Words: Alan Dawson – London
Photo: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
Meticulous boxing trainer Freddie Roach, the chief cornerman for WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao, has appraised the Filipino’s June 9 opponent Timothy Bradley. Roach regards Bradley’s style to be incomplete and foresees ways through the challenger’s defence. He did, though, marvel at the Californian’s sculpted physique but opined that build alone will not see Bradley triumph as Pacquiao is said to emulate his prime form.
“We had a really great training camp… the first three weeks in Baguiao [were] very successful – and the last three weeks in Los Angeles [were] great. Manny’s focus is the best I have ever seen,” Roach said recently.
Roach is known for his studious approaches to camps and sets his fighters up (whether they are Pacquiao, Amir Khan or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr) to capitalise on the weaknesses the opponent possesses. Ahead of the MGM Grand Garden Arena brawl in Las Vegas later tonight, Saturday, Roach paid respect to Bradley’s athleticism but alerted Manny to the chinks in Desert Storm Tim’s armour in advance.
“We are going against a tough opponent, a tough undefeated opponent in Bradley,” Freddie, a five-time Futch-Condon award winner stated. “I have watched a lot of tapes on him, have seen a lot of holes in his defence and we are going to take advantage of them.”
Whilst Bradley (28-0-0, 12ko) lacks the star-name of Pacquiao’s most recent victims like Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto, there is intrigue over the stylistic match-up as the challenger is five years the junior of the champion, is undefeated, on a hot streak of form and, like Pacman, throws an abundance of punches. However, Bradley is orthodox while Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) is southpaw and so toe-treading and head-clashing could occur.
“Bradley does come in head first,” noted Roach. “We have been working on how to nullify that. We have a lefty fighting against a righty. The two heads may clash, that could happen and it’s something we have to be aware of and something we will be prepared for.”
Since tasting the canvas against heavy-hitting Kendall Holt, Bradley has seldom tasted the canvas and has collected a bounty of ten scores. In contrast, Pacquiao, in his most recent outing against Juan Manuel Marquez, was pushed to the wire and secured a disputed majority decision. Roach, though, believes Bradley will not achieve the same success Marquez enjoyed as he lacks fundamental counter-punching ability.
“I have been watching Bradley a lot and he doesn’t rely very much on counter-punching. He is very offensive. He comes to fight which will make it a good fight for everybody. He comes forward and is very aggressive, he will try to fight. He is a well-conditioned athlete. He will try to prove he is the better athlete – the better-conditioned athlete [but] Manny should have a very good fight.”
Bradley has stated that he has multiple game-plans, will assess Pacquiao early on and decide when to bang or if he should box. If the latter occurs, Roach has indicated that his premier prizefighter will be “prepared”. He said: “We have a mover in camp so we are prepared if Bradley decides to move around… we are prepared for anything he brings. We make adjustments to prepare Manny for whatever may come. He’s ready for a boxer and I’m covering all my bases.”
What has been common in Pacquiao’s welterweight campaign – whether he took on Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Margarito or Mosley – was that he was the smaller man, relinquishing the height and weight advantage to his opponent. Even against Marquez, Juan Manuel weighed in one pound lighter than Pacquiao but outweighed him – unofficially – in the ring. Pacquiao is accustomed to attacking – and trumping – bigger men than himself. And, though he is slightly taller than Bradley, he will again look like the smaller man due to Timothy’s weight-lifter’s body.
“Bradley is a good opponent. [We have not fought anyone like Bradley] because he is very strong and very muscular up top. I don’t think we have fought anybody that muscular.”
Roach intends on countering Tim’s build with “experience, speed and power.” He claimed: “Experience is hard to deal with, power will knock you out.”
In a concluding remark, Roach issued a caveat to Bradley: “[Manny] is a better fighter now; he is more focused. If a knockout comes it will be a bonus. Bradley is a great fighter and he’ll be resilient, but I think you’ll see the best Manny Pacquiao yet.”
