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Pacquiao’s Future? I’m Still Stuck on November 14th

pac5635Tuesday, November 17, 2009 – By Zachary M. Johnson: Even if you are a passionate boxing fan, you are lucky if, once in your life, you see a fight that makes you fall in love with boxing all over again. Three days removed from a record-setting welterweight match-up, my feeling is still the same—we all just witnessed a monumental moment in boxing history.

Last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao didn’t just do his part to inspire pugilism’s weathered fans anew; he shellacked a durable true welterweight in Miguel Cotto and increased his sport’s drawing power for casual and prospective fans across the globe. And now, with a future bout against undefeated slickster Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0-0, 25 KOs), Manny Pacquiao could have the chance to etch yet another indelible mark into his already impressive legacy.

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) has seemingly defied nature while shattering time-tested boxing axioms, bounding through successive weight classes and claiming championship hardware at each stop. Saturday’s fight, Pacquiao’s seventh championship victory in as many weight classes, has garnered praise from all corners of the boxing community and beyond. Bert Sugar, a great boxing historian, has even gone so far as to definitively say that Pacquiao is the sport’s greatest southpaw. Ever.

The subtext to this fight, however, may be the most impressive part. Manny Pacquiao finished the fight with a broken right hand and a ruptured right ear drum. Watching the fight, I never saw any indication that his hand or his ear gave him any problems. While his increasing dominance over the course of the fight was certainly impressive, I find myself equally impressed by his ability to maintain that kind of poker face against a welterweight thumper like Miguel Cotto.

The broken hand is a shame, but the ruptured eardrum is considerably less tragic to those who were in attendance for Pac-Man’s post-fight concert. Fortunately for Manny, though, his legacy won’t be measured by his singing ability. Pacquiao’s physical performance at the MGM Grand on November 14 was a kinetic symphony. Even Beethoven, though, probably wouldn’t have finished performing his Ninth with a broken hand.

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