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No knockout, but a win is a win is win

MANNY Pacquiao is world champion again.  By scoring yesterday a unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley, Pacquiao has recaptured his World Boxing Organization world welterweight crown.

He lost it to Bradley by a controversial split decision in June 2012.

But yesterday, there was not an iota of doubt Pacquiao had regained it convincingly and the judges themselves made it so emphatically true.

Two judges scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao.  The third judge saw it a lopsided 118-110 for Pacquiao. 

Mine was 117-111 for Pacquiao and Danny Sir John Isla, the Lexus Manila president, said:  I think your judgment is the best!

Well, not for anything but only a fool would imply that Pacquiao had narrowly defeated Bradley.  He could be courting a lynch-mob.

Yes, Pacquiao rightfully deserves the unanimous decision win but then, must we now content ourselves with that?

I mean, is Pacquiao absolved of misconduct so that we must now restore our faith in him and surrender our earlier stand that a no-knockout win against Bradley would be the clearest signal it is time for him to retire?

The house is divided.  I can see that.

To Pacquiao purists, who sees a no-knockout result as misbehaving on the part of PacMan, the win yesterday was no big deal. 

 Just a simple victory.

 Business like.

 A walk in the park.

 No reason to breast-beat.

 What happened to the killer instinct that Pacquiao said he would revive in the rematch with Bradley?

 It was there.  But, alas, it couldn’t kill anymore.  In other words, the instinct was still there, but the kill was no more.

 What happened to the aggressiveness that Pacquiao said he would revive for yesterday’s fight?

 It was there.  But it wasn’t there all the time.  Haven’t you noticed?  When he couldn’t drop Bradley during the numerous fierce exchanges of shots, he’d stop his assault as though imagining, very fearful of, a lethal blow suddenly coming at him.

 It was as if Pacquiao was still being hounded by the stigma of his 6th-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012 with a sneak shot to the face with one second left in the round?

 Mommy Dionesia, Pacquiao’s mother, put a dash of drama when she climbed the ring after the fight to talk to Bradley, after which she embraced the deposed champion not once but twice.

 If she was trying to appease Bradley or whatever, she deserves our applause, too.  Mothers are the world’s  best peace advocates and I’m sure Pacquiao was profusely touched by his Mom’s friendly gesture to Bradley.

 But back to the question:  Why did Pacquiao fail to knock out Bradley despite having landed several really solid punches to the face?

 Either Bradley is really tough as nails or Pacquiao has lost some sting in his punches?

 It could be both.

 Bradley, 30, had been unbeaten in 31 fights before he climbed the ring yesterday’s terrific testimony to his durability.

 And, at 35, Pacquiao, a pro since 1995, might have started feeling the wear and tear of 19 years of toiling in the business of beak-busting.

 Still, amid Pacquiao’s inability to knock out Bradley, the fact he inflicted Bradley’s first ever defeat in 32 fights done in a real heroic manner is something to crow about as it likewise laid to rest that much-disputed result in 2012.

 Sometimes, it is also good not to desire to aspire that much.  That is why the moon is just there.  It inspires--eternally.

                   *   *   *

 ALL IN   Because it was Palm Sunday yesterday, Manny Pacquiao’s victory sort of made him re-enact Jesus Christs triumphal entry into Jerusalem, in the same manner that the People’s Champs triumph meant that he has reclaimed his throne as king of welterweights.

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