Photos: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
Reigning WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao and his challenger, three-time junior welterweight world titlist Timothy Bradley, arrived in Las Vegas on June 5 to much media hurrah and attracted a plethora of camera flashes at the final press conference yesterday, June 7. Filipino icon Pacquiao was his usual chipper self, while self-assured Bradley was all business during the face. The two headline the June 9 card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
An accomplished welterweight, Pacquiao’s body of work in the division is impressive as he has already accumulated victories over Miguel Cotto (12 Rd TKO), Joshua Clottey (12 Rd UD), Antonio Margarito (12 Rd UD), Shane Mosley (12 Rd UD) and Juan Manuel Marquez (12 Rd MD). All of his triumphs at 147lbs have been comprehensive aside from his most recent, to Mexican nemesis Marquez, as analysts regarded Juan Manuel to have bossed the contest for the majority of rounds. Against Bradley, though, Pacquiao is said to be eager to put in a performance that will remind fans of the skill-set he used to notch up a variety of titles in eight divisions.
Bradley, in contrast, has only once fought at welterweight in the past five years; against Luis Carlos Abregu. The American’s quality, though, shined at 140lbs as he demonstrated fine ring skills and a winner’s mentality. His most notable scalps include Devon Alexander (10Rd TD), Lamont Peterson (12 Rd UD) and Junior Witter (12 Rd SD).
Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
With the collapse of two high-profile fights – Victor Ortiz versus Andre Berto II coupled with the Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan rematch – drug-testing continues to be one of boxing’s hot topics and, ahead of his duel with WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, undefeated Californian challenger Timothy Bradley has stated that clean fighters should have no issue with blood testing.
“Drug testing was never brought up during our negotiations,” said Bradley (28-0-0, 12ko), revealing the only testing both fighters have been subject to will be by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The 28-year-old, though, would have wanted more: “Is it something I would like? Sure, I wouldn’t mind.
“If you are clean, you shouldn’t have a problem taking the test. I’m not worried. Pacquiao is Pacquiao. I don’t know if Pacquiao ever used steroids or not, you know, bring it on. His last couple performances have not been that great.”
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) was once considered the undoubted pound-for-pound champion, however, an underwhelming performance over Shane Mosley (unanimous decision; May, 2011) followed by a narrow and inconclusive victory over long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez (unanimous decision; November, 2011) have left question marks over the Filipino’s grip on that accolade.
“Personal problems can definitely affect a fighter in the ring,” said Bradley of the vices and troubles that were cited as distractions that led to a sub-par but still triumphant Pacquiao.
“Mentally you have to be dialed in and be focused. If not, it will take a toll on you in the ring. You need to be dialed in on what you need to do. If that’s the excuse he is using then I believe it. Marquez has that style that gives you fits and they have fought three times already and each was a very close fight. I think Marquez just knows how to fight him.”
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Unbeaten junior welterweight Mike Alvarado once again showed that he is fast-emerging as one of the most entertaining boxers regardless of division as he and opponent Mauricio Herrera engaged in a hit-and-get-hit spectacle at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 14. Alvarado trumped Herrera by way of unanimous decision, while Mercito Gesta shut out and knocked out Oscar Cuero on an undercard segment.
Official verdict: Alvarado wins unanimous decision (99-91, 97-93, 96-94).
Herrera did his best to dictate the early tempo of the bout, marching out for the first round and forcing Alvarado to follow his orders as he crouched low and, with good leverage, slammed hook shots to the side of the body followed by crisp lefts to the temple. Herrera, who had a strong victory over Mike Dallas Jr combined with the fame of having taken away Ruslan Provodnikov’s zero prior to the Alvarado duel, fought with unrelenting pressure into the second as he bravely duked it out with a fighter renowned for his punching ability.
