*Folks, let me begin this one by saying that there are not enough words in anyone’s dictionary that could adequately describe how good Manny ” Pac Man” Pacquiao has been throughout the nearly two and half decades he’s been fighting in the ring.
As we take a look back at the wars he’s had with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Eric Morales, Timothy Bradley, Marcos Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, and the great Floyd Mayweather Jr., just to name a few (Oh, did I fail to mention Adrian Broner?)
We’ve seen him go up against some of boxing’s very best and in spite of losing only 7 fights, he’s had a total of 62 wins with 39 coming by way of knockout. He’s won titles in 8 weight divisions and on top of all that, he’s developed a professional career outside the ring by becoming a champion for the people of his home country the Philippines who elected him to the Senate.
I think I’ve said enough for now about the man who is now being called the “peoples champ” let me now give you my thoughts about his latest war in the ring that took place Saturday night in Las Vegas with Keith “One Time” Thurman.
This was in this writer’s opinion one of those fights that will truly go down in the record books as one of those “great” fights in boxing that reminded you of Robinson vs La mota, Leonard vs Hearns, Corrales vs Castillo, and so many others that I didn’t mention. This was a real war between these two who fought like gladiators and things began to get really heated after Pacquiao dropped Thurman with a minute left in the first. From that point on things got more intense as the fight progressed with Thurman coming back in the middle rounds landing some power shots that could’ve taken out an elephant. It was from the fourth to the eighth rounds that Thurman really started to find his groove and for a minute it seemed as if he was indeed pulling ahead going into the tenth. Manny whose face was starting to puff up from all those stiff jabs and power shots he’d taken from Thurman was able to dig down deep and landed a devastating body shot to Thurman who nearly buckled but was able to survive the round. This was one of those fights that had you on the edge of your seat as each round passed that’s why I believe it will be considered one of those “great fights”. Going into the twelveth Manny was able to muster enough strength and power to win the round although it was close.
At the end of the day, it was scored a split decision with Judge Glenn Feldman scoring it 114-113 for Thurman, and Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham scoring it the same 115-112 for Pacquiao.
Folks let me tell you something, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to be around Manny Pacquiao for many years from being hired as the photographer for his former promoter Murad Muhammad when he had his first fight with Marquez, to being commissioned by him to do three oil portraits and watching him become elected to the Philippine Senate. I’ve seen him take a lot of hard hits in the ring, and I’m really concerned that at age 40 and still counting if he continues to get hit like the way Thurman was hitting him Saturday night it’s eventually going to take a toll on him and have a tremendous effect on his performance outside the ring speaking to his many constituents and dealing with his duties as a political leader back home. Which is why I had to ask him at the post-fight press conference ” How far do you want to go after this?” His answer was quote ” I want to please my fans”. He won the fight Saturday night but if he continues he could lose the war within. The world has nothing but love for the “Pac Man” and so does this writer and as I always say, we’ll see what happens. As for Keith Thurman, he truly doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of because he fought a great fight against a great fighter and if it wasn’t for the knockdown in the first there would have been a whole different complexion at the end of the night. I believe he will be back and he says he will.
“When the tide goes out that’s when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked- Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak can be reached at [email protected] for your comments. He’s an artist as well and you can go to
qmubarak06 on Instagram, or mubarakart.com and view his works.