquiao deserves nothing less.



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