In the third round, Mile High Mike – a Denver native – found his range and enjoyed good success when he had his opponent trapped, mainly against the ropes, which allowed him to peel off power punch after power punch, however, he did not have it all his own way as he had to keep his gloves up to protect himself at all times… Herrera fought like he had Duracell batteries in his rotator cuffs as he put together four and five punch combinations.
There were seldom breaks in the all action slobberknocker and, in the fourth, Alvarado trapped Herrera back onto the ropes like he had done in the third. This time, though, whenever Herrera attempted to fight his way out of trouble, Alvarado would clobber him with heavy hands. For Herrera, the hook was his amigo while American 140lber Alvarado’s bestie was the uppercut.
As the contest reached it’s midway point, it became clear that the competitive fight would be won on what the three ringside judges preferred in a prizefighter… Herrera had the activity, the punch-output, the work-rate, but it was Alvarado who had the effective aggression, the power and the obvious physical advantages. It was Alvarado, though, who had the edge during the final straight as it was his conditioning and Herrera’s waning that was the primary difference-maker.
Herrera’s speed of hand slowed, his body movement lost intuition and he was unable to see what Alvarado was throwing and where it was coming from as his eye closed from considerable swelling. For any judge who was in doubt as to where the decision should be heading, rounds eight and nine were – in particular – telling, as Alvarado was dominant. The best, though, was saved for last as in the tenth round both pugs traded slugs in the centre of the ring. The decision was, rightly, unanimous as Alvarado had his arm raised upon completion of the contest while Herrera’s face looked painfully swollen and markedly different from the victor.
In triumph, Alvarado rose to 33-0-0, 23ko while Herrera dropped down to 18-2-0, 7ko.
Elsewhere on the Brandon Rios versus Richard Abril undercard, was a further appearance from Filipino hotshot Mercito Gesta, who boxed maturely and near flawlessly as he recorded a shut-out teekayo win in the eighth.
Official verdict: Gesta wins by way of eighth round technical knockout.
Despite a slow start, Gesta boxed like the boss, flurrying with body shots late in round one to nab the ten score and edge Oscar Cuero. A fighter with little amateur experience to speak of as he was primarily consumed with the muay thai discipline, Gesta had shown good technique in the opener but got complacent in round two, allowed Cuero to gain an upper hand, but beat the advantage out of Gesta by finishing well, throwing bombing left hands straight through the middle and rocketing uppercuts toward the chin.
Even though Gesta was not perturbed nor troubled by any aspect of Cuero’s game, his head cornerman – Vincent Parra – implored his trainer to make a greater impression on the Las Vegas bill broadcast by broadcasting behemoth HBO. Mandalay Bay crowds and pay-per-view purchasing fans relish one type of victory; the knockout, and Gesta sought to soften Cuero up for a stoppage by bombarding him with blows to the barrel.
Gesta landed the uppercut again in the fifth, but his guard had holes in as it leaked punches with Cuero punching through it. The aggressor and ring general, Gesta was awarded a further point advantage as Cuero had one deducted due to repeated holding and turning Gesta. When Cuero looked his best, he was fighting with sustained pressure, forcing his opponents to either retreat or wilt, however, Oscar – the 26-year-old opponent from Colombia – was too depleted of energy to fight this way for the majority of a round, let alone the entirety of a fight.
Cuero was down in the seventh, taking a count of nine having been dropped following an accumulation of shots to the body. When he returned to his feet, he clinched, wrestled both himself and Gesta to the floor and bought some vital time. At the round’s end, Gesta engaged in kidology after Cuero landed a hat-trick of power shots. Down again in the eighth, Cuero was deemed to be in no fit state to continue and the Filipino prospect secured an eighth round technical knockout.
