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Pacquiao’s controversial win sparks debate

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Baguio City - Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s win over Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez has sparked a debate right after the fight was over Sunday.
Even in Baguio City where supposedly pro-Pacquiao spectators and fans abound and where a supposedly solid Pacquiao supporter crowd shows warps on how the 12-round trilogy fight went.

Baguio has been the home of the Filipino ring icon’s highland altitude training. He trained for three weeks in the highland resort city before heading to the US for his final training before facing Marquez.

From social networking sites to barber and coffee shops and households which availed of pay per view offerings of cable television providers, the debate raged.

“Lutong macao” (rigged game) shouted a Baguio resident emerging from a house which offered P150 per person entrance. He hinted he didn’t believe his idol Saranggani congressman-boxer did not knock-out the Mexican fighter.

A more intelligent comment though went ‘Marquez who was all the while a counter-puncher and never went on offense will win because the stakes will always be on the defending champion—Pacquiao. ‘

Statistics showed Pacquiao threw 274 power punches connecting 117 (43 percent) as against Marquez’ 254 connecting 100 (39 percent). The aggressive Pacquiao threw 578 compared to Marquez’s 436 punches.

Though the Filipino boxing champion only landed 176 out of 578 punches (30 percent) while the Mexican fighter landed 138 out of 436 (32 percent).

Such statistics however couldn’t settle for Baguio fans psyche on Sunday’s fight. Perhaps going beyond technicalities like points, everyone here wanted a knock-out, the least, a punch that would have knocked Marquez to the floor.

But when the 6th round came and no one went to the floor, the usually “rowdy” rooting for Pacquiao Baguio fans remained silent until the end of the 12-round trilogy battle.

Days before Team Pacquiao left Baguio last month, Conditioning coach Alex Ariza predicted Pacquiao brings down Marquez in the 6th round. American coach Freddie Roach also did the same, sans Pacquiao however.

Rightly, betting afficionados took the cue in their money bets on Pacquiao supposedly knocking down Marquez on the 6th. But they all went down when the clock ticked the last second and the bell ringed to end the round bet.

“Na-entertain naman kami, at di nadis-appoint. There was nerbiyos ng konti,” said Irene Bungay who paid PPV (pay per view) for her family’s real-time viewing of the fight. “Last time kase, wala excitement laban.”

Such is disuniting the country further, veteran Baguio-based journalist and literary geek Frank Cimatu, a long-time fan of Pacquiao and who covered in behalf of a national daily the Filipino boxing superstar’s training here last month.

Amidst the usual victory hysteria here every time Pacquiao wins either bulging his opponent with punches or simply sending them running away without any good fight, shows ‘a very warped public engrossed with boxing and the business of winning’.

By Artemio A. Dumlao





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