I AM doing this right after I finished watching the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas fight on pay per view at my sister-in- law’s place in Antipolo.
And of course by this time, everyone knows that Vargas lost to the 37-year-old Pacquiao via a unanimous decision.
As a Filipino sports fan, I am happy that Manny came out victorious in this fight and emerged a world champion again with the WBO welterweight title that Vargas staked in the fight.
It was a close fight at times but it was clear that Pacquiao was winning on points, landing more clear punches that I wondered how one judge could score it with a one-point difference while the two other judges had Pacquiao way ahead.
Does it mean that had Pacquiao not knocked down Vargas in the second round, he would have lost in that judge’s score card?
And the win was fashioned out before Floyd Mayweather who watched it from the ringside and was even seen giving a thumbs up to Pacquiao after the fight with a “Not bad” quip to match, again, raising the question if there will be a return bout between these two boxers.
Pacquiao un-retired himself, getting flak from a lot of people in social media, criticizing for breaking his promise that he will focus on being Pacquiao the senator already after getting elected last May.
Now what did I see about Pacquiao, the boxer in this fight?
I will admit that at his age, Pacquiao can still fight, and showed it by beating Vargas, 10 years his junior.
But it was also evident that what I saw was not the Pacquiao of old, 10years after one’s prime as an athlete.
Any one will be a different athlete already in terms of skills, I have said it again and again, no athlete can ever beat Father Time, and it showed clearly, Pacquiao of old would have taken apart Vargas with a stoppage in maybe less than five rounds, the way Vargas was fighting him and going toe to toe a lot of times with the Filipino boxing icon.
But then remember, the last time that Pacquiao scored a stoppage was in 2009 yet when he fought Miguel Cotto, then still in his prime.
This tells me that Pacquiao has somewhat lost the power that he once packed in both mitts, that is the first observation, second is not once did I see the famous 5- punch or even more, combination that Pacquiao used to unleash against his opponents.
Pacquiao’s killer instinct, very evident during his hey days, has also done a disappearing act, with some saying it was because he embraced his religion to the full.
It is a fact too that Pacquiao now fights a more careful kind of fight, lessening the risk and maybe, on top of his mind, avoid what happened in his last fight against Marquez when he was leading but got hit by a sucker counter punch that sent him to dreamland.
For me, this is just a natural thing, after all, Pacquiao evolved from a purely offensive type of boxer to an all around one under Freddie Roach.
So what does this tells me?
Even against Mayweather in a return bout, I believe the odds will still favor Floyd and the response of boxing fans will definitely not be as big as what we saw for their first fight.
If they do decide to fight again, what we will see are two great boxers but whose greatness will only be seen in glimpses and no longer consistent.
What I do not want to see definitely is a Pacquiao that would look like Oscar de la Hoya when he fought Pacquiao at the latter’s prime.
If Pacquiao continues to fight, someone will definitely come along from the ranks of today’s young hungry fighters who will simply beat the hell out of Pacquiao the way he did it to De la Hoya.
And so my final unsolicited advise, quit while you are ahead, a world champion and live your life as a lawmaker that the people elected you to be.
Now in another fight outside the boxing ring, many sports fans here will say that the wrong Vargas lost, referring to ABAP’s Ricky Vargas who is priming himself up for a fight against Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Peping Cojuangco until he got TKO’ed even before the bout could happen as he was disqualified by POC’s COMELEC for not being active enough in the General Assembly, whatever way it was interpreted by the POC.
An appeal has been made by Ricky’s camp and it has been heard and reviewed by the COMELEC and from what I read, the decision has been made but it had to be signed by all three COMELEC members.
From what I heard through the grapevine, the decision maintains the same that Ricky is not qualified to run as POC president.
I could be wrong but I tend to believe what I heard, despite the social media clamor, that is if you follow FB, for Peping to allow Ricky to run, or for Peping to just step down and give way to other younger people.
PSC commissioner Mon Fernandez has been very active in FB where he releases a lot of damaging information or at the very least, raising a lot of doubts about the fact that the PSC released a lot of money to the POC for reasons that are not included in PSC’s mandate.
Mon was referring to things like sports festivals or parties as he cited a P179,000 expenses by the PSC for Mikee Cojuangco after she was selected to succeed Frank Elizalde as POC representative .
Mon also had it out with ANC’s Boyet Sison ,who interviewed Mikee and scheduled Mon too , only to cancel Mon’s guesting, supposedly without even informing in advance Mon that he no longer would be interviewed.
Mon claimed he canceled all his meetings for the opportunity to be heard about his issues against the POC and again, social media response was for Mon and Boyet getting a lot of flak.
I am just wondering when COMELEC will release its decision.
After all, how long does it take for three people to sign a document?