TruSparta Boxing Blog IV

By David Matthew on June 9, 2012
TruSparta Boxing Blog IV
Tonight in Las Vegas, Pacquiao better discover his inner-Thor god-of-war (Stacey Verbeek)

Much of the recent hype surrounding the build-up to Pacquiao-Bradley has been the highly publicized spiritual transformation…

•    Much of the recent hype surrounding the build-up to Pacquiao-Bradley has been the spiritual transformation that Manny Pacquiao is undergoing in his personal life as he discovers God on a higher level. Come tonight against Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Pacquiao better discover his inner-Thor god-of-war. Pacquiao—whom some still regard as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world—hasn’t looked like the dynamic PacMan weaving through opponents at warp-speed, chomping anyone in his path with a prolific display of buzz-saw combination punching.

•    Saturday night, he needs to rediscover that art of war for a couple of reasons. (1) In order to keep a healthy hype buzzing surrounding the belated Mayweather-Pacquiao pageantry, Manny must create excitement again with a scintillating performance, something he hasn’t had since he mowed down Margarito a couple years ago. Mayweather-Pacquiao is still in great demand, but if Manny doesn’t impress tonight that buzz will further wane and the presumptive Fight of the Decade may continue slipping away from us. (2) Because Manny struggled so glaringly against Marquez, and because of his lack of dynamism in dispatching Shane Mosley, there are questions swirling amongst insiders who are forced to consider whether Manny really was taking something (in the form of PEDs) that gave him a boost a few years ago. Because of how powerful he looked against Hatton, De La Hoya, and Cotto, some felt that it was not humanly possible for Manny to carry such power as he transcended weight class after weight class. I still think it’s possible to be great, but Manny would do his legacy well to deliver another electric KO performance against a top competitor in Tim Bradley. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to question the legitimacy of victories, but given the recent events in boxing that have amounted to borderline crisis, we must rethink everything.

•    Tim Bradley is no joke. He will be able to match Manny in conditioning, stamina, and will. Manny will have to earn Bradley’s respect by catching him with something big or he could see Bradley walking him down in the late rounds, making the fight far more competitive than many predict. That said, I think Manny does understand what’s on the line tonight. I think he is due for a big performance, and because Bradley is a seek-and-destroy type of offensive fighter—a style that Manny historically has ate up—I see Manny flurrying with fire-fast combos that will conquer Bradley’s chin. I’m amped for this fight and think it will produce a fan-friendly war.

•    Bradley came in weighing 146 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in, while Pacquiao filled out at the full welterweight limit of 147 pounds for the first time of his career. Following the scales, the warriors faced off and immediately Bradley’s face reflected unwavering intensity as hardnosed hunger and willpower streamed through his eyes.  When asked after the weigh-in as to why he looked so mean/intense, he replied, “I’m ready to go war. They (referring to Pacquiao fans) can’t fight with him. Tomorrow night. Bring it. Look at this physique, I belong at this level.”

•    Pacquiao, in vintage form, smiled at the prospect of the warrior in front of him and the war on the horizon. Fighters display a wide variety of idiosyncrasies and personality quirks during their most pressure-filled moments, and Manny’s signature style is to smile at the world around him, and the hype swirling every time he steps in a ring. When asked why he was smiling, Manny replied, “I’m smiling because God is with me.” This way of being has endeared Manny to his fans and admirers throughout the world, but what makes Manny special as a fighter is his ability to transition from soft-spoken kindness to inherent animalistic instinct when he puts on the boxing gloves. He will need all of his warrior spirit to be fully animated Saturday night, and the question remains as to whether he still has the dog of war inside of him, or if his spiritual journey has finally extracted the war out of his way of being.

•    Paul “Punisher” Williams is still on my mind. Now that we’ve had time to digest the unfortunate accident, which has Pun fighting a different kind of battle, I remember all of the golden moments he has blessed us with. Whether it was his war against Margarito, where Pun looked so dynamic with his nonstop whirlwind assortment of combination punching that many wondered if he could ever be beaten, or his 1st round revenge KO of Carlos Quintana to avenge his prior loss, or his storybook rivalry with Sergio Martinez, which produced one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport, TruSparta salutes Pun Williams on this day. Pun has always been a refreshingly optimistic spirit who found the positive in any situation. Even after his KO loss to Maravilla, Pun smiled it off and said, “That’s just how the cookie crumbled tonight. I’ll be back.” He was robbed of the chance to fight against Canelo in September, but he seems positive and determined to persevere through this injury, and has told us that he will be back—and I believe in him. I am not privy to the specifics of his medical analysis and diagnosis surrounding this injury, but I do know that human beings have regained abilities that doctors condemned as “impossible” in a myriad of situations. If anyone can transcend our present understanding of the physical laws of the universe—it would have to be somebody with the undying optimism of Paul Williams. Because of that supreme resilience in spirit, Pun is this week’s TruSpartan of the week.

TruSparta Boxing Blog I
TruSparta Boxing Blog II
TruSpart Boxing Blog III
TruSpart Boxing Blog IV

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Read More Blogs
Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. ontchimuz 09:18am, 06/09/2012

    Superb article yet again. I heard Arum is postponing the start of the fight until the Celtics/Heat game 7 is finished….smart move but I still will not buy this fight.

    It has the potential to be a war. How many more wars can Manny take?

    Is Bradley ready to take it to this level….?

    Love the Pun “TruSpartan of the week” piece.

    Keep the good articles coming.

  2. The Tache 08:54am, 06/09/2012

    In the picture, Manny’s head looks a lot bigger than Bradley’s!!
    That’s a surprise.

  3. David Matthew 07:58am, 06/09/2012

    note: forgive me for not having read all of your piece during the lead-up - been a pretty crazy week.  I’ll backlog.

  4. David Matthew 07:57am, 06/09/2012

    What’s good Thresh?  What specifically about the hype for this fight has sickened you?

  5. The Thresher 06:37am, 06/09/2012

    The hype has sickened me. The number of articles (I wrote 4) has been way disproportionate to the fight. But this is what New School is all about. And I for one am not crazy about it. :twisted:

    In fact, I am giving a speech on this very subject at the Tewksbury Library on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM.

Leave a comment