Saturday, May 02, 2015

A Man With No Plan - Manny Pacquiao!

The oft-repeated saying in boxing is that a boxer has a plan … until he gets hit. That’s why it was so disappointing to see Manny Pacquiao abandon any semblance of a plan that could secure him a win against the wily Floyd Mayweather, even though he was not hit.

Where was the dynamo who was supposed to swarm Mayweather with punches too rapid for the eye to see? Manny is no Ali but the huge disparity in the sheer number of punches thrown and connected by Mayweather made this an embarrassing no-contest, no matter what the pundits may say.

Pacquiao is known to throw hundred punches per round. That boxer was nowhere in evidence in tonight’s PPV extravaganza that is expected to generate about a billion dollars in revenue, after every cent is counted.

I saw the fight with a group of Filipino friends (no mystery who I was rooting for!) and a pall of gloom descended after the fourth round – Manny’s best round – when it began to dawn on us that Pacquiao was being outclassed by the unpopular Mayweather, who slipped punches with an ease that was painful for Manny’s fans, both at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and outside.

“I thought I won the fight,” said Manny after the fight. “He’s moving around. It’s not easy to throw punches when he’s moving around so much.”

Really? You didn’t know that, Manny, even though all the boxing fans around the world knew? What about Freddie Roach, your coach?

That’s another thing.

At the corner, Floyd Mayweather, Sr., Mayweather’s coach, was infuriated with his son for his supposed lack of action. That’s what motivates fighters. What are you doing, the dad scolded the son between rounds, disgust and anger written all over his face. This, when Mayweather was clearly ahead on points!

Freddie Roach, on the other hand, seemed hardly engaged with his charge. There was no emotion, no anguish, no sense of a loss looming to inspire a spirited and furious attack by Manny. If the origin plan fell by the wayside for whatever reason, weren’t you supposed to come up with another, Freddie?

If Pacquiao could convincingly carry the last two rounds, rounds 11 and 12, he would still have a chance but Mayweather handily won both, extinguishing any flickering hope his opponent may have harbored.

The highest-grossing fight in history was billed as a fight between good and evil but in the end it came down to a contest between superior skills against merely good skills. Floyd Mayweather will never win any popularity contest, given his record of domestic violence and reckless personal life, but in the ring he proved to be the more nuanced and effective boxer in every department, and for that he deserves recognition as one of the best ever.

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