My Thoughts on Pacquiao – Marquez IV
My Initial Reaction
It was heartbreaking to watch Pacquiao get knocked out cold. He was on the verge of winning when a short and crisp right hand ended the fight. This is boxing, where anything can happen and the outcome is always in doubt. For a Pacquiao fan (me), this fight was devastating. But to a boxing fan (also me) this fight was truly great.
Upon Further Analysis
Manny Pacquiao was fighting a tremendous fight before getting clocked by that punch. Towards the end of the round 6, both of them were rallying, looking to steal the round. It seemed to be that Marquez looked to be in trouble on the ropes. As Pacquiao lunged inside to unleash his shots, Marquez slipped to the side and countered with a short punch that smashed into Pacquiao’s face.
Pacquiao had landed 94 punches opposed to Marquez landing 52. All 3 judges had Pacquiao winning – as did I. Pacquiao was more active and landed more, he won all the rounds where a knockdown didn’t occur, and they were even on knockdowns by the 6th. Pacquiao was also winning the 6th round before THAT happened.
Granted Pacquiao got careless, but these things happen in boxing. It was a lucky shot by a retreating, beat up opponent who just happened to be the best counter puncher in the world – and he countered nicely. It also was not a lucky punch since Marquez studied Pacquiao, devised ways to counter him, and practiced that punch thousands of times in the gym. He just unleashed it at the right time and Manny was unfortunate enough to be surging forward and caught it straight in the face.
I may feel down now, but I’m looking forward to that 5th fight.
My Honest Outlook
One last parting shot about Pacquiao. People have voiced different opinions, but most of them are asking Manny to retire from boxing. Various reasons are cited. Retire now while you’re in good health. Retire now, you’re so rich anyway you don’t need to fight anymore. Retire now so your legacy remains intact. Retire now so you can focus on politics. Etc etc etc.
My thoughts are the polar opposite, please don’t retire and deprive us of your art in the ring. You were born to be a boxer. Not a preacher, not a politician. A boxer. You may want to be a preacher and a politician later on, but boxing is your blood. I don’t think anything can surpass the passion you have for boxing. It defines who you are.
People don’t understand that to truly great boxers (regardless if they came from humble beginnings or were pampered like princes), boxing is not just a job to earn (enormous amounts) of money. Truly great boxers seek out other formidable great fighters, to prove to the world and to themselves that they are the best, or belong in that exclusive list of the world’s best. They crave to fight the best, even if they will be battered and bloodied, it comes with the territory. Boxers get hurt, they bleed, they get injured. They train ridiculously and hellishly leading up to fights, and even the simple pleasures of life are deprived from them. And yet they do it. They want to know their place in history, they want to be legends.
No amount of losses or setbacks can deter this way of thinking. Although some boxers fight past their primes, to the point they’re beaten by lesser but younger opponents, Pacquiao at this stage in his career is definitely NOT washed up. What happened to him in the fight against Marquez could happen against any other great boxer, it’s that kind of freakishly unexpected development that makes boxing great and enjoyable.
So Manny, please fight. People see me as heartless for asking you to be hurt in the ring again. They don’t understand why you want to continue despite having everything. Why risk it all? Why not live the easy life? Only you can answer them.
I will sit tight and wait for that answer. I hope the fighter’s pride and passion will still smolder in you. Three more fights. Just three more. No matter what happens in those fights, you’re place in history is assured, a shining beacon for future generations to look up to.