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List of Articles by Sid Bañez


By Sid Bañez
05 Dec 2008

Sportswriters and fans have denounced the Dream Match as a circus. Others have called it a farce. Even Jose Sulaiman, the President of WBC, the alphabet-soup organization with a history of screwing boxers –even their its own champions – has called it a fraud.

Frankly, I have no trouble dismissing Suleiman’s denunciation with a “Look who’s talking”. I am certain that if he could squeeze out a hefty sanctioning fee from The Dream Fight he would praise it as a match made in heaven. I mean, the fight may actually be a fraud but because the label came from Sulaiman, it doesn’t stick.

By definition, a farce is a comedy with an improbable plot and a plot is a main story. At this point, however, the Oscar Dela Hoya –Manny Pacquiao story, seemingly improbable at first, is nearing a conclusion. It’s not a foregone conclusion, though, because despite the odds , there are knowledgeable boxing people who believe that with Pacquiao’s agility, power and endurance defeating Dela Hoya is not improbable.

Neither is the match a “ridiculous or empty display” which is another definition of a farce. An Olympic gold medalist and six-time world champion fighting today’s pound-for-pound king and the most exciting boxer on the planet is anything but empty display. Ridiculous? Not anymore – judging from who have embraced it for its entertainment, business and sports value.

Outside of Las Vegas, the year’s biggest fight will draw a worldwide audience turning in millions in revenues. It will also showcase the formidable talents of two training camps run by today’s Who’s Who in boxing: Freddie Roach versus Nacho Beristain and the revered Angelo Dundee.

These notables help keep the Dream Match from degenerating into a full-blown circus, except for some provocative gags from an unlikely joker Freddie Roach. Seemingly, his jokes are aimed at drawing revenues, not laughter. Still, like many modern-day big-time sports events The Dream Match has the markings of a circus – without the clowns.

Instead, we have, as protagonists, two superbly fit millionaires – each with his own serious social advocacies and each a money-making industry in his own right. It must be pointed out too that while clowns endear themselves to their audience with their self-deprecating humor, Oscar and Manny will enthrall the world with fierce pride matching their brilliant fighting skills and the burning desire to preserve their legacies.

Interestingly, the clowns are on the outside, looking in. For instance, a Filipino congressman made a fool of himself when he, professing concern for the supposedly mismatched Pacquiao, called for the outright suspension of his boxing license so that the fight with Dela Hoya would not push through. The congressman had to be reminded by a fellow lawyer that a boxer’s license may only be suspended after a fair hearing. How could he have forgotten that when he and his colleagues conduct hearings indiscriminately at the House of Representatives? By the way, it has been reported that hordes of clowns, I mean politicians, will descend upon the Las Vegas Strip to watch the fight. And of course, there is Suleiman who is hard to take seriously as far as his ethical appraisal of The Dream Match is concerned.

A circus, a farce or a fraud? When round after round unfolds on December 6, with all the sizzle and likely brutality, we may have to declare, “None of the above”.

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