Erle Frayne Argonza
Elation and euphoria are back in the Philippines and across the borders today as Manny Paquiao beat David Diaz in the lightweight division of world boxing. Flat on his face in the ring’s floor, Diaz looked like a whacked baby in comatose, ready to face the surgeon for some serious eye and facial injuries sustained during nine (9) rounds of unrelenting offensive from the unbeatable Manny.
From the first through the ninth rounds, Manny Paquiao exhibited superior punching and maneuvering ability and was the clear upper hand points-wise for all of those rounds. His superiority in both speed and power, added to his outstanding maneuvering skill, made him throw every kind of punch on the pathetic Diaz, candidate of America, with ease.
On the 5th round of the game, my compassion as a yogi-mystic began to surface while watching with eyes glued 105% on the TV screen. My compassion was, of course, addressed towards Diaz, whose face already sustained bleeding as early as the 2nd round, and I wished that Manny would knock him out on the 6th round as a matter of compassion. It would be cruel for any professional boxer to go on throwing deadly punches on an enemy who is almost down, and should, in my mind, work out to knock out the opponent early enough so as to minimize heavy injuries that could lead to death at the worse.
That knock out came finally on the 9th round, which made me felt a feeling of relief, and so I exclaimed my jubilation for my compatriot’s victory and compassion. Of course, I thanked God that Diaz is still intact, and was able to stand on his feet at least, thus assuring no further need for surgical operations or whatever. It was just a fight, may this fighter practice more. But like the rest of my kabayans, Manny has warmed our hearts so much again, and on this day he’s the one hero who had united the nation for at least some couples of hours.
Manny is now assured of his Hall of Fame status, with his gaining of a 4th title victory, notwithstanding the awarding to him of the most prestigious World Boxing Council or WBC belt at the 135-lb category. He is also impeccably Asia’s best, as it was the first time that an Asian won four (4) world titles in his career, thus ensuring Asia it’s place in the globe as a continent worth watching for.
Finally, and this is what has given us great pride, Manny’s latest victory has ensured Philippine supremacy in boxing from here on till maybe at least ten (10) years to come. Manny was not just representing himself, but rather he’s the chief icon among couples of others in the middle down to lower weight categories. The coterie of top-gun boxers have made Manila the team to beat, and had swept off Mexico and Thailand as the previous holders of this sports tiara.
For all boxers as a whole, Manny Paquiao’s latest victory had added prestige to the lower boxing weight divisions, and the spotlight of boxing had all the more been focused on these divisions away from the middle-to-heavy weights. He joins the coterie of titans such as De La Joya who earlier gave so much prestige to the lower-to-middle divisions.
Mabuhay si Manny Paquiao! Mabuhay ang mga Filipino boxers! Mabuhay ang Inang Bayan!
Writ 29 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]