The world waited for the bout. The pound-for-pound king, Manny Pacquiao against a challenger (who’s basically unknown to most of the ordinary Filipino), Timothy Bradley. The bout had the usual media exposure. Day 1 of training for both fighters were covered. Significant news about the preparation being done by both camps had its media mileage.
For the viewing public here in Manila, Pacman’s fight would not be only the main event in MGM Grand but would also be “THE MAIN EVENT” of the day. It’s one of those days where most of Pacman’s fans would drop whatever they’re doing to catch a glimpse of the pound-for-pound king defend his title. Streets would be empty, traffic would be a thing of the past (well, only for a few hours), and a 0% crime rate (hope this rate would continue for years…thinking the impossible). People would pay that extra peso to see the bout live. Restaurants, movie houses, and other establishments took advantage of the situation by offering live broadcasts of the fight (with a fee of course, plus the audience get to order food in restaurants). “Good business so to speak.”
Anyways, as for me, I was in the comfort of our own home and watched the bout in high definition. The fight was Saturday night in the US, Sunday morning here in Manila. Action-packed Sunday for sports fanatics. It was the same day when Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA was held. Talk about action-packed. A do-or-die game in the NBA and a bout destined to be remembered in ages to come.
Undercard matches took place. Now it was time for the main event. The moment everyone was waiting for. Everyone had to wait a little more (literally) as PACMAN had to do his usual pre-fight warm up. According to reports, he was late dressing up for the fight for the following reasons:
- He watched the Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals when he came to the venue.
- He anticipated that the bout before the main bout would take long giving him time to finish the game he was watching. The anticipation FAILED.
I felt that Team Pacquiao (no matter what they say), had to hurry in warming up the champ because the stage was set. The fight is about to begin. (Again, this is just my feeling.)
Michael Buffer began his usual “Let’s Get Ready to RUUUUUUMBLE.” followed by introduction of the fighters.
At this time, everyone at home watching was also pumped up for the fight. All eyes glued on the live coverage. Bell rang, here we go! Fight on its way. I’m not a boxing expert but this is how I saw the fight. Early on in the rounds both fighters exchanged a barrage of punches. Some punches happened too fast and was difficult to see if it landed or not. The live tv coverage showed slo mo highlights of the fight in between rounds. Pacman indeed, landed several punches in the head and body. Almost all throughout the fight Pacman’s usual style of urging his opponent to attack or acknowledgement of good punches was present.
In between rounds, the viewers would see and hear what’s going on in the corner. In Team Pacquiao’s corner, I remember one round Buboy Fernandez was telling Pacman to use his speed and good footwork. (“I-speed lang kelangan natin. I-speed.). At the end of round 6, heard Boboy Fernandez tell Manny “Pag tinamaan mo, dire-direcho na yun.” (If you hit him, you can hit him again and again and again.)
Two points based on what Boboy Fernandez in between rounds…
- Did he see Pacman slowing down hence, suggesting that speed and good footwork can wear the opponent down?
- Did Pacman lack follow up punches that’s why Boboy was encouraging Pacman to throw more punches?
As the bout progressed, many of the audience (including me) felt that Pacquiao was in control of the fight. He was even smiling inside the ring while the bout was taking place. (Over confident perhaps?). It was a slug fest. Both fighters were on full auto. Powerful combinations were released by both fighters but none of them kissed the canvass by virtue of a knockdown. NONE. (this made some of the audience unhappy.)
Here’s the Ringside punching statistics:
Pacquiao landed 253 punches as opposed to Bradley’s 159.
Round 10 punches favored Pacquiao.
Bradley was huffin’ and puffin’ in the early rounds which made me think if the guy can last 12 rounds. (well, he did!)
Fight progressed. Crowd was on their feet. Both fighters were involved in several lock ups during the fight. There was also accidental headbutts.
12 rounds of boxing finally ended. It’s all in the judges hands and they way they saw the fight.
Michael Buffer was back in the ring to make the announcement. It was a split-decision. The world was stunned. Bradley scores an upset in Nevada. “Surprise” was written all over Manny’s face.Pacman landed more punches based on Compubox stats. Two of the judges saw it otherwise. Rematch slated on November of this year. This’ll be one good fight again. As for Manny, the fight versus Bradley was one of the best fights in boxing history (no doubt about it). It’s also a wake up call. You’re not immortal and multi-tasking is not a 100% formula. It does fail sometimes. Look back in those days when you were still working hard reaching the top. There were no distractions and it produced great results. It placed you where you are right now.
…..And still the champion, Manny “PACMAN” Pacquiao.