Trying not to root for Pacquiao

By Gordon Marino on July 15, 2018
Trying not to root for Pacquiao
As for the fight itself, Father Time was napping last night. (Photo: Reuters)

I was trying to pull back from pulling for Pacquiao but to no avail, my fan’s muscle memory would not allow me to go cold on the Pac Man…

I had a strange experience last night. I was trying my best not to root for Manny Pacquiao in his title tilt with Lucas Matthysse. I am disappointed and angry with MP for having ditched the man who honed his craft and whom Manny used to refer to as his father figure. Equally appalling, I am disgusted by the fact Pacquiao is an outspoken supporter of the monster President Rodrigo Duterte.

Given the evangelical support for Trump, I ought not to be surprised by the fact that a twice born again Christian like Pacquiao could give a shout-out of thanks to a murderer who has boasts of throwing people out of airplanes.

Ah, “And so it goes” as Kurt Vonnegut would sigh.

But back to last night; I used to revere Manny—for his speed, technique, grit, sportsmanship, and concern for people. And to think that when teamed up with Freddie Roach the former half-starved street urchin became one of the greatest fighters of the modern era, learned English, earned his GED, and was elected senator! There is little doubt that down the road a few years, the world champ will become President Pacquiao.

I was trying to pull back from pulling for Pacquiao but to no avail, my fan’s muscle memory would not allow me to go cold on the Pac Man.

As for the fight itself, Father Time was napping last night. The old Pacquiao looked like the young MP. His combos were comet like. His signature flash-dance in and out footwork was back on full display. Deftly working off the jab, and being careful to move his head off line, Manny exploded uppercuts and his bullet of a straight left.

Not to be a wet blanket, but I think Matthysse was made for Manny. He is about the same size so Manny did not have to punch up or wrestle with a much bigger guy. While the Argentinian has a nuclear right—that is about it. He is not fast, leans forward and unlike Marquez, Matthysse did not have the technique or timing to catch Pacquiao with his singular sleep inducer.

Most of the fight, Manny was moving to his left and into Matthysse’s power lane—which, I think, renders it pretty clear that the Senator was confident that he could cope with Matthysse’s one-dimensional attack. 

A Pacquiao addict, more than a fan, I hope Manny takes on Keith Thurman next. Even at 40, Pacquiao could confuse and outbox a sure to be rusty Thurman. Though with little reason, I also hope Manny’s next victory comes with Freddie back in his corner and Duterte back in his cave.

A veteran boxing trainer and professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College, Marino is the author of the recently published THE EXISTENTIALIST’S SURVIVAL GUIDE; HOW TO LIVE AUTHENTICALLY IN AN INAUTHENTIC AGE (Harper).

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


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. Lucas McCain 06:10am, 07/18/2018

    Gordon Marino—
    Or, you can just tell the angry ones you actually meant a double negative. They seem to like that one.

  2. snowflake 12:53pm, 07/17/2018

    Amazing what this comment section turns into whenever a journalist has the temerity to question a strongman. Dear Leader, indeed

  3. Gordon Marino 06:12am, 07/17/2018

    Yup label people who disagree with you and then ignore them -a good recipe for living in a bubble.

  4. Chico Salmon 10:55am, 07/16/2018

    @Casanovita… haha. I hear ya. I don’t use the term, “liberal” to identify these leftist fascists though. I think they HIJACKED that term, and they are the antithesis of liberal. I actually have no problem with REAL liberals. Of course a REAL liberal is as rare as a blue diamond nowadays. These leftists are the most intolerant fools out there.

  5. Casanovita de Ahome 10:39am, 07/16/2018

    @Chico Salmon-Ignore these IYIs ( Intellectuals Yet Idiots) that come on here… both writers and commenters! These whiny Socio-Fascist Fux are the same asshats that were chanting “Four more years ” for Obama when they really meant Mugabe Jr. for life! Now they’re saying that Judge Kavanaugh is “too white”! The truth of the matter is that these self loathing, grievance ridden, hate filled fux hate Trump because because he’s white! Now the author of this article is saying that main stream media is not Liberal….IYI!

  6. Gordon Marino 09:01am, 07/16/2018

    Sorry to box about politics in a boxing article but Duterte has boasted on tape about his many extra-judicial executions. That is just a fact recognized around the globe. Stop all this nonsense about fake news and liberal media. If you believe that bloody hands are ok so long as they serve to produce a certain amount of stability - then just come out and say it, but don’t deny the facts. After all, there are plenty of people who are with you on Duterte, Putin, Assad and other so-called “strong men”.  I’m just not one of them. I’m for the rule of law. That should make me a conservative but it seems that for many that makes me a “liberal troll.” What can you do?

