May Pacquiao's Matthysse fight be the last
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - April 26, 2018 - 12:00am

Today, I express my thoughts true to the off-tangent nature of this column. My topic is far from any experience I have in life, such that approaching it already poses a problem. Notwithstanding my incompetence on boxing, still few of my friends dared to seek my view on the forthcoming bout of Sen. Manuel Pacquiao. In deference to their inquisitiveness, I try to collate my position on this issue.

I do not see any reason for Pacquiao to enter the arena again and fight Lucas Matthysse of Argentina. His claims that he carries the country's honor on his shoulders, in this bout, is a marketing hype that already served its purpose more than a decade ago. He does not take this match for love of country. He is dishonest to insist that he fights for our nation. When his fans wave the Philippine flag, during fight time, it is not out of sense of nationalism; not even of pure bravado.

Pacquiao has nothing more to prove in the boxing world. He is now a living legend, with pugilistic fame exceeding most boxers of modern era. He dominated boxing for years by beating the revered Oscar de la Hoya. To be included in the future Hall of Fame alongside Marvin Hagler is as certain as the sun rising on the east. International Sports television channels, in paying him homage, will replay his epic dominance of Miguel Cotto as frequently as they show the Thriller-in-Manila of Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Manny's aiming for and getting the World Boxing Association championship belt in the welterweight division does not anymore add glory to his already legendary name. He does not need this match.

Pacquiao earned the biggest purse in boxing history when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr., reportedly receiving$20 million plus a share in pay-per-view revenues. Deduct the promotional cuts, training expenses, fees for his coaches, taxes paid, and the value of tickets he gave away to friends, the senator still pocketed an incredible amount of money that even a senseless extravagance could not deplete it within his lifetime.

So why the fight? Given that Pacquiao does not stand to benefit from his encounter with Matthysse, I can only surmise that he is after the purse. Is it true that his reported purse here is $5 million? Compare it to the Mayweather clash, it is peanuts. Translated to pesos, his estimated net pay is about P300 million.

Pacquiao must remember that, in a boxing match, one punch can spell a tragedy. He got suckered by a right straight of Juan Manuel Marquez, and Matthysse is a bigger boxer with a better knockout ratio compared to the Mexican. In his many previous fights, Pacquiao absorbed blows of ponderous effects and now the accumulation of those punches may have inflicted some damage on him. His reflexes are dulled and slowed by time that these cannot obey the dictates of his mind. The possibility of serious harm is what I fear most.

Our "pambansang kamao" is a senator of the Republic. He sought our votes as actively as he pursued his ring foes. When we gave him a mandate, he became duty bound to serve us. I hope he puts this into his mind and after this Matthysse encounter, refuse the lure of money in favor of his legislative work.

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