With the convincing win, Gesta jumped to 25-0-1, 13ko. Cuerro fell to 15-8-0, 12ko.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Famed Mexican-American trainer Robert Garcia, who owns a flourishing boxing academy in Oxnard, California, has heralded a fighter from his stable as boxing’s next superstar. Two-weight world champion Nonito Donaire can be “my next Joe Frazier, or my next Muhammad Ali,” a kindled Garcia stated this week. Donaire is on the cusp of transcending his popularity due to a highlight-reel knockout win over a previously unstoppable Fernando Montiel last year.
A ferocious puncher in the lower-weight classes, Donaire (27-1-0, 18ko) has two stoppage victories that are regarded to be the best of the years they were triumphed in. In 2007, against teak tough Armenian, Vic Darchinyan, Donaire did the unthinkable and forced a fifth round technical knockout win over a fighter who still, to this day, has gone the distance with every other fighter he has been in the ring with. Four years later, Donaire repeated the feat against Fernando Montiel, crashing the resilient Mexican onto the canvas inside two rounds.
This brace of knockout wins punctuates other solid wins over Luis Maldonando, Moruthi Mthalane, Hernan Marquez and Vladimir Sidorenko, however, Garcia believes that the 29-year-old, who has won full world championships at flyweight and bantamweight, has “unlimited potential”.
Speaking to The Ring, he continued: “Nonito is very strong and talented. He’s so fast, so powerful when he gets into the ring that he could be my next Joe Frazier, or my next Muhammad Ali but that’s only something that we’ll see in the next few years.
“Nonito has had a great year this past year, but it’s only the beginning. No one knows what he can bring yet. Nonito’s got dreams. So there is nothing that can stop him. Nonito has all of the talent and the potential to be among the greatest. That would be something great for my career as a trainer. There is no telling what honour he can bring to himself and to me, as well.”
Donaire, though, fought just twice in 2011 and his most recent performance, a decision win over Omar Narvaez, was underwhelming, largely because of the stringent door-bolt defence employed by the Argentinean. The Filipino Flash wants to box at least four times in 2012 and already has his next bout booked, against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, a Puerto Rican prizefighter who formerly championed the WBO super bantamweight title.
The WBO belt at 122lbs is now vacant and will be awarded to the winner of February 4 fight, staged at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Garcia believes fans will be able to see the Donaire of old – the switch-hitting, made-for-TV, headhunter – rather than the one who was unable to score a knockout over Narvaez in October, 2011. Whilst admitting Vazquez would represent a “tough” challenge, Garcia said: “This will be a fight where I think that you will see the best out of Nonito, and that he will succeed in. He’ll come out with a win.”
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
One unified world champion, an undefeated titlist and two first ballot future hall of famers are the statuses of the four opponents adviser Michael Koncz and Top Rank Boxing founder Bob Arum will be discussing when the two meet this week to begin the selection process for WBO welterweight world champion incumbent Manny Pacquiao‘s next defence. Lamont Peterson, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto are all in the mix…
Filipino belt-collector Pacman was last in the ring in November, when he went fist-to-fist with Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39ko) for a third – and what was billed a final – time, however, the end result (a Pacquiao win by way of majority decision) has split observers. One section regarded Marquez’s counter-punching tactic to have thwarted a sluggish Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) sufficiently enough for the three-weight world champ to collect a major honour in a fourth division – a viewpoint shared by On The Beak at the time.
However, others pointed out that the expectation prior to fight night – that Pacquiao would claim a conclusive knockout, perhaps as early as the sixth round – had an influence on people’s scoring of the fight as, when the competitive contest transpired, a more favourable stance to Marquez developed when - like it had in the first and second duel – it was really more even.
As such, a fourth fight has been mooted yet a potential stumbling block to any negotiations for the bout could be due to Marquez’s reported unwillingness to box in Las Vegas; the scene of all three fights and one in which he is yet to gain what he believes is a deserving win.
