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Fulfilling Pacquiao’s promise

Tis the season to be jolly. To eat, drink, and most important of all, to relax. It’s the holiday season, one of the few times in the year where everyone decides to hang back and take everything easy for a while. To be with their family, enjoy quality time, take a break from their careers, businesses, and problems that bugged them all year.

Probably joining those chilling in the comfort of their home is 8-division champion, People’s Champ Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. And for good reason too. His last two fights weren’t exactly great, by any boxing standards. Pacquiao himself admitted in an interview that he is saddened over his recent performance inside the boxing ring, and wishes to enjoy his break.

First there was his controversial fight with Timothy Bradley. While his loss was then changed to a win, (thanks to those “amazing” judges from Nevada), one couldn’t help notice that there was something missing from the Pac-Man. Like he lost his killer instinct, his championship drive, his boxing.

And of course you have that KO against Juan Manuel Marquez. I need not say more about that match, once is enough for us here at JuicyExpress. The whole Philippines has already gone past the grieving stage. Pacquiao himself probably also has moved on.

In fact, Pacquiao made a grim promise to everyone when he arrived in the Philippines after losing to Marquez.

“We will rise again.”

Sounds like Douglas MacArthur.

I don’t have a problem with Pacquiao’s promise. Hey, Pacquiao is not just a boxer. He is a global icon, idolized by millions all over the world. Words like that are pretty normal, for somebody like Manny Pacquiao.

But if Manny Pacquiao wants to fulfill that promise, that he is going back into the ring and come out stronger and redeem himself, then I have a few suggestions to him which I hope he should consider while relaxing this holiday season.

Manny Pacquiao was weakened and devastated in three ways – body, mind, and heart. But all is not yet lost. Pacquiao can still get it all back by working on these three.

1. Body – Pacquiao should have realized by now that he is not invincible. Whether or not Marquez’s counter punch was enhanced artificially, I will no longer go to that. The point is, Pacquiao should understand he can and will be knocked out again if he doesn’t work on chiseling and strengthening his body. At welterweight, punches are more intense, heavier. Pacquiao will be facing opponents that are younger, stronger, and more driven. His loss will now have future opponents thinking of ways to duplicate what Marquez was able to do.

Pacquiao needs to work on his body. Revert to the Pac-Man that everyone knew, a juggernaut that simply clapped his gloves after receiving a punch barrage.

 

 2. Mind – Many believed Pacquiao wasn’t focused on his fight. That he was too preoccupied with his other activities, like the upcoming local elections in Sarangani and General Santos. Some say Pacquiao also chose the worst possible time to change religions. It earned the ire of those close to him particularly his mother Dionisia Pacquiao. With the apparent lack of focus on boxing, the Pac-Man became easy prey for Marquez who only thought of one thing – Redemption.

Pacquiao must clear his mind. Get rid of unnecessary baggage. If he wants to win and redeem himself, his mindset must be with boxing. Not with those which have nothing to do with boxing.

3. Heart – “Pacquiao has lost the drive of a champion, he has lost the will of a fighter. Used to be, boxing was all that Pacquiao had. Being on top has made him too relaxed, too complacent. The loss with Marquez served him right. “

That’s what Pacquiao’s critics think of him, that his heart was no longer with boxing.  But if you looked at it from another perspective, his KO loss could never have come at a better time. That loss should serve to wake him up from the trance of being on top too long.

Because it is when we hit rock bottom that we learn how to get up. It is during these times when we are so weak, that we discover that we are stronger that what we thought we were.

Pacquiao must rediscover his heart, the heart of a champion. He is not just an eight division world champion, he is the people’s champion. Everybody who loved his boxing was with him every second of the way. He won their hearts. In return, his heart should also be for them.

 

That’s what Manny Pacquiao should do. If he wants to rise again.

 

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