“Alab ng Puso”

I must admit that I found Manny Pacquiao’s last three fights mediocre. I am not a boxing expert, but it seemed as if Manny had lost the edge. I cringed each time he and Shane Mosley touched gloves before each round. I mean, what happened to this guy’s promises of giving the fans a good fight? Was this the same rags-to-riches Filipino icon who pummeled the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Oscar Dela Hoya to submission?

Like most of my countrymen, I am a rabid fan of Pacquiao. I’ve seen all of his fights dating from 2003, prior to his great knockout win over Barrera. When I was a stingy college student with no extra cash to spare, I waited patiently through the the torrents of advertisements on free TV, just to be able to see my idol fight. Throughout the last decade, I felt overjoyed after each of Manny’s hard-fought wins – and crestfallen in the rare times he fell short. I found inspiration in Pacquiao’s meteoric rise, in his work ethic and dedication, as I went about my collegiate athletics career.

Politics and religious views aside, Manny Pacquiao was my hero.

Even if I had my doubts prior to the fourth Pacquiao-Marquez fight, I tuned in to GMA7 delayed telecast yesterday afternoon. Like tens of millions of Filipino viewers, I was left aghast when the wily Marquez felled Pacquiao in the early rounds. When Manny floored the bloodied Mexican in the sixth, I heaved a sigh of relief that proved to be short-lived. Marquez’ right-hand counter hit Manny square in the jaw. As I watched our champion lie motionless on the canvas, I feared for the worst and prayed to the high-heavens for his safety.

I don’t know what’s next for Manny Pacquiao. Whatever his decision, he has every reason to keep his chin up – and pride intact. He fought his heart out, without any pretensions of this being just all for the money. The Pacman was as audacious and daring as he was in those great duels with Morales. In the end, things just did not fall into place for the champion. Manny lost to the better fighter.

I am just a sports fan. I could not possibly give an informed assessment on why Pacquiao lost the bout. But one thing is for certain, even in defeat, Pacquiao is every inch the Filipino hero.

“Ikay matutumba. Ika’y masasawi. Mabibilangan ka ngunit babangon kang muli.” – Rivermaya’s Alab ng Puso

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10 responses to ““Alab ng Puso”

  1. pinoyathletics.com December 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Excellent Job Joboy. We are so quick to strike down a national hero after all the hard work he put in to put us on the map. Graceful farewell if he decides to hang up the gloves.

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