Manny Pacquiao, wet with sweat and Brandon Rios’ blood, took not just Leyte and Tacloban, but the entire country of the Philippines and lifted them up high in the ring.
It may not stop pneumonia or dysentery, but anything positive is better than the trickle of aid typhoon victims seem to getting these days.
And Pacquiao boxing victories, the first in two years, have been in short supply.
Now that we have one, we should see Pacquiao/Mayweather now.
Neither can wait, as time, skills, and fan interest all begin to wane.
But now things are spiking as Mayweather talks his pound-for-pound trash with no one better to fight. And Pacquiao is finally back on track.
Both men want/need the money.
Even Promoter Bob Arum was talking it up BEFORE Pacquiao’s Brandon Rios fight.
It’s going to happen.
Pacquiao did show the world he still has enough gas to go 12 top-flight rounds with anyone after his unanimous victory over Rios in Macao.
Rios was a bigger, but a slower opponent, and coming off a disappointing rematch with Mike Alvarado (who in turn was beaten by Pacquiao’s old sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov).
Pacquiao was coming off a two fight losing streak–one loss where he was clearly robbed (Bradley), and the other , that knockout to Juan Marquez. I just never saw Rios in Pacquiao’s league, but there was that thought was maybe Manny was on the decline. IT was the only way Rios had a shot.
But Saturday showed talk of retirement was premature for the Pacman. He’s got a lot more life than an old video game. The quick Pacquiao dominated Rios in the hit parade, sometimes exchanging at a 3 or 4-1 clip, (3 or 4 Paquiao counterhits when Rios opened up with a punch).
Still, there were some moments where Pacquiao just did not look nearly as confident as he’s been in the past. Even HBO commentator Roy Jones noticed something in Paquiao’s ‘body language.” Mayweather folks may have seen that sort of thing as an edge F Jr. can exploit in a matchup.
Junior is so much quicker than Rios who seemed to land his most effective punches while grabbing Pacquiao. If Mayweather believes he has that kind of edge on Pacquiao, it could be the confidence boost to finally say yes to the fight without setting up all excuses on drug testing and such that have only mucked up negotiations in the past.
Pacquiao could schedule one more fight, a Bradley fight to avenge the grand theft. Or one fight against Provodnikov, which would be a great fight (and far from a sure win for Pacquiao). But it sure wouldn’t be the same pay day for Manny.
He just had to show exactly where he is at this point. Still a good fighter, but no longer one with a “turn-off –the-lights” KO punch.
That’s why I think Mayweather saw the fight Saturday and saw dollar signs.
The Rios fight did nothing more than re-open the negotiations for the fight we all want to see.
I bet it happens now.
On the web, I noticed talk about Pacquiao’s speech (presumably from his post-fight comments in the media), saying that Pacquiao should have a translator. Absurd. Pacquiao’s facility to speak to the people is not the issue. His gift is he speaks like a regular Filipino guy.
In the U.S. we have Joe Sixpack. In the Philippines, it’s Juan Cockfight.
Pac does show poorly if you put him up next to a polished public speaker or a professional pol who graduated from the School of Florid Colonial English with a B.S.
That’s when Paquiao’s fists do the talking.
Pacquiao might benefit from a Henry Higgins-type if Pygmalion were “Pac-malion.” But the major selling point of Pacquiao is his “man of the people” charm. He’s just like them. A regular guy who climbed out of poverty in the Philippines to achieve wealth and world-wide fame.
A translator? Let him speak the way he does. Pacquiao just needs policy folks around him if he’s really serious about doing more in public life than being the local pol who brightens peoples’ lives and fixes their potholes.
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