PACQUIAO WILL ALWAYS BE THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION
By Maloney L. Samaco
Fri, 14 Dec 2012
This writer was one of the millions of Manny Pacquiao fans who were shocked by the sudden turn of events during the fourth fight on December 8, 2012. Probably the thought of Pacquiao already ahead on points and about to dispose of the Juan Manuel Marquez but abruptly put to sleep by his nemesis was too much to admit. But life for Manny has to move on.
The change in religious affiliation was heavily criticized as the cause of Pacquiao’s loss. No less than Mommy Dionisia led the assault on his son’s sudden transformation as a born-again Christian and refraining from making the sign of the cross and wearing the rosary which he practiced since amateur days. But the bishops had nothing against his new religion as long as it reforms him as a person, staying away from vices, and still believing in God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
A lucky punch did it all. Marquez called it a perfect punch. It stopped Manny’s quest for a convincing victory against his Mexican archrival. Jinkee cried when dear Manny was unconscious in a Ricky Hatton-like fall. But everything was alright and Pacman was given a clean bill of health.
It came out that Marquez prepared for this fourth fight like this was his last. Mexican sports daily Esto reported that Marquez ran at the snow-capped Nevado de Toluca, has an elevation of 8,750 feet above sea level, the favorite training grounds for famous boxers including Hall of Famers Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Wilfredo Vazquez of Puerto Rico. Marquez was up before sunrise, and scaled the famous haven for mountaineers and mountain bikers which has a year-round cool temperature and would freeze during winter.
Esto’s Ernesto Castellanos reported that Marquez went back to the basics like doing stretching exercises, chopping wood, pounding a tire with a sledgehammer before running uphill at the scenic trails of Toluca. In his favorite Romanza Gym in Mexico, he punished himself and stretched his might to the limit.
Christmas would have been happier for Filipino boxing fans had Pacquiao won over Marquez. Mindanao typhoon victims were still happy with Pacman earmarking a huge amount from his blessings to the ravaged victims of “Pablo.” But they would have been happier had their hero won.
God has his own way of testing the new-found faith of the “Pambansang Kamao.” Like Job who received all the heart-breaking trials in his life but never attempted to forsake God. His lost wealth was returned to him in an even greater proportion. He lost his children but again bore beautiful children. His health deteriorated but lived for one hundred fifty years when he surpassed God’s tests. Pacquiao was indeed tried by the Almighty.
His sixth round knockout in Las Vegas inspired Manny even more to be pro-life. He voted against the controversial Reproductive Health Bill. Even if he was no longer a Catholic, he took the stand favoring the sanctity of life. He cited that no man can take the life of another, except God himself.
Pacquiao has always great respects for his mother. She wants Manny to quit boxing. But he has a standing contract with Bob Arum and Top Rank until 2014. He has been a Top Rank boxer since 2006 for the rematch with Erik Morales. Under Arum he won five of the eight division world titles he garnered as a boxer.
Manny’s contract with Top Rank is set to expire on December 31, 2013, but last October he signed a contract extension up to December 31, 2014. Arum said Pacquiao has received $ 1 million signing bonus for the contract extension. He is set to receive another $ 1 million bonus if he fights twice in 2014, Arum added. And Top Rank is not about to give up on Pacquiao because they do not have any other blockbuster fighter other than Pacman himself.
Manny has to retire a winner. His greatness won’t fade even if he dropped to the canvas during that depressing Las Vegas debacle. But he has to recover from the fall for the reason that it’s always noteworthy to quit as a winner. Still among the great majority of the Filipinos and millions of other fans worldwide Manny Pacquiao is still and will always be the PEOPLE’S CHAMPION.
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