Monday, March 17, 2008

Power Punching Pacquiao

They were both battle tested. Gladiators who train long and hard for one of the most brutal sports of man, where packed audiences in the arena and in their respective countries delight is seeing their choice smash the face of the opponent. The bloodier the event, the happier they are, like Romans during the time of the Caesars when gore and mutilation were considered entertainment. Today, it remains the same as Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez did their utmost to beat the other to a bloody pulp.

One can only marvel at the conditioning of both fighters and the tremendous endurance to take 36 minutes of beating and banging while spending energy throwing punches and doing damage of their own to the other. The power and the force of each blow, capable of ripping muscle and tissue, splashing blood all over and damaging internal organs; was not sufficient to put either one away for good. One solid blow from either fighter to an ordinary man can break the neck and speed up the appointment with his Maker. But not Pacquiao nor Marquez. These are no ordinary men. These are prize fighters who risk life and limb to win fame, fortune and glory; to rise above the anguish of their past to enjoy the fruits of their excruciating suffering in the short future of their careers.

The fight was a very close one that could have been won by either boxer. Manny Pacquiao was himself surprised to hear that he had won. While being more bankable than the retirement bound Marquez is being used as an argument for being favored, this is easily quashed by the fact that Pacquiao received the best of Marquez but was unable to put him down. Pacquiao dished his best to Marquez and he fell flat on his back once, and was staggered twice. Both had a lot of heart, both had overwhelming talent, both were pained and hurt, but only one was on his feet throughout.

Marquez may be feeling the ignominy of defeat but there is no dishonor nor disrepute in his effort. He fought an honorable fight and fought creditably, but it wasn't enough to rise above his 3rd round fall. Pacquiao's countrymen are in celebration since a victory has brought honor to the country and its people, after being dishonored by its leaders in corruption and power grabbing. The troubling issue with Pacquiao is his intent to move to a higher division where punishment is even greater. While many will marvel at this choice, they know very little of what a boxer feels after a fight - win or lose.

The pain of urinating alone is agony, where the body punches received will cause blood to come out with the urine. The wounds that are rubbed with gloves during a fight that may contain chemicals could add to the pain. The stitches for cuts and blood clots all over, damage to kidneys, pancreas and stomach; all these contribute to the short healthy life of a fighter. A long life may be lived but the suffering will dominate it. The irony is that they leave the pangs of poverty to enter into more suffering after. And these are the few who enjoy fame. Most get only up to the hospital, then to a cemetery.

Cheer on to victory and honor for the country. But never forget the hero when he has become a shell of his old self - either because of health or because of psychological maladies. When boxers go wrong, they are rendered as beasts or monsters. In reality, it is those who enjoy watching the physical deformation of another human being, who are the real monsters and beasts.



upyours said...

Hey Durano,
I marvel at the range and breadth of your writing, but as usual a well-written one. I did not see the fight on pay-per-view but I was able to follow a round by round account on
I visited the chatroom after the fight and was amused by the exchanges;one could tell who was Filipino and who was Mexican by the slant of the comments. Enough was said by both sides.
A day before the fight, Manny ran into Marco Antonio Barrerra at the Mandalay Bay lobby. True to his humble self, Manny treated him like a long-lost friend. Take away all the pre-fight hype and the media glare and these guys are just plain working stiffs who respect each other deeply. A friend who was at ringside said Erik Morales was seated smack in the middle of the Filipino cheering section. Nobody taunted him like the Mexican fans jeered Pacquiao. Some even tried to engage him in conversation and to his credit, Morales obliged, despite his limited English. I'm sure Filipinos who have been in the States long know a smattering of Spanish so I'm sure it was a fun conversation.
A fight that close could really have gone either way and honestly had Marquez won, I wouldn't have raised hell. It was a well-fought fight and boxing was the biggest winner that night.

Blogtommy said...

Hey Durano. I obviously concur with upyours re: the breadth of your writing subjects/topics. Funny but one of my employees attended a smoker this weekend where there were 11 matches (all amateur) and they were a whopping 60 second rounds wherein these guys were usually gassed and done at 30. For those of us who have been in a scrap or two or have been in a field where fighting sometimes is an unnecessary part of the job, I can tell you it's right near the top of the most difficult things to do for any period of time. These guys are in exquisite shape!!


Blogtommy said...

whoops I meant "necessary" though some may think it's all


durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tommy,

I know exactly what you mean. In a fight, we usually throw everything we have at the outset, only to gasp for air after about a minute or less.

Also, it is the day after, when you get up that you feel all the things your body received. There were even times when I'd feel a ache in a part of my body and I can then visualize the exact punch or kick that caused it and just curse myself.

Their endurance and conditioning is truly remarkable. But this will not negate the damage that each received in this event. I just hope they can lead a longer normal life. --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Upyours,

Thanks for the kind words.

I guess I'm just the type who has the propensity for making other people see what is not too obvious, or those they choose to ignore. The entire country is happy and in celebration of the honor and we are wont to identify with it; either because we relate to Manny as Fellow Filipinos in his struggle and triumph, or because we feel in our sub-conscious how badly we need honor.

The win was dedicated by Manny to all Filipinos, and those cheering were in large part cheering the victory of their spirit. But what about Manny? What about Marquez? What damage has this specific event done to them? What are the things they will go through sooner or not very much later?

You're right about these athletes being friends. After going through near death experience, this is inevitably the good result. In that aspect, they are mature, more mature than the educated hype writers in the media and the audience.

I also agree with you that a decision favoring Marquez will not disturb my balance nor harmony. It was a victory for the sport, but not so for the fighters, regardless of how much the purse is or how big the belts were. --Durano, done!

March 18, 2008 5:55 AM

The Fitness Diva said...

Stepping into a ring and trying to take down an opponent is for sure far harder than it looks. It's easy to be an arm chair fighter. But get your butt in the ring and try to do it yourself...and then get back to me.

I agree that there's an imbalance in the way the fighter is viewed (supposed brute) versus the audience for these events (fans looking for some light entertainment).
People forget that boxing is an art, a science. These people are displaying hard learned skills...not brutality. The only real brutal aspect of it to me is that you really have to destroy the other person. Take him/her out of his game. Break them down. But that is the nature of the beast!

I'm not surprised that they are such great friends outside the ring. There is a camaraderie among fighters.
I remember back when I was competing in boxing and kickboxing. I could never muster up hatred or true dislike for any of the girls I went up against in competitions. To me, she was just another chick like me training hard and trying to accomplish something. Oh, I analyzed them so I could pick them apart, but never with malice.
We always shook hands, hugged and had only good words for each other afterwards. All of my opponents were pretty cool people, and there was this mutual respect always.

Funny thing is my coach used to be like "You gotta stop this buddy buddy stuff with your opponents. You need to develop more of a killer instinct not just in but outside the ring". Funny thing is, I could still manage to win without having to go there. Go figure! ;)

Another great post, Durano!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

No doubt about boxing being a science and an art. Competition always raises respect between combatants, and it's only the unthinking coach or an inexperienced one, who knows only theory without entering the arena to face an opponent, who would sow hatred and rage in their athletes. This is the wrong kind of training that eventually destroys the athlete psychologically and physically.

I didn't know you did kick boxing. No one should be messing around with you eh? :-)

Thanks for the visit and the kind words. :-)--Durano, done!