Zeroing in on Marquez, Donaire & Pacquiao
By Al S. Mendoza
JUAN Manuel Marquez got his Christmas wish but not the yearend package.
I refer to Marquez’s sixth-round knockout win over Manny Pacquiao last December 9.
It was more than a bonus as the win redeemed Marquez’s 2-1, loss-draw record against Pacquiao in 2008 and 2011 and 2004 (draw).
Before December 9, Marquez was virtually a man possessed, dying to defeat to Pacquiao or he won’t quit boxing till his last breadth.
When he got his defining dream, that was it for Marquez. Alleluia. Eureka.
Never mind that his knockout victory was so sensational it resonated around the world that if he was voted Fighter of The Year, no one would have complained.
But after stopping Pacquiao, nothing else mattered for Marquez.
Him not winning Fighter of the Year honors was of no consequence anymore.
Gladly, he’d even given that to Nonito Donaire Jr.—on a silver platter yet.
But in fairness, Donaire deserved the award more than Marquez.
While Marquez’s win had more impact than any other fight result in 2012, Donaire’s four wins in just one year outranked any feat scored by any other boxer the previous year.
It was a package like no other.
The four fights did not only make Donaire the busiest fighter in 2012. His perfect batting average also made him the most accurate pugilist in recent memory.
And take this: After Donaire narrowly beat Puerto Rican Wilfred Vasquez Jr. in February, he easily decisioned South African Jeffrey Mathebula in July.
Then in October, Donaire knocked out Japan’s legendary Toshiaki Nishioka in the ninth round before the Filipino Flash stopped Mexican Jorge Arce in the third round on December 16 in Texas.
As I was saying, only in that glorious era of Muhammad Ali did practically one boxer dominate his foes with monotonous regularity.
And that fighter was Ali himself, winning once in three months most of the time to make him the busiest of them all from the Sixties to the Seventies.
Let’s pray, though, that Donaire, 30, won’t suffer the fate of Ali, who is now afflicted with Parkinson’s Syndrome—that disease that slows down the motor of our brain.
Thus, I counsel Donaire to decrease the number of his fights this year to just two, if possible.
Boxing is so cruel a sport that the continued hits to the face and head could really inflict brain damage in the long run.
That is why if there are opinions that Pacquiao may have signs of the Parkinson’s, they shouldn’t be dismissed that easily.
For one, Pacquiao has been fighting for 17 years now.
For another, he was only barely 16 when he turned professional.
The volume of punches he has absorbed could be more than what the other boxers may have taken, considering that Pacquiao is more known for brawling than defending.
Better yet that Pacquiao retires already?