Reinventing Manny-A A +A
Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAR from finished. That certainly was the consensus last Sunday after Manny Pacquiao’s masterful performance against Timothy Bradley.
It was a fistic chess game played out by two excellent fighters as they both jockeyed for angles and superior position.
As is usually the case when a southpaw and an orthodox fighter face each other, the stance and relative position of their feet play a prominent role.
But in the end, it was Manny’s superior conditioning and pinpoint accuracy that won.
Bradley started out strong in the early rounds as he boxed and moved well, landing some eye catching right hands that shook Manny.
However, as the fight progressed, Bradley ran out of steam. He started to showboat in the middle rounds, daring Manny to hit him.
But pretty soon, it became obvious that he did not want to punch himself out and was trying to conserve energy as he rested along the ropes.
POST FIGHT. I had a blast doing the post fight analysis for Sun Star Cebu. If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out on YouTube.
One of those who were kind enough to post their comments was a very erudite boxing fan who signed in as “Bakun Nawa.” I would like to take this opportunity to discuss his views in this column.
According to him Manny now is now a poised boxer who uses his brains more and does not rely solely on the left straight. And when he does, he manages to keep his balance without necessarily throwing his weight forward, making him open for right hand counters.
Very astute observation bro. You hit the nail right on the head.
MATURITY. As we have come to know him, Manny is a fighter who has relied on speed and power as his cornerstones to success. He was a buzzsaw who breezed through several weight divisions, claiming the scalps of several world champions who had no answer to his impossibly fast reflexes.
But nobody beats the conspiratorial duo of Father Time and Mother Nature. As we age, our athletic powers dissipate.
However, it’s different for everybody due to our differences in genetic makeup. For fighters, the path is even made more diverse as the wear and tear due to ring battles vary.
In Manny’s case, perhaps because he is a fighter who relies on speed and power, any slight degree of decline becomes much more apparent.
An excellent example would be Roy Jones Jr. For a long time he was the pound for pound king. He was fast and powerful and could get away with keeping his hands down in front of his opponent.
He was so speedy, he would wait for his opponent to punch so he could find the opening he needed to land 3 or 4 counters.
But as the years went by, his speed and reflexes dwindled, and of course, we all know he got knocked out several times.
Compare that to his rival, Bernard Hopkins. The Executioner did not have Roy’s speed, but he more than made up for that with superior ring technique and savvy.
Today, he will be fighting to unify the light heavyweight titles As for Roy Jones, well, he is better off retiring now before he seriously injures himself.
In Manny’s case, as shown in that Bradley fight, he showed maturity and was able to compensate for any deficiencies in speed by his technique.
At age 35, he may not be as fast as he was 10 years ago, but he has shown the ability to adapt and utilize what works best to win fights.
An avid basketball fan, perhaps he is taking a page from Michael Jordan who relied less and less on daredevil drives to the hoop in the late stages of his career, but developed a deadly outside shot and an accurate fade away jumper that seemed impossible to defend against.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on lovely couple Marvin and Rhea Miralles who are set to exchange “I dos” today. Cheers! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 20, 2014.