The color of money
have, through the years, admired IBF junior featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao
for his indomitable courage and his skills as a genuine ring gladiator.
From his early days as a wild and wooly youngster on the weekly boxing show
Blow by Blow where he honed his skills and carved a name for himself,
to his stunning WBC flyweight championship victory in Bangkok in 1998 when he
knocked out Thai hero Chatchai Sasakul to his smashing victory over Lelohonolo
Ledwaba to capture the IBF crown, we have supported him all the way, first through
Vintage and then through Viva Sports.
The years have seen Pacquiao blossom from boy to young man, with a little more
finesse to his swagger and a lot more sense to what he says and does. He has
developed his skills under the expert tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach, one
of the greats in this day and age.
And he has accentuated his devastating punching power with perfect timing
and a killer instinct. Reminds us of a black panther on the prowl. Stalking
his prey before pouncing on him with unbridled ferocity.
While his stature has grown the ties that bound us together in a sport that
we both have cherished because of its inherent nobility, have also been strengthened.
Regrettably, neither the friendship of the long years nor the commitment to
honor what is often recognized as the right of first refusal in
the business of television in its broadest application have been able to withstand
the inevitable curse of our times money.
And so we at Viva Sports will join millions of Filipinos to watch Pacquiao go
up against fearsome featherweight Marco Antonio Barrera and say a prayer for
him, hoping he can achieve what seems like a formidable task of not just beating
Barrera but effectively staying on his feet until the end of 12 rounds.
Roach himself has told us, very clearly, he wanted Pacquiao to have two more
fights against better opposition including a fight against Paulie Ayala
before tangling with Barrera who has earned the moniker of The Baby Faced
Assassin for obvious reasons.
He is a killer in the ring. Obviously Roach knows whereof he speaks because
Pacquiaos last few opponents havent been anywhere near the class
of a Barrera. Jorge Eliecer Julio was according to Roach on the
way down when Pacquiao mauled him.
Fakprakorb Rakkiatgym was built up to no. 1 by a Thai system that collects patsies
for opponents merely to build up a fighters ranking. Emmanuel Lucero was
sneaked in by Marian Muhammad and the IBF into the top 10 with the help
no doubt of Murad Muhammad and proved he didnt belong in the same
On Sunday we saw the fighter Barrera beat Erik El Terrible Morales
annihilate Guty Espadas Jr., the same fighter who beat our very own Luisito
Espinosa some three years ago.
The performance of Morales gave us an idea of what Barrera would be like in
the ring against Pacquiao. But Pacquiaos business manager Rod Nazario
and Murad Muhammad who is bound to make a killing by slicing a hefty chunk off
Pacquiaos purse from HBO played on Mannys bravado when he
said in a post fight interview after disposing of Lucero, that he wanted Ayala
Unfortunately Nazario and Murad got the order wrong because the money
was right. Our fervent prayer is that Pacquiao through some minor miracle
will win. Our devout wish is that should he lose, he wont take a bad beating.
Because if he does, the only winners in the fight game which is crowded with
stories of fighters being exploited would be Nazario, Murad and a seemingly
unwilling Marty Elorde, Mannys registered manager.