Monday, October 8, 2007

PacMan Victorious!

Philippine boxing sensation, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao emerged victorious in his his long anticipated rematch with Mexican great, Marco Antonio Barrera. As most people predicted, Pacquiao came on top as he proved to be the busier and more accurate fighter. However, the fight was different than what most boxing fan expected.

In my observation, there were two main predictions for this long awaited rematch. The first scenario that people expected is similar to their first meeting, Pacquiao would overwhelm Barrera with his superior power and speed ending the fight via TKO. The second scenario was that a more prepared Barrera would use his superior boxing skills to use Pacquiao's aggression against him and earn a decision.

However, the fight was unlike what most boxing fans envision. The match was not the usual exciting and exhilarating Pacquiao fight. Barrera was unwilling to engage Pacquiao and he was waiting for the counter while Pacquiao seems to have abandon his usual attacking style and was more calculating. Pacquaio did not take a lot of risk and did not aggressively attack Barrera. In fact, he seems to be waiting for Barrera to attack. He was using feints and footwork to avoid Barrera's counter and win the decision with his aggressiveness and higher work rate.

In the end, Barrera's unwillingness to mix it up and the Filipino bosing icon's decision to not put a lot of pressure Barrera resulted in a fight that was fought in spurts. Except in a few of the rounds, the fighters would spend most of the round looking for an opening then exchange punches and clinch. Pacquiao was the more accurate and busier fighter in these exchanges and he was taking the fight to Barrera. Barrera seems to be in survival mode as he kept on backpedaling and gave most of the rounds to Pacquiao.

The last two rounds of the fight were probably the most exciting round of the fight. In the eleventh round both fighters opened up as if responding to the crowds hunger for action. Pacquiao manged to open a cut beneath Barrera's right eye. and the fighters end their furious exchange with a clinch. However, Barrera hit Pacquiao with a right hand as referee Tony Weeks was separating them. Pacquiao appeared to have been hurt with the foul as he walked into a neutral corner and one of his knees wobbled.

However, when I watched the replay, Barrera seemed to have only landed a glancing blow and that Pacquiao did a bit of an acting job. Pacquiao may have done a good job of appearing to be hurt because the referee deducted a point from Barrera. In the end, the deduction did not play a very important role other than convince some fans that Barrera can be a dirty fighter because Pacquiao was comfortably ahead in the judges scorecards. Judge Tom Schreck scored the bout 115-112 while judges Jerry Roth and Glenn Trowbridge scored the contest at 118-109 all for The Pinoy boxing star.

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with the fight. Perhaps it was because I was expecting Pacquiao to go after Barrera and I was waiting for the knock out in every round. Upon further reflection, I realize that Pacquiao made the smart choice by not rushing in against Barrera. The situation in this rematch is different than their first meeting. Manny is now a top fighter and does not need to take the same risks as he did before. He realized that he can probably win the fight by just being busier than Barrera since his opponent does not want to go toe to toe.

Most of his fans want to see the old Pacquaio who was willing to take the punishment in order to dish out his own. However, since he was against a dangerous opponent who wants to counter and survive, he has no choice but to choose the smart strategy. When the Philippine boxing start is up against an opponent who is willing to mis it up then we will see the old Pacmonster again.

No comments: