The beatings that linger

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Sunday, April 6, 2014


AS MANNY Pacquiao’s rematch with Timothy Bradley draws near, a question that has often popped up during the myriad discussions on the net is whether or not Bradley is a better fighter than the one Manny first fought?

At first glance, the temptation would be to say yes, especially in light of his subsequent victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez.

But that assessment has been tempered by Freddie Roach who has claiming that Bradley is now a damaged fighter after he was busted up so bad in that Provodnikov fight and subsequently in the Marquez victory.

Bradley himself was quoted on HBO’s 24/7 series as saying that the Provodnikov fight marked the first time he ever pissed blood and that he left a piece of him on that ring that fateful night.

MANNY’S KAYO. But let’s also consider Manny’s predicament. After the first Bradley encounter, we all know he was stopped in the 6th round by archrival Marquez and that knockout was so brutal he lost consciousness for several minutes.

As I said before in a previous column, boxers get knocked out all the time, but they get up, call it a night and move on.

In Manny’s case, he always seemed so indestructible and ergo, it was surreal seeing him motionless for a few minutes, and you just know that’s not an ordinary thing to happen, especially to a fighter of his caliber.

After that concussive kayo, came the Brandon Rios match where Manny pretty much had his way with the slower, flatfooted challenger.

I was at ringside that night in Macau and truly it was a relief to see Manny float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Still, he took some damage too that night (this is boxing, after all) but Brandon’s blows were of the clubbing kind and Manny took them very well.
So where does that leave us?

EVEN. Well that just about leaves them even in so far as damage is concerned. I think it’s a bit one sided to mention only Bradley’s beatdown at the hands of Provodnikov and totally ignore the potential
damage the Marquez kayo might have brought on our “Pambansang Kamao”

The beating that Provodnikov gave Bradley was terrible and was of the sustaining, gruelling kind. One that takes a lot out of a fighter.

Those are the kinds of beatings that linger.

But Manny’s sleep- induced knockout is nothing to scoff at. Some fighters show neurological damage after frightening knockouts like those, though the damage may not be immediately apparent.

ROACH. But what tips the balance in favor of Pacquiao is the Roach factor. After all, he worked the corner of Provodnikov that night and he must have seen how his fighter’s blows inflicted damage.

Roach knows whereof he speaks especially when it comes to Bradley. He’s had two chances at this guy and both times, he has come out empty handed. Controversially, of course, but a loss is a loss.

Perhaps the damage issue is another psychological tool the avuncular boxing wizard is using.

Whatever the case, remember that these are not the same two protagonists that faced each other in June 2012.

Expect the unexpected.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my daughter Julia Emmanuelle who recently graduated from the elementary level with honors.

Congratulations, Ate Du, and cheers!

***

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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