Pacquiao has already trounced Cotto (37-2-0, 30ko). It was the bout in which he earned the WBO title he still defends and one in which he looked superior in every minute of every round until Cotto was teekayoed 55 seconds into the 12th and final round in 2009. The Puerto Rican’s successes since that fight – a hat-trick of stoppages over Yuri Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito (all at super welterweight) – have seen him fight his way back into a shot at a second highly-lucrative payday with Manny.
Bradley (28-0-0, 12ko) and Peterson (30-1-1, 15ko) both campaign in the weight class directly south of Pacquiao, super lightweight. Bradley, the holder of the WBO championship, is yet to be beat, has already fought at welterweight and is in his prime years. Peterson holds the WBA/IBF titles and is coming off the back of his most significant victory to date – a points victory over Pacquiao’s Wildcard Boxing Club stablemate Amir Khan in Washington DC, December, 2011.
All four fighters will be the focus of Arum and Koncz’s conversations this week as Koncz has specifically jetted into Las Vegas to meet Arum, according to Manila Standard Today. Pacquiao was due to attend yet has decided to spend further time with his family.
Instead, Koncz will report back to Pacquiao in Manila next week, January 10 where a final decision could be reached.
Related article: Marquez duped out of win as Pacquiao gains undeserved decision
Related article: Arum estimates Pacquiao v Marquez III attracted 1.4m PPV purchases
JM Siasat - Metro Manila
In the world of boxing, the Philippines is widely known for hosting the event some regard to be the most brutal fight in pugilistic history; the ‘Thrilla in Manila’, a global event where two American fighters: Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, gave it all they had inside the squared circle. It was a non-stop bout full of action where Ali triumphed as the late Smokin Joe retired in his corner at round 14 leaving Filipinos and boxing fans all over the world with an unforgettable fight…
Fast forward to April 19, 2009 and another historic day in Philippine boxing was marked as it held its first ever double world championship card with Nonito Donaire fighting Raul Martinez as a main event with Brian Viloria’s fight with Ulises Solis the co-main event.
The fight gathered mass media attention, the fans were all over the event and gathered in the same arena where Ali and Frazier met. The Araneta Coliseum was packed with thousands of supporting fans who Donaire and Viloria showed their token of appreciation for as they both won their respective matches by stoppage.
The next day, the fight results were on the front page of almost every local newspaper in the Philippines.
This coming December 11, 2011 will mark yet another historic day in Philippine boxing as Brian Viloria (29-3-0, 16ko) defends his WBO flyweight world title for the first time against the hard hitting Mexican southpaw, Giovanni Segura (28-1-1, 24ko).
Viloria, coming of a hard-fought unanimous decision win in Hawaii against Julio Cesar Miranda, will be in no doubt the crowd favourite as they fight in the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines.
Viloria will need all the cheer and support he can get from his Filipino fans as he is to face the biggest challenge in his boxing career – fighting the former WBO light flyweight world champion and number nine ranked (The Ring) pound-for-pound fighter in Giovani Segura.
It’s not often the Filipino fans will get to see a pound-for-pound fighter set foot on Philippine soil and fight for a world title against a home fighter. To add more reason to come, boxing legends: Marco Antonio Barrera and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr will be at ringside to commentate for the Mexican TV broadcast.
This is an event Filipino boxing fans can’t afford to miss. From VIP tickets being sold at 530php ($13), to ringside: 427php ($10), courtside: 267php ($6) and bleachers: 107php ($3) there is no reason for a boxing fan to not come and watch.
I invite all the Filipino fight fans to bring live support for our fighter and take this opportunity to grace a pound-for-pound boxer fighting in our homeland.
They rarely bring this good of an event in the Philippines, after this we don’t know if there will be another one.
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Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao has relinquished the contractual initiative to welterweight rival Floyd Mayweather Jr as the WBO world championship incumbent has stated that, once Floyd – the WBC titlist – signs a contract to commit to a unification contest (May 5, 2012) then he, too, will sign. Both prizefighters are currently free due to their respective wins over their most recent opponents and are keen on pursuing the bout that will settle the pound-for-pound dispute.
