Mommy D’s moment

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Monday, April 14, 2014


TOO bad, the only mike available inside the ring was somewhere else when Nanay Dionesia, also known as Mommy D, was talking to Timothy Bradley. It was nothing short of an historic moment; rare, if any, is the mother who climbs up into the roped area after a fight, rarer still she who hugs the man her son had just vanquished.

So even as news reports said that Mommy D tried to console Bradley, we’re left wondering as to the words that she exactly used. But there is no guessing that for a moment she stole the show from her better-known son, who certainly wouldn’t have minded even if his mother had taken over the whole post-fight interview.

The bond between mother and son is so great, it is palpable. She obviously has a deep influence on Manny even if at times she’d raise her hands up in despair, such as when the Sarangani congressman refused to heed her advice to stay away from his preacher friends.

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While Manny’s father, who reportedly hails from Pinamungahan, Cebu, has managed to keep a low profile, Mommy D has been visible. When she was not with him at the fight venue, she was at home, praying for him in her private chapel, with the media dutifully reporting every move she does and every word she says as they would every punch that Manny lands.

She may have, as a Manila broadsheet described it, provided comic relief to the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch. She may be, as some detractors accuse, basking in the reflection of her son’s glory. But she is a proven good copy and hey, wasn’t she the one who raised her son and suffered with him?

So what could have she told Bradley? My guess: “Swerte ka Dong Timothy, dili killer ang akong anak.” That would be totally Mommy D. (Bradley had, before the fight, said Pacquiao has lost the killer instinct.)

Still on Manny, the Sarangani boxer said he is good for a couple more years. At an average of two fights per year, that would mean five more fights, including the one that should be held in the second half of this year.

Next year, Pacquiao will be 36, the following year, 37. In professional tennis, that is too old for a player to remain competitive. Roger Federer, for example, is only 32 but he is no longer the dominant player that he used to be. In fact, he is only number four in the world rankings now. And to think that tennis is a non-contact sport.

In one of the scarier moments in last Sunday’s bout, Pacquiao’s legs briefly wobbled after he was hit smack on the face by Bradley. Manny quickly recovered but the ghost of that devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8, 2012 came to haunt his fans as images of Manny lying flat on his face, totally unconscious, on the canvas flashed before us.

He may be one of the toughest creatures living in the planet but Manny is only human. How long can his body absorb so much punishment? What will it take for the spirit to yield to the gnawing effects of wear and tear?

His job is to fight, Manny said last Sunday. He will leave the choice of opponents to his promoter Bob Arum. Arum could be salivating over the prospect of Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather. At one time, that match-up has lost its luster because of the successive defeats that Manny suffered in 2012.

But after victories over Brandon Rios and Bradley, Pacquiao-Mayweather suddenly looks like a haymaker. The fight promises a lot of money and that is the only thing that matters to Arum.

Will it be good for Pacquiao? Does he need a Mayweather or, for that matter, any other fight to validate his reputation as one of the greatest boxers of all time?

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 15, 2014.

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