“…when the full story is written, this man will be considered the greatest fighter that ever lived..” — Bob Arum
Much has been said about the Battle of East and West. Sharp words from both corners of the ring. Predictions here and there.. Questions hanging all over the world of boxing… Who was better?bigger?stronger? Judging from the tale of the tape, the fighters were well-matched. None really had the advantage of numbers. Both were champions with impeccable records. But this was, after all, a boxing match. Only one could take home the belt. And five boxing minutes after the bell sounded, one man lay on the floor. The other man stood still and stood tall. And to the delight of millions of fans in the Far East, his name is Manny Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao on the ring is a spectacle to watch. He throws punches with precision and finesse, a far cry from the Pacquiao of old. We Filipinos are privileged to see the best of boxing in Manny. His strategies are carefully mapped out and masterfully crafted, fight after fight. As Freddie Roach had put it, he is the finest boxing specimen he has ever produced. With much credit due the master tactician, their tandem has made Manny the best of the world.
I really admire Manny as a sportsman. He prefers actions over words. He brings all battles to the ring. If you battered him in the press, he will pounce you to the canvass. He has the deepest respect for his opponents. He will never put any of them down. As for his discipline, he gives himself time to loosen up and enjoy life. But when it’s time to start training, his world screeches to a halt. From then on, boxing will be his life.
The best tribute to Manny last night was when Arum said after the fight, that Manny is an example to all. A testament that when you’re on top, you need to keep learning to stay on top. And as a champion, this is difficult to do. The euphoria of winning is intoxicating. It’s hard to surge to greatness and still work your butt off.
Yet again, Manny cast a spell on the entire nation. Zero crime rate, zero traffic, everybody praying for a common goal. For a few hours yesterday, the Philippines was heaven on earth. I think no one has ever had a unifying effect on us Filipinos like this since Ninoy. I dont really care if it was real or for show, but on that ring, Manny carried his nation on his shoulders.
You’re the best, Manny Pacquiao. The Philippines is honored to have a champion like you. Yesterday, you proved yourself not only to Ricky Hatton but to all of the world, you deserve your rightful place in history
Yes, Manny, now we ALL know…