Daily Archives: May 9, 2015

PACQUIAO: A global boxing icon, or a fraud?

May 09, 2015

PACQUIAO: A global boxing icon, or a fraud?

By Rev. Atty. Arnedo S. Valera

( Printed at http://filamstar.net/images/stories/pdf/320.pdf)

The drama continues. The vilification process of one of the most inspiring boxers that the world has ever produced is a mystery to me. It originates from several fronts. I just don’t know who is the moving force and where it’s coming from. Suddenly the so called “fight of the century” is now being dubbed as the “fraud of the century”.

I do not want to dampen the zeal of enthusiasm of those filing lawsuits (class action suits or individuals) against Pacquiao and his team. Short of being frivolous, these lawsuits defy “legal common sense”.

Instead of hailing Pacquiao as a true warrior who gave his best — I still think he won the fight with a close margin despite being a “one armed fighter” — he is now being persecuted because of an inadvertent or innocuous error by his adviser Michael Koncz. Koncz took full responsibility of the mistake of checking “No” on the pre-fight medical questionnaire issued by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on the question about whether the boxer had suffered any shoulder injuries. Yet, on the next question, he enumerated all the medicines and pain killer tablets, all of them legal, that Pacquiao is taking — which is consistent with the shoulder injury. Likewise,
the Pacquiao team informed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of the injury and the medicines that he will be taking. The NSAC was informed several days before the bout and Pacquiao relied on the consent given by NSAC allowing him to take those medicines, only to withhold it in the last minute, including preventing him to bring inside and to take his usual vitamins. Again, these are all legal.

Pacquiao was given clearance by the doctors to fight and in fact the NSAC examined him before he fought. Despite his “shoulder predicament,” Pacquiao was oozing with confidence that he can still vanquish the undefeated Mayweather solely by his left arm. Of course, his team continued to rely on NSAC that they will allow him to take the medicines to ease and numb the pain on his shoulders. For a genuine warrior like Pacquiao, these pain medicines were enough to equalize whatever anticipated advantage Mayweather will have. Anyway, the Pacquiao team was so confident that NSAC will not withhold these medicines, which were all legal and allowable medicines. For whatever reason(s), NSAC changed their mind.

Obviously, looking at this unfortunate incident from “a normal lens,” neither was there a malicious intent nor a material misrepresentation on the part of the Pacquiao team to hide this injury. Pacquiao was raring to go and fight, and despite this shoulder injury, he knew he can defeat Mayweather, even with one hand. Arrogance? No. That is what you call valor, being strong willed and having a strong faith in God. Because in the end Pacquiao knows he is a believer of collective prayers of his family, the entire nation and millions of his fans around the globe. That’s what makes him a beloved boxing hero, true universal boxing Icon, loved by all not only because of his extra-ordinary boxing skills, but because he is an inspiration to all of us.

Indeed, “God made him from nothing into something” as he proudly proclaimed during the final press conference.

Many, including some of my friends who are professed atheists, ridicule this type of human colloquy where skills, talents are combined with having possessed of strong faith in God. As a believer, I always say that win or lose, Pacquiao is a victor in the eyes of God.

Pacquiao still thinks he won against Mayweather. And I believed him because every time I watch the replay in slow motion (six times now), I asked the proverbial question: How the hell did the judges give points to a fighter who does not want to engage and keeps running away? And where are the points that should have been awarded to a fighter because of his aggressiveness? Although missing a lot of punches, Pacquiao hit more than his opponent hit him as he continued chasing Mayweather until the last round.

Mayweather ran away with a unanimous decision, by running away. As Pacquiao said, Mayweather did not do anything. That is why boxing legend Evander Holyfield cannot believe that the fight is being awarded to the fighter who has mastered the artful way of running away from a fight. I cannot even think whether Lao Tzu’s Art of War can apply. Because when you attack and then retreat and then attack again, the intention is to win battle and ultimately the war. Mayweather won some battle rounds, but did not win the war because his strategy against Pacquiao is to run and run. Are the judges’ scorecards doubtful? I say yes. Because I still sincerely believe that Pacquiao won by very narrow margin despite his handicap.

Mayweather now openly admits he had prior knowledge of Pacquiao’s shoulder injury as he knew everything that happened in Pacquiao’s camp. And Pacquiao knew that Mayweather knows. That was the reason why every time Mayweather clinched, he pulled Pacquiao’s right hand and shoulder several times. (Watch the tape in slow motion).

Pacquiao deserves a profound admiration not only as boxer but as a human being. He is neither a villain nor a fraud. He is an excellent role model in the sports world.

I have waited for five years for this fight. Yes, it was a “boring and uneventful fight” because of Mayweather’s own making. On the judges’ scorecards, Mayweather may have won this fight, but the entire universe knows who the real victor is. Do I want a rematch? NO. Let Mayweather retire ingloriously and be remembered as the true villain of boxing. And let the legend of Pacquiao live on, for indeed his story from “nothing to something” will always be legendary. #