  7. Chico Salmon 06:14am, 07/16/2018

    For some reason the writer of this article used a Pacquiao fight to vent his prejudice against Christianity and take pokes at President Duterte and President Trump. None of this had anything to do with the fight at all. This site routinely has writers invoking LEFTIST politics into its articles and then LEFTIST trolls will complain that this is a boxing site, and not a political site,  if other commenters object or question the political slant of many of these articles. This isn’t the first time that Duterte or Trump has been mentioned in articles on this site, far from it in Trump’s case. I have no problem with politics being discussed on a boxing site, but don’t complain or cry when a good deal of the commenters don’t agree with your leftist spiel.

  8. Donald Grant 05:29am, 07/16/2018

    I don’t share Mr. Marino’s negative (not to mention hopelessly elitist) opinion of Presidents Trump and Duterte. But even if I did, I would still disapprove. The article could easily have been written without the political observations, which have only served to distract, inflame, and cause a lot of needless resentment. Pretty much always a mistake to bring politics into anything other than politics.

    By the way, what is “a twice born again Christian”? Like most Filipinos, Pacquiao was baptized a Catholic. Unlike most of his brethren, however, he eventually converted to Evangelical Protestantism.

  9. Pedro 03:39am, 07/16/2018

    Yo braindead Roger. Here’s an article from Pacland for your crossed eyes to read. Free your dull mind from blind love towards His Worthlessness Dutae and read Press on your rusty brakes and refocus your mind back on the boxing road.

  10. migz 02:20am, 07/16/2018

    You are a good writer, Gordon. Your style in driving home a point by intertwining current events with the Pacquiao “2nd coming” catches attention. Kind of expected because you are an educator. Congratulations

  11. Roger Manalco 01:02am, 07/16/2018

    Pedro Damaso., scrolling down would reveal you were the first who inserted the issue of politics in this forum.  Your brain must be really stuffed with yellow shits.  You deserve a left hook from Pacquiao, to get rid of that shit.  And that makes this post relevant to sports.

  12. Arvin 12:08am, 07/16/2018

    Stop interfering our politics and goverment..pres duterte is the best president we ever had since marcos was oust by the liberals! feeding wrong informations to filipinos during those days! Thanks god there is social media now! Media and the oppositions who wants to get back to power! Cannot twist the truth and fool the filipinos now!

  13. Dido 11:37pm, 07/15/2018

    Are you not wondering that despite the all-out efforts of the Yellows feeding the international media with lies and fake news to smear president Duterte his approval ratings is still this high - 88%? wake up, you are being fed with bias news. Filipinos are not stupid and knows whats best for their country.

  14. Pedro 11:01pm, 07/15/2018

    Yo Roger like mayday on the radio desperately hanging to dear life before the final plunge because the the dumb ass brain was not working well.
    You will soon descend with your omnipotent demigod in dutertard. Excuse but this is a forum devoted to boxing and if ever non sports
    material is mentioned it is purely incidental. Hence do not carry the topic as if we are talking of Phil.  Politics than of sports.

  15. Giusseppe 10:43pm, 07/15/2018

    The funniest thing here though is that we see this note/disclaimer at the end of the article. After the author has delivered a below the belt commentary/opinion/piece, we get to see this. See the hypocrisy here? Psssh!

    “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…”

  16. Giusseppe 10:37pm, 07/15/2018

    The fact of the matter is, there are 3 sides of the political fence - pro, opposition, and those that stay neutral. This boxing site should have stayed neutral. For the opposition, all I could read here are ad hominems so far. You haven’t presented a better argument to make everybody else believe that you are right. That your view is better than the majority’s view. Myself, I may not agree with all of Duterte’s antics, but I’m a pragmatist! The truth of the matter is, he is more effective than any of the presidents I have seen since Cory days! That is a fact! So, yes, he was in fact the better option than the liberals running the state for 3 decades! He is crass, yes. He doesn’t seem fit to be a president, yes. But we’ve had all the makings of good president in the past, exclude Estrada, on paper but they were never as effective as Duterte as he is now. So stop your whining and whinging! Step and up and help the country. Wait until the next elections and let the people vote for the people they think is fit to lead them. You are not the only voice in PH that needs to be heard.

