Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's Fight Time!!!

In just a few hours, it's fight time again for the Pac-Man, Manny Pacquiao, going up against David Diaz for his WBC lightweight title. As you've all probably heard by now, the Pac-Man is going for his fourth title in as many weight divisions, which is no mean feat as no Asian boxer, much less a Filipino, has ever won the championship in four weight divisions. Uh-huh. Not even the much-revered Gabriel "Flash" Elorde - who I was fortunate enough to meet while I was still a kid playing Space Invaders on a table console in his restaurant in his aptly-named Elorde Sports Complex in Sucat, ParaƱaque back in the early '80s - was able to do that. And with Floyd Mayweather's retirement, the Pac-Man is now often touted as being the best fighter in boxing, pound-for-pound.

I do have to ask this, though. Can he go toe-to-toe with Diaz? After all, just a few days ago, it was reported that the Pac-Man was struggling to bring his weight down to the Lightweight division's 130-135 lbs. weight limit. Considering what happened to Erik Morales in their third match after he (Morales) went on a crash diet to meet the weight limit which prompted someone (I forgot who) to say that, after witnessing Morales do his weigh-in a couple of days before the match, that he looked emaciated, could the same happen to Pacquiao? But then again, if you look at the Pac-Man's photo
during the weigh-in a few days ago, the Pac-Man, though not as ripped as before, still has the muscles to show off while playing it cool, as opposed to Diaz' blatant display of bulging biceps and deltoids.

The Pac-Man's fabled speed could also be affected by his increase in weight, which is something that his trainer, Freddie Roach, has even admitted too. And that could certainly mean trouble for Pacquiao.

The Pac-Man's lethal speed and tremedous punching power are the most potent weapons in his boxing arsenal, because it leaves his opponents in a daze and in defensive mode once he unleashes them. Taking away either one, in this case his speed, would leave him - and his moves - predictable and easier to counter and defend against.

It's a good thing that Diaz is known as a slugger because this puts him on an even level with Pacquiao if the match goes down the wire, because if Diaz was a technical boxer like Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, the Pac-Man could lose the match due to his lack of technical skills. A case in point would be his recent match with Juan Manuel Marquez where boxing analysts said that Marquez should've been the winner and not Pac-Man. And although I'm just an armchair analyst like most of us, I shared their sentiments objectively, although Filipino Pride still had me cheering for the Pac-Man's victory.

Anyway, my match prediction: Pacquiao via a hopefully clear-cut split-decision. Now, LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

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