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Tag: manny pacquiao

Requiem for a Welterweight


I’m late on this but in case you missed it do yourself a favor and check out ​Brin-Jonathan Butler’s portrait of Manny Pacquiao for SB Nation Longform:

After eight frustrating years, four controversial fights, 42 contentiously scored rounds, with over 500 punches landed from more than 1,800 thrown, after two grueling hours of opportunity under the spotlight, on Dec. 8, 2012, Juan Manuel Marquez finally landed the punch of a lifetime against Manny Pacquiao. It happened with just one second left in the sixth round of their mythic saga. Pacquiao charged forward to land one final blow before the bell, and instead added his own momentum to Marquez’s immaculately-timed, coup de grace right-hand, which landed flush against Pacquiao’s jaw. On TV, when the punch landed, Pacquiao’s back was to the camera. The reverberations of the impact were only detectable through the sudden jolt of Pacquiao’s wet hair on the back of his head.

But isn’t this a staple of wrestling, meant to fool? Since the punch itself had landed with such comic book emphasis, the traction of the unfolding human drama, along with reality, became unhinged and, for an instant, suspended. In confusion and disbelief, many people watching around me in a New York bar laughed in horror. As Charlie Chaplin famously pointed out, from a distance, a man slipping on a banana peel or stumbling down a manhole is funny. It’s something altogether different up close. And since Pacquiao had fallen face-first and remained motionless, almost fastened to the canvas, there were no cues.

The Fix was In

At least according to everything I’ve read. Here’s Rafe Bartholomew’s  ringside account of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight:

There didn’t seem to be a single reporter on press row who gave the fight to Bradley, and if there was, he or she must have been too ashamed to admit it. I overheard HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman saying he scored it eight rounds to four for Pacquiao, and that he thought doing so was being generous to Bradley. Ten rounds to two, nine to three, and even 11 to one in favor of Pacquiao were more common spreads among journalists who covered the fight. So when people tried to understand why Pacquiao lost a fight where he landed 82 more power punches than Bradley and 12 more jabs while connecting on a much higher percentage of his blows, it’s no surprise that foul play came immediately to mind. Anyone who searched for a rational explanation for this result was bound to come up empty. After that, what’s left but whatever cloak-and-dagger machinations you care to imagine in a sport controlled by a handful of powerful promoters with varying agendas and overseen by a patchwork of ineffectual state athletic commissions?

Ah, if only George was around to weigh in on this one.

[Photo Credit: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images]

Wide World of Sports

Big sports Saturday. The Kentucky Derby is in a few hours. If you’ve never read Hunter Thompson’s “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” here’s your chance.

Later tonight, Manny Pacquiao fights “Sugar” Shane Mosley, though Gary Andrew Poole wonders when Pacman will fight the Right American (aka Floyd Mayweather, Jr.).

For you hoop heads, the Celtics look to avoid going down 3-0 like the Lakers. Good news for them is that they are at home. I figure they’ll win tonight but don’t think they can stop the Heat in the series.

On the baseball diamond, Andre Ethier looks to tie a Dodger team record by extending his hitting streak to 31 out at Citifield. And down in Texas the Yanks would love to see Bartolo Colon to keep things rolling. Bunch o runs wouldn’t hoit, now would it boys?

Get the clicker ready, good people, grab some eats, and settle in for a night of high fat bastardness.

[Photo Credit: Christian Science Monitor]

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver