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Is Bob Arum afraid of truth?

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Filipino-American journalist Granville Ampong warned us we could kiss goodbye our media accreditation when Manny Pacquiao fights next year either against Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time or Floyd Mayweather Jr. if we spoke our mind out against the Pacquiao-Marquez III decision.

Top Rank is Bob Arum and Bob Arum is Top Rank.

I told him it’s OK as long as we have the moral courage to tell the truth and nothing but the truth; we are beholden to the reading public to uphold the truth and are duty bound to protect it no matter who gets sidewsiped along the way.

The storm signal was evident when Uncle Bob gave San Francisco-based veteran boxing analyst and former promoter Hermie Rivera the severe dressing down when he asked during the post-fight press conference the 79-year-old wily Top Rank boss whether he believed Marquez could be high with performance enhancing drugs since it was widely known he had hired the services of Angel Hernandez as new strength and conditioning coach.

“I don’t want to hear anymore crap. You shut up and you sit down,” Arum blasted Rivera.

Arum did not want to hear questions from sportswriters that dwell on allegations the judges had stolen the win from 38-year-old Marquez (52-6-1, 39 KOs).

Ampong and several sports scribes in the media room believed Marquez had won the fight. He described the verdict as “a travesty of justice.” But there were those who agreed with the judges–especially Filipino broadcast and print journalists who thought the 32-year-old Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) deserved to retain his welterweight crown being the more aggressor and more active.

A Latino-speaking sportswriter congratulated Marquez before throwing his question: “Congratulations, Juan Manuel. In my scorecard, I saw you the winner, 112-116,” the sportswriter remarked.

Reporting from Las Vegas, LA Times sports analyst noted that while Marquez “briefly basked in the celebration of an apparent triumph after the 12th round, lifting his right fist to the air as if to forever puncture the cloud of close-call shortcomings versus Pacquiao, the Filipino superstar retreated to his corner to kneel and pray.”

For the first time since he racked up wins against season world champions in the United States, Pacquiao showed up at his post-fight news conference late by more than one hour. Arriving with 28 stitches to close the three-level cut he suffered in a 10th-round head butt, Pacquiao looked like a defrocked champion.

He was allowed to answer only a few questions and was stopped by Arum “because he (Pacquiao) still has many things to do.” Pacquiao arrived in the media room 20 minutes after Marquez had wrapped up his press conference. They were supposed to face the media together.

Marquez, who brutally disposed of in a single round Likar Ramos in Cancun, Mexico last July 16, thought he had the win in the bag as early as 8th round. “I really believe I have to drop Pacquiao, but even if I drop him, I get the feeling they’ll stand him back up and give him this fight again. I am very frustrated right now,” he declared.

His trainer, Ignacio Beristin, called the majority decison a “joke.”

Dear is Uncle Bob, but dearer is the truth.

The truth is, Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight belt on Saturday night (November 13) with a majority decision win against Marquez — Dave Moretti 113-115; Robert Hoyle 114-114; and Glenn Trowbridge 112-116.

But there are always several versions of truth: their truth, your truth, our truth. Defining truth is easy; knowing whether a particular statement is true is much harder; and pursuing the truth is most difficult at all.

In the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy, the fact that majority of the three judges saw Pacquiao the winner is an indication that it is probably true. But this is only one of the signs of truth, the “official” truth, and by no means the best one. Since boxing fans and experts are split on their opinion on who really won the fight, it does not answer even Pontius Pilate’s question on “What is truth?”

Josiah Royce, an American philosopher at the beginning of this century, defined a liar as a man who wilfully misplaces his ontological predicates; that is a man who says “is” when he means “is not,” or “is not” when he means “is.” His definition of a liar leads us quickly to the most famous of all philosophical definition of truth.

By Alex P. Vidal





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