Quijano: Redemption and resurgence

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


THEY say all the great ones have great fights left in them. In Manny Pacquiao’s case, he was noticeably a step slower, and perhaps a more prosaic version of the one who tore through several weight divisions.

But he showed why he belonged among the ranks of the all time greats in last Sunday’s fight against Timothy Bradley.

Faced with the prospect of a career-ending loss, Manny battled through attrition and brilliantly outfought an opponent who came prepared and ready to dethrone him.

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THE SCORES. The first round was close, but I thought Bradley shaded it with his jab and strong right hands. Judge Glen Trowbridge gave him this round while judges Michael Pernick and Craig Metcalfe gave it to Manny.

Manny came alive in the 2nd round and he won this on all the 3 judges’ scorecards.

In the third stanza, Manny’s combinations shook Bradley, but the latter also scored with some right hands. Two judges gave this to Manny.

The fourth was Bradley’s best round of the fight as he scored with a big right hand that stunned Manny as he was backing up. All the judges gave him this round.

The fifth was close, but all the three judges again gave this to Bradley on account of his activity. At this point in the fight though, I thought both fighters appeared winded.

In the sixth round, both fighters had their moments, but Manny won it on all three judges scorecards. At the midway point, two judges had it dead even at 57-57 while Manny was ahead on Trowbridge’s card by two points.

It was in the second half of the fight that Manny began to dominate and pull away. It didn’t help Bradley’s cause that he also started to showboat which was clearly his way of compensating for the fact that he was getting exhausted.

A resurgent Manny took the 7th as he appeared to get his second wind. Two judges gave Manny the 8th and the 9th rounds, but in the homestretch from rounds 10-12, all three of them were unanimous as Manny swept the cards

MANNY’S PERFORMANCE. At 35 years of age, Manny is clearly not the whirling dervish that flummoxed the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Oscar de la Hoya by suffocating them with punches that seemed to come from all angles.

The power that inundated prolific fighters like Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto resulting in highlight reel stoppages was considerably missing.

But Manny proved he still had what it takes to perform at the highest level.

Apparently, Manny Pacquiao at 85% was still good enough to dominate the best that the division had to offer.

More importantly- over and above all considerations, the fight showed he still had the heart and the passion. The fire in his belly still burns.Midway through, the fight was
still anybody’s game but Manny persevered.

Faced with Bradley’s showboating antics, he also demonstrated championship poise in not being bated into a wild slugfest and just following through with the game plan of attacking and pushing the pace.

BRADLEY’S PERFORMANCE. Bradley did well in the first half when he boxed Manny and flicked the jab, following it up with combinations. But he seemed to lack the stamina as he resorted to throwing wild punches in the second half of the fight.

Another glaring infirmity was his lack of punching power. While he landed his fair share of the leather and stunned Manny a couple of times, the latter was never in any real danger of getting stopped or knocked out.

Contrast that to Juan Manuel Marquez who in their last fight knocked down Manny with a single right hand in the third, then bludgeoned him into unconsciousness with another right in the 6th.

This seems validated when you take a look at Bradley’s record as he only owns 12 knockouts in 31 wins. Most of those knockouts came early in his career. Against top-tier opponents, there doesn’t seem to be much torque in those Bradley blows.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Finnigan Paul Tero Schimmer. Welcome to the Christian world.

Cheers! (jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 16, 2014.

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