Pacquiao’s performance against Marquez has inspired much debate throughout the fistic sphere… whether one cites the premier Wildcard Boxing Club pugilist’s display as further evidence that Manny’s skill-set is diminishing, or that he is becoming all too plagued by cramps due to extra-curricular pressures, the fighter himself is eager to put that behind him, continue forth, and do what he can to align himself with Mayweather Jr (42-0-0, 26ko) in what would be a contest to decide the number one campaigner at 147lbs and current boxers in general.
Following the majority decisioning of Marquez on November 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, promoter Bob Arum indicated that no future opponent for his prized ward would be discussed until 2012′s dawn. Furthermore, there was a very real sense that a fourth fight with Mexican nemesis Marquez would be pushed, however, that appears to not be the case as Pacquiao stated to abs-cbnnews.com: “We are ready [to negotiate with Mayweather].”
The scuppering point in past negotiations was adjudged to have been the insistence of Mayweather Promotions that Olympic-style random blood testing be adhered to, as opposed to regular commission tests that check urine.
Such a clause was not exclusive to Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) as recent Mayweather victims such as Victor Ortiz (fourth round knockout) and Shane Mosley (decision) both submitted to blood testing. Pacquiao, too, has made statements implying he will undergo blood testing as, now: “only the little things” need to “be worked out”. He added: “negotiations are almost done”.
The 32-year-old concluded by remarking that Floyd will have to be the one whom first signs the deal…
“If it pushes through, once he signs the contract then I’ll sign the contract,” he said.
Related article: Mayweather Jr calls out Pacquiao: May 5 is open, I’ll sign today
JM Siasat - Metro Manila
Former OPBF lightweight champion Dennis Laurente (41-4-5, 22ko) arrived in the US fight scene on June 28, 2008 when he fought former NABF champion Steve Quinonez, stopping him in the fourth round. Laurente, a southpaw with a fan-friendly style and hailing from Palompon, Leyte, Philippines, then won all his fights in the States by beating ex world title contender Ben Tackie, as well as prospects Marvin Cordova Jr. and Rashad Holloway. In an On The Beak exclusive, Laurente gave OTB‘s resident Filipino expert JM Siasat his thoughts on his last fight and who he wants to fight next.
JM: first of all Dennis congratulations on a dominating victory against Ayi Bruce held on the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard. Your thoughts on the fight?
Dennis: Everything was good. I got him under control early so on the back of my mind I knew I was going to win.
JM: You pressed the fight early, you did a good job mixing it up then eventually stopping him in round seven.
Dennis: I could have stopped him earlier if it wasn’t for the headbutt on the second round. The cut on my eyebrow slowed my momentum so it took me 7 rounds. If it wasn’t for the cut I think I could have stopped him in three or four rounds.
JM: I noticed on the weigh-in that lots of Filipino fans cheered for you. This makes me believe that you are slowly getting the recognition you deserve.
Dennis: Yes. I want to thank the Filipino fans for supporting and watching my fights.
JM: You started fighting in the USA at 140 eventually moving up to 147, you won all your fights in those two divisions but who gave you the toughest fight so far?
Dennis: The Holloway fight was tough and the Cordova fight was close. Other than that the rest were easy.
JM: So the Holloway fight was tough even when you dominated him in the ring and on the scorecards?
JM: You weighed 144lbs in your last fight, does this mean you can still make it to 140?
Dennis: The scale we were using at the hotel was wrong. We didn’t know it wasn’t working right so we never thought that ill weigh that light on the official weigh-ins.
JM: But did you have any troubles making the weight?
Dennis: No; not at all.
JM: If I’m to pick the next Filipino world champion right at this very moment, I will pick you. My question is, how ready and how hungry are you to become a world champion?
Dennis: I want it so bad. I’ve been wanting to be a world champion for the longest time now and I just want it so bad. Hopefully I’ll be given the opportunity next year.