  17. roger manalco 10:13pm, 07/15/2018

    Pedro Damaso, your brain stinks with yellow shits.  We may not appreciate the antics of Du30 with religion but in many times he expresses believe in God.  We voted for him as president and he is doing just that.  Your Yellow politicians like Panot have been given the chance to lead but instead of helping the country he allowed the flooding of illegal drugs and widespread corruption.  Keep dreaming to bring back the likes of panot to become president after du30’s term.  But sorry to disappoint you, we wont allow it.  16M dutertards maybe even growing.

  18. Pedro 09:41pm, 07/15/2018

    To me the author of this article is heavenly right. Don’t you think it preposterous for Manny to publicly announce his obviously obnoxious president as Good knowing fully well that the God that he endears and beloved by his people was badly maligned as in blasphemed and scoffed at recently by this supposed good leader ? and yet Manny incessantly displays pure reverence to his God before every fight. Did you not hear him trumpet his thanks to God everytime he won a title?  “I owe it to Him in a resounding tone. ” His success would have been more sweeter if he didn’t show conflicting emotions by thanking God and kissing the president’s stinky ass at the same time during the interview.

  19. damonyo68 09:37pm, 07/15/2018

    Never mind this duterte fanatics. You cant fight them now.. cant fight these government sponsored online trolling and fake news propaganda bs’s…Duterte can keep talking with his filthy mouth and just retract it later if there is a public outcry. But you cannot criticize their holier than god president.. tss…

  20. Spruce 09:20pm, 07/15/2018

    The author better write strictly about sports. Mind your own country’s politics. Don’t read most of mainstream media’s FAKE news. I recommend you spend a couple of months in a country you want to criticize the government to really see the actual happenings. Clearly you are just speaking on what you have been reading and not on what you experienced. Don’t be a big FOOL! Do some research first, you’re a stupid journalist.

  21. Your Name 09:19pm, 07/15/2018

    I agree to your comment about everything mr. Marino. Went to PI few months ago and talk to my grown nephews to be alert and cuz now cops can kill anyone anytime they want to, And they can get away with it. PI now a days is country with out due process of law .. Its so sad but its true.

  22. Reynaldo R Lansangan 09:11pm, 07/15/2018


  23. Cjbaste 08:46pm, 07/15/2018

    Hey Dumbass.  Keep your liberal political views out of sports.  Particularly boxing.

  24. LOL 07:11pm, 07/15/2018

    Have you ever thought on why majority of Filipinos praise President Duterte? In this present time, Philippines needs a Duterte’s style leadership. There too many corruption and drugs flowing freely… This needs to stop so the country can rebuild for a better future.

  25. Gener Alcoreza 06:58pm, 07/15/2018

    You sound like a local catholic priest.  Another father Damaso who licks the balls of the Yellow LP’s   i suggest you are the one who should stay in your cave wherever you are.  You dont know much about the progress here in the Phils.  Majority of us like what is happening and the progress Duterte has brought in our country.  You failed to compare the 2 years accomplishment against the full terms of the LP rule in the country or you are simply blind.  About Pacquiao, regardless of him becoming president or not, I would rather vote for someone similar with a heart for the poor than another Panot who did nothing but oppress the poor with widespread corruption.

  26. Giusseppe 06:42pm, 07/15/2018

    @TonyGregory - you’re still trying to sell that “39% only” idea? Wasn’t that the majority of voters? And isn’t how the rest of the presidents in PH were also elected by? Tell me the last time that there was a real super majority vote? None! That’s what the Philippine electoral process, right? And what made you believe that the rest of 61% is against him? They prefer another candidate, but not necessarily against him. And that is what the survey is showing - now how about we stick to the latest facts and move on? As if the liberal majority leading PH for decades have done what Duterte has accomplished in the 2 years he is in office. The same liberal majority who is peddling lies inside the country and outside. Good thing the public is aware - thanks to social media, mainstream media’s lies have been put in check - even though they still hold most influence over the flow of information - sad to say.

  27. maxzie 06:42pm, 07/15/2018

    I like the opening line but when I came across that misguided and unruly comment about Pres. Duterte, I lost the appetite to read further. To my mind, this is another one of those stupid western journalist who have allowed themselves to be swayed by the lies and propaganda being spread by the Philippines’ political opposition w the help of their biased, paid media. Fox and other international press, what do they really know about what’s really going on inside the country? Pres Duterte’s people support remains at a very high 88% to this day, mind you. You’re supposed to be a professional boxing scribe sir,  w due respect too please act like one.

  28. Tony Gregory 06:34pm, 07/15/2018

    @hatecrusher…ha ha you have just confirmed what I said about what kind of people support Duterte.

