Shocked. Stunned. Saddened.
The common reaction among Negrenses yesterday as Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao slumped down on the canvas after Juan Manuel Marquez caught him with a right hand a second before the bell rang ending the sixth round of their fourth battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada yesterday.
National boxing team coach and Olympic bronze medalist Roel Velasco said Pacquiao’s loss taught a big lesson to all boxers about defense and defeat. He said Pacquiao should have not lowered his arm and left his face exposed, but then losing is a part of every fight.
Velasco said the loss was not a career-ending one for Pacquiao and it is still “harvest time” for the boxing congressman from Mindanao.
It is a sad day for the country, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leoanardia said, adding that boxing is a game of extreme risk and danger and it was a lucky punch from Marquez.
“It was a lucky break for the Mexican because it came with just only one second left in the round. Ironically, Manny had already recovered from an earlier knock down and was on his way to dominating the fight,” Leonardia, who was in Las Vegas as an official member of the Team Pacquiao, said.
“Be that it may, let us not forget that Manny Pacquiao holds the record of having won eight titles in eight different divisions. He is the only boxer in history to have achieved such distinction. That is something that nobody can take away from him,” the Bacolod City mayor added.
He also pointed out that “after everything is said and done, Pacquiao is still the idol and champion of the Philippines and still, an adopted son and a friend of the Bacoleños.
“Let us all wait for his comeback,” Leonardia said.
It’s a bad day in boxing for all of us Filipinos, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Bacolod City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said, as the governor added that everyone in Negros is “in mourning” for Pcquiao’s loss.
He also suggested retirement for the boxing champ, a sentiment shared by Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez.
“I suggest he concentrate on one thing, he can be a full time public servant or a full time boxer, or a full time actor or singer,” Alvarez said.
Pacquiao admitted during the post-game interview that he got overconfident and it was a good shot from Marquez, a punch that he never expected.
His colleague in the House of Representatives, congressman Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, said Pacquiao got careless and it was a lucky punch from Marquez.
Businessman and local sports patron Oscar Bascon also noted that the Pacman might have taken for granted Marquez after recovering from the third round knockdown and getting ahead in the scorecard in the fourth and fifth rounds.
“We learned one lesson there. Never take your opponent for granted. It was the first knockdown for Pacquiao in three years and he was not the same Pacman we saw fighting before,” Bascon said.
But whiles suggestions for retirement have reverberated after the fight, Pacquiao announced he is ready for a fifth battle against Marquez and after taking some rest it will be “back to training and back to fight” once again for him.
“If Manny can't focus completely on boxing, it's time to hang up the gloves. He has nothing to prove anyway anymore. He is already a legend. He should have stopped when he was ahead,” former Bacolod congressman Monico Puentevella said.
He added that Pacquiao is only human and boxing has always been unpredictable.
Marquez, meanwhile, said he was anticipating Pacquiao to throw a 1-2 punch so he stepped aside and countered with the winning punch.
The Mexican added he came to the fight fully prepared and he knew that his quickness and strength will give him the victory against Pacquiao.
After knocking down the Filipino in the third round, Marquez said he tried to stay calm and be patient as he knew that it will only take one punch from Pacquiao to nail him.*NAB