Monday, March 15, 2010

Manny and the jabroni

Well, that was awful.

The match between the Philippines' Manny Pacquiao and Ghana's Joshua Clottey was a stinker of a one-sided affair. Yes, Manny was his usual brilliant self in the ring. Any crap this fight produced is Clottey's fault alone.

Clottey decided to take his money and run. It turned out his goal was to remain standing in the ring after 12 rounds against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, nothing more.

Sure, in a boxing match, going the distance against the Pacman and going home a few million dollars richer sounds like a good plan. Unfortunately, Clottey forgot the part where he's supposed to fight in the ring. The guy put up his hands in front of his face all night long and never bothered to seriously mount an offense.

Of course, you can say that Pacquiao's power and speed would have stopped any offense dead on its tracks. But a fighter has to try, regardless of the chances of getting knocked out. The game isn't "let's see if the guy is still standing after about an hour of pounding."

In this fight, there would be more honor in going down fighting than standing all night long looking like a moron taking punches left and right with no plan of doing anything about it.

Clottey must have been perfect for promoter Bob Arum, a jabroni who will act like Manny's punching bag the whole night. Circus promoter P.T. Barnum was said to have uttered the phrase, "There's a sucker born every minute." Bob Arum is a descendant of Barnum in terms of business savvy. Barnum had clowns to offer, Arum has Clottey. And people just ate this match up.

Still, this doesn't take away the beauty of Pacquiao's performance. His speed was amazing, letting loose combinations that seemed to be over in the blink of an eye but could knock a person out in the same span of time. His varied punches that seems to come from all angles, whether he's moving forward or backing away, was in full display. His blows to the gut may not have floored Clottey, but those definitely hurt. I'd hate to be Clottey realizing my internal organs are either tenderized or are no longer placed where they should be.

Pacquiao was so good Floyd Mayweather, Jr. may have soiled his pants while watching. Now if only he'll accept the match against the Pacman, he'll have all the money he needs to buy new underwear.

What was obvious though was the Pacman enjoying the moment, from the pimped up Dallas Cowboys stadium to the usual smell of sweat and blood in a championship match. He did seem to betray his displeasure of his opponents fight plan (or lack thereof) when he jokingly tagged Clottey with a double punch that made him look like he was either thinking of learning to play the cymbals or acting out his fantasy to become the next Fernando Poe, Jr.

A win is a win. Filipinos all over the world are happy once again, their pride swelling for the moment because of the little man with a titanic fighting heart. Let him have him karaoke-like concerts. Let him have his motorcades. Heck, let him have his flavor of the moment starlet.

For now, let's cheer Manny Pacquiao on even as the fight is already over. At least, until he decides to make another craptacular movie or force people to watch Mommy Dionisia do ballroom dancing, whichever comes first.

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