JM: Just recently, Andre Berto vacated his IBF world title. Viacheslav Senchenko has the WBA, Manny Pacquiao has the WBO and Floyd Mayweather has the WBC. There are also top names in the welterweight division like Victor Ortiz… who would you like to fight next among them?
Dennis: I want to fight the WBA champ [Senchenko]. If they want me to fight Mayweather then I’ll fight Mayweather. I just want a title shot.
JM: Any words for the people who believe and support you?
Dennis: Thank you so much for the support. I hope they won’t get tired of giving support on my
JM: Thank you Dennis.
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JM Siasat – Metro Manila
On November 11, 2009, Manny Pacquiao dominated a tough and well rounded fighter in Miguel Cotto. The win propelled him to a higher all-time-great status as he collected a world title in his seventh weight division, the only fighter in history to do so. The win also justified his number one spot in the P4P rankings. The next three fights featured Pacquiao dominating Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley, then came the Juan Manuel Marquez contest…
Direct link to article.
Marquez, known as a blood and guts warrior with excellent counter punching abilities, has met Pacquiao twice and probably provided him with the toughest fights of his career. Pacquiao came in the ring as a heavy favourite earlier this month, for the reason that Pacquiao has been perceived to have gotten a lot better and even stronger at his new found welterweight division and he was fighting a natural lightweight climbing up in weight.
Pacquiao, 32, also had the age advantage with Marquez being 38-years-old. Come fight day, experts, writers, and fans were in for a shock as the third fight played out like their previous two fights, just without the knockdowns. Pacquiao – hyped as an all new improved fighter – was getting outboxed and countered by Juan Manuel.
Marquez made it look easy fighting Pacquiao by slipping or turning each time Pacquiao went forward, making him reset his offense. And, just like the first two fights, Marquez landed repeated right hands as Pacquiao found no answer, making it look like he had never improved at all.
The third fight was easily the clearest Marquez win among the trilogy. By the end, Pacquiao was awarded with a majority decision win. Unlike their first two meetings where the boxing community was split in half on who won, the third instalment of the fight is different since most of the media, experts, writers and fans had Marquez winning the fight – it’s unanimous.
The fact that among 20 scribes, Marquez was favoured a dozen to one over Pacquiao according to Ringtv.com says a lot. To add how the press regarded Pacquiao’s lacklustre performance, Floyd Mayweather Jr regained the top spot of ESPN’s P4P rankings just days after the fight.
Pacquiao arrived home in the Philippines on November 21, 2011 with the following message, as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “I thank the Filipino people for their support. With God’s help, I won. But to those who think the judges’ decision was wrong, I’d say get real… be a Filipino.”
What was Manny Pacquiao really trying to say? Are Filipinos supposed to turn a blind eye since he is a Filipino? Are Filipinos supposed to be bias given his hero status in the Philippines? Did Pacquiao not realise that the same thing could be said to the minority of fans who thought Manny beat Marquez?
Growing up as a boxing fan and following the likes of Luisito Espinosa and Gerry Penalosa, I can’t remember them making such comments after a lacklustre performance. Nor did I read anything like it from our great champions in the past like Flash Elorde. Obviously, because Pacquiao is praised by the Filipino fans most of the time he is not used to criticism.
Someone may have to remind Pacquiao that no matter how revered he is in the Philippines, there will always be critics; something he should know by now being a politician. One should not expect media bias but instead expect the media to be fair in its reports.
The fans did not create the hype… it was fed to them so they are not to be blamed for not meeting the expectations. Afterall, Pacquiao himself said that the third fight will erase all doubts, something he failed to do. Pacquiao’s place in the prestigious boxing hall of fame is secure no matter what happens – its all gravy from here. He took all the credit for the wins, achievements, and hype like a true rockstar, now it is just a certain time to face the other side of the coin.
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