Pacquiao and the inevitable

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

Hearing of the latest plans of Manny Pacquiao with regard to his main preoccupation of boxing, I cannot but be reminded of the saying "whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make crazy." Now, there is no way of divining what the gods have in mind with regard to Pacquiao. And I certainly am in no position to say he is going nuts. All I am saying is that if Pacquiao does not get a grip on himself, he might lose more than he is prepared to.

According to what has been reported, Pacquiao is going to fight Timothy Bradley a third time, having split with the American their first two fights. Unless it is for money, I do not see any reason for a third Bradley fight. And yet Pacquiao does not really need any money, at least not for now. Not even when he needs to spend a lot for his impending senatorial campaign.

Pacquiao has more money than all the hair Bradley does not have. And they are not only counted in their millions, they also come in the color of dollars. Since Pacquiao is under no immediate threat from poverty, and there is no conceivable reason why he still has to fight Bradley, perhaps the real reason is that he needs the fight to both revive public interest in himself, and to serve as a tune-up for another fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

That possibility, too, has been reported. But that is assuming too much. In fact, the Bradley fight assumes too much as well. It assumes that Pacquiao will still get past Bradley just as he did in their second fight. And it assumes that a second fight with Mayweather will happen. Even more importantly, it assumes only the best of health for Pacquiao and does not seem to factor in the lurking danger that all practitioners of this dangerous sport face in the ring.

Pacquiao appears to have either forgotten the lesson from Pacquiao-Marquez 4 or simply did not understand what the lesson was all about. In the first place, there shouldn't have been any fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, in the same way that there ought not to be any third Bradley fight. But because the people around Pacquiao needed to strike while the iron was hot, Pacquiao-Marquez 4 happened. And so did the inevitable.

Have you seen just how inevitable the inevitable was in Pacquiao-Marquez 4? All that was needed was the tick of a second -- not the three minutes of a round nor even just a minute. It did not even take the 10-second warning slaps of the official timer on the ring floor. It was just one solitary second. But it was that one single final second of the 6th round that did Pacquiao in when the inevitable happened.

Had the constantly pressing forward movement of Pacquiao been slowed by even just a second, had his forward stride been held back for just a tick longer, had he even readjusted his trunks or snapped his gloves together in just the right amount of time for a single second to pass, the bell would have rung, and round 6 would not have happened the way it did.

But of course the inevitable happened because it had to happen, and the whole world saw it live before their own eyes. Pacquiao never saw it coming. Even Marquez, nose broken and bleeding, did not expect an outcome such as what the inevitable gifted him. Marquez kept pressing to fight Pacquiao no matter how many bouts it would take because he knew he will inevitably beat him. Pacquiao kept agreeing to fight Marquez because he does not understand a thing about inevitability and fate.

If you do not believe me, try remembering how he always answers every question thrown at him after every fight -- he will fight whoever his promoters place before him. Pacquiao believes it is his job as a fighter to fight. He does not believe in charting his own destiny. He forgets his basic humanity and what it means to be a person with responsibilities. Mayweather after Bradley? Pacquiao just cannot see the point that there is no more point in that fight.

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