People say that this could be the last fight in Manny’s illustrious boxing career. Some say that he has lost a step or two, and are quick to conclude that this 3rd edition of the Pacquiao – Bradley clash will no longer produce the same brand of excitement that has been Manny’s trademark. Some say that he has actually beaten Bradley twice, though the first was a bum decision awarded to Bradley. And that the ‘Desert Storm’ was handpicked for Manny’s last fight precisely because he will not cause much of a problem to Manny.
And then there are those who say that Pacquiao has lost that fire in the belly, that warrior’s hunger to inflict – as well as to absorb – pain. That ever since the Pacman became involved with religion, he has become such a softie, hence the lack of a thrilling knockout after so many years. There are those who say that Pacquiao has grown old and tired of competing, and has acquired other interests. Such as politics, religion, pro basketball, and so on. All these forebode a lackluster fight and spell ‘Retirement’ at the end of the Bradley bout.
But I daresay that, on the contrary, this will be an exciting fight to witness. And that you better be ready for some slam-bang action, for this will be a fight to remember. For if indeed this were to be Manny’s farewell fight, he will all the more want to leave the fight scene with a bang.
But then again, I daresay that this will not be Manny’s last fight. I believe that a decisive outcome in this fight will convince Manny to milk his illustrious career a little bit more before hanging up his gloves for good. I daresay that a reinvigorated and inspired Pacquiao will surprise us with some vintage moves. And that the fans’ clamor for more will coax him back into the ring.
Manny hasn’t lost his love for the smell of the mitts. It’s been almost a year of hiatus from Boxing, and he realizes that he still misses the activity, as well as the environment in the gym. He may get tired from hard workouts, but he still delights in the fan frenzy. And he knows that he can never acquire the same adulation from fans discoursing in the Senate floor as he can by banging bodies in the ring.
That said, he knows that his bid for the Philippine Senate will depend much on how he fares in this bout. A win will not be good enough. A smashing success, complete with a highlight knockout, is what the fans demand from him. It cannot be just another W on his record, but a blockuster WIN with an exclamation point!
With his right shoulder completely healed, Manny is determined to provide us just that – a dramatic spectacle that will put him back in the consciousness of the fight crowd. A performance that will erase the ignominy of that sorry loss to the Money Man. A show that will once again herald his preeminence as the sports’ reigning superstar in the absence of his dancing partner, Floyd.
This fight will be crucial to the Pacman. He could win big…. or he could kiss his boxing career goodbye.
Gentlemen, place your bets.
(Pics courtesy of fightword.com, badlefthook.com, commdiginews.com, philboxing.com)