In Search of a mini Mike Tyson

24.03.05 - By Ronny Soto: Nothing captivates the attention and satisfaction of the animal instinct within each of us more than seeing one guy obliterate another guy with a single punch. That's why many of us, especially the average boxing fans, like to see the heavyweights fight, but pay less attention to the lighter weight divisions..

In comes Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, the little guy with a punch. Since we crave those knockouts and here's a man that can deliver just that, and he's not a heavyweight. Suffice it to say that he has mostly fought against fighters and in places most of us would need about an hour of practice and a tutor to pronounce correctly.

On November 15, 2003, he faced his toughest opponent to date, Marco Antonio Barrera. In a grueling fashion Manny Pacquiao beats Marco Antonio Barrera in an 11th round TKO. Barrera kept himself within Pacman's range and moving backwards throughout much of the fight, thus falling within that one-dimensional scope of Pacman's ability.

Pacquiao knows only how to fight moving forward and setting up the left hand with a couple of right hand shots. This fight catapulted Pacman to stardom in a sense. If Barrera's corner would have waited 7 seconds more it would have gone to the final round and Barrera would have lost by UD and not by TKO. Beating the great Barrera by TKO is what ultimately fuel the Pacman's Bandwagon.

Then on the following May he meets Juan Manuel Marquez. After 3 knockdowns in the first round many of us wondered if the fight was going to last another round. And to our delight it lasted for eleven more. Juan Manuel Marquez nullified Pacquiao's left hand the rest of the night and put on a boxing exhibition. Now, I know this will touch a nerve with a lot of the Pac fans, but sometimes the truth hurts.

The fight goes to the score cards and the match is declared a draw. What would boxing be without a little controversy? Since much of the fuss was about the first round, this was scored 10-6 by two judges and 10-7 by another and then led to the draw. So let me pose a question: If the first round was an even round who would of won the fight?

So, Juan Manuel Marquez exposes the Pacman's single faceted boxing style and essentially creates a blueprint for beating the hard-hitting Pacquiao.

In comes Erik Morales. After a loss in a rubber match to Marco Antonio Barrera most people were dismissing his chances against Manny Pacquiao. Most said he's been in too many wars. He's fading. He only knows how to fight one way and that's brawl. He can't stand up to Pacquiao's power and this showed in the boxing odds when Erik came in as an 8-5 underdog.

Did these guys forget that Erik Morales was champion in three divisions? Did they forget that he's never been knocked out? He's only lost to one guy out of the 47 guys that he's faced in his professional career, which he knocked out 34 of those 47. Did they not check his resume?

Well the problem with most boxing fans is that they get caught up in records without actually looking at the level of competition within that fighter's record. Also, a lot of fans are like teenage girls at an N'sync concert, they are just enamored with the cute guys in the band but fail to really listen to the music. Likewise, in boxing, the fans are in love with the knockout power and forget why they call boxing the sweet science.

To the Pacman's credit he is game to fight anyone, he has heart and a good chin and of course speed and power, but he lacks the skill. Since he's been fighting those tomato cans in the Philippines and beating up on those second rate sparring partners he might not see a reason to change.

It's apparent after Saturday nights performance that he did not learn anything from the JMM fight, maybe he will learn something from he's defeat to Morales. If he comes in with the same game plan and can't expand on his boxing skills than I'd be hard pressed to say that he would win any rematch to JMM, EM or MAB. That's right I said MAB.

If EM and JMM outfoxed Pacquiao why wouldn't MAB the second time around.

A lot of people jumped on the "Prince" Naseem Hamed bandwagon for similar reasons. The power and speed factors that mesmorize so many. That is until MAB got a hold of him. In essence Pac is to EM what Hamed was to MAB.

We all fall at one point or another, but what matters is not that we fall, but how we get up after we fall. And we saw how EM rose from the ashes to re-assert himself as still one of the best p-4-p boxers in the game.

As for Manny Pacquiao it is uncertain how he will get up from this fall. However, there has been talk of a rematch against EM in the fall. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Article posted on 24.03.2005

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