Boxing fans and sports fans in general have recently had some good and bad news bounced off of them. Momentary rekindling of their hopes (for the big fight) grew to be a flicker, only to be doused with negative news.
This is how is went. Fans were gradually pumped up with a good bit of worldwide ballyhoo, hawking Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s return to the squared circled against a worthy opponent, who was presented as a dangerous slugger with only one loss on his record. Questions were going to be answered. Either a new star would emerge from the USA, or another would re-emerge brighter than ever.
Colorful tidbits of Information were supplied, making old news new news, and the ordinary extraordinary. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum carefully orchestrated the one ring circus, so fans could understand the potential of the fertile ground he was about to exploit. The octogenarian and the sport of boxing were about to conceive a new fruitful baby in Maucau, China.
Fans, especially Pacquiao fans, had concerns. Could their hero come back from the devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez (JMM) only months ago? If he could manage it, would he be the Pacman of old, blindingly fast and powerful? Brandon Rios fans wondered if their iron jawed, power punching pug was skilled enough to have a chance?
One by one, the media, and in turn the fans, were fed answers. The main point of interest was Pacman’s health. According to information released, Pacman had undergone extensive medical examinations and passed with flying colors. Nothing to worry about. The same was true concerning losses in his last two fights. First of all, most would agree he won the Bradley fight, and was winning the fight against JMM until “the punch”. So, what’s he have to come back from? The truth is he hadn’t been anywhere. He still was P4P great.
Bam Bam Rios had just suffered his first loss at the hands of Mike Alvarado. The criticism was he beat Mike once, but wasn’t skilled enough to do it a second time. Sources brushed that argument aside as one without merit. They easily dismissed such thoughts as naive. After all, those in the know realized Rios could have and should have beat Alvarado a second time, but took him too lightly. If there was a third match, Rios undoubtedly would stop Alvarado again. Consequently he and not Alvarado was the right choice to be matched against the Pacman.
The questions and concerns were all dealt with in the days leading up to the big event. As expected, Pacman won the fight and on all the score cards. It was a one-sided victory. Pacman fans were jubilant, expressing great happiness in their hero’s triumph. He had never lost any greatness in their eyes, but they too worried about their champion’s health, and the tremendous responsibilities he took upon his shoulders.
Rios was despondent after the loss. He wanted so desperately to win the fight. He wanted to become more than just a tough guy, a warrior. He wanted that too of course, but he knew a victory meant much more to him than just another addition to his win column. He had a stabbing feeling in his gut. It was a desire to reach the top, a P4P level reached by only a select few.
Everyone knows who won and who lost. It was enough, right. Apparently enough is not enough. Now, there seems to be a concerted effort to diminish the efforts of both men. Initially, Pacman was lauded as the fireball of old. Rios was credited with a hard fought exhibition of courage. He proved to be a realistic threat to the great Pacman, who admitted he was hurt by Bam Bam. Rios fans, although disappointed with the loss, were impressed with his heart and effort. The whole thing was a success. It was enough, right?
Now the positive dust has settled, it seems enough isn’t enough, and the importance of the event is being diminished and replaced with and a new picture of negativity. As the old cliche goes, “No good can come from it”. Those who purport to want the “big fight” are now joining the negative ranks. Now, Pacman hasn’t calmed fears and proven his skills haven’t diminished. Instead, he is described as someone, through Bob Arum and Top Rank, who carefully picked a setup, and shouldn’t be seriously looked upon as worthy of being matched with that other guy, the universally accepted P4P guy. What’s the point? What do these knowledgeable analysts hope to accomplish? Right is right, right? They have a duty to present the truth as they see it. Admirable. However, it’s hard to believe there’s true objectivity involved.
If you’re of the opinion that Pacman isn’t ready or worthy of a fight with Floyd, Jr., then it’s easy to tear him down. First, you have to rip into Brandon Rios, and make sure everyone understands he wasn’t a worthy opponent. Instead of him being a determined and courageous fighter, you describe him as nothing more than a punching bag. Then, go on to say that Pacquiao did nothing more than expected. No big deal. Lastly, resurface old discord, by reminding everyone that Floyd, Jr. doesn’t like Bob Arum and Top Rank. There ya go. Success! Now, you’ve got what you really wanted. Now, there’s little or no hope for the big fight you pretend to want. You’ve proved enough is not enough.