    Manny is a good person though. Just like the author, for all his support for the murderous and foul-mouthed president, I can not help but root for him.

  29. Hatecrusher 06:27pm, 07/15/2018

    Damn you assh*le calling the best PRESIDENT we ever had as a monster…we are 90% citizens who believed and satisfied our president…moron!

  30. Tony Gregory 06:27pm, 07/15/2018

    Yes, Duterte is a murderous monster of a dictator. I live here in the Philippines and these Filipinos who don’t see what most of us see will regret one day that they supported a man like Duterte. Only 39% of the Filipino voters voted for Duterte and they the loudest and meanest among us; well, just like their idol.

    Anyways, regardless of Pacquiao’s political affilation with Duterte, I am still proud of what he accomplished in Malaysia. I just hope Manny won’t seek higher office.

  31. arnel Barcena 05:53pm, 07/15/2018

    Are you nuts!!!!! calling president Duterte like that… focus on your career and not with the domestic issues of the philippines. You have your own domestic problems on your country. Just deal with it. You ruined my day.

  32. spartan 05:45pm, 07/15/2018

    I think you should stick to boxing.. you are too ignorant to comment about duterte and his people.. people like you are the reason why liberals and critics in our country are selling you with fake news and false accusations.. they can’t fool their own people but obviously they can fool people like you.

  33. Jessie James 05:34pm, 07/15/2018

    Lol at a Westerner calling our President “monster.”

    Stick to boxing (this is a boxing site anyway) or philosophy if you’re good at it, and not the domestic politics of a country you hardly know anything about. Sponging msm gobbledygook makes you sound idiotic than i believe you truly are in real life.

    Just a friendly advice though. And i am Filipino.

  34. Nicole DAn 04:50pm, 07/15/2018

    good read! but FU for dragging our beloved President’s name in this!

  35. Toughguy 04:45pm, 07/15/2018

    LoL you ignorant people are just being fed with lies by Philippine mainstream media which is being controlled by the opposition and people who are being hit by Duterte’s effort to clean the government. The voice of our own people is more credible than yours so please just back off from our internal issues because you’re just making yourself look stupid.

  36. arnold 04:32pm, 07/15/2018

    focus on sport not Duterte,Asshole!you know nothing about our President.

  37. Mortaugh 03:47pm, 07/15/2018

    Monster president? Man, you should focus on your sports not politics. You know nothing about the President.

  38. Larry Balles 03:44pm, 07/15/2018

    Congratulations to Manny. Like other fighters, MP can choose who he wanted to be his coach not to say that Coach Roach is no longer relevant or needed or suddenly a bad coach. As a matter of fact, Coach Diaz just came in for Lucas in this fight. Timothy B changed Diaz to Atlas. Great fighters look for ways to change their team for a better angle or a fresh start. Whatever the reason/s I will leave it to Manny and respect him for that. Throughout this year I did not see or heard Manny trash talking Freddie or showing his bad attitude towards him (if any) in the media. It’s the media that trying to put words into his mouth but respect goes to Manny for not giving in. If Manny wanted to give his hometown friend and fellow Filipino a chance to coach him then let it be. Give Buboy a break. They speak the same language and have a special connection that Coach Roach cannot have. Give others a chance. If they lose then so be it.  Looked what happened? Manny looked and performed better after a long 9 years of no KO. As you said Father Time maybe napping. I saw last night there is more left in MP tank than what media thought. Is this due to the kind of opponent? due to a different voice in his corner? maybe yes..all of these can be a factor. Father time-go on and sleep longer, wake up at the right time.

  39. Giusseppe 03:28pm, 07/15/2018

    The problem with your assertion is that you subscribe to the idea that Duterte is a monster as you so see him to be. Have you spent time in the PH and well-versed with the politics in that country? Or are you sold to the idea that liberal mainstream is selling you?

    What he thinks outside of boxing has nothing to do with boxing. I think just revere him on that aspect then. Besides, learn the real issue in PH by taking in all sides - not just what the mainstream media is selling you. In there you will see the real issues surrounding the political landscape in that archipelago. Talk to Filipinos on both sides of the political fence. One like yourself has to wonder why he is still supported 88% of Filipinos, based on the last month’s independent survey. That is the probably the highest rating of a political figure in any democratic nation around the world in their 2nd yr of office. The support has not wavered from what it was in the beginning. Surely you don’t believe the Filipino people are barbarians for them to be as supportive of the man you call a monster right? Unless you claim to have better understanding of the political landscape than the 90M Filipinos satisfied with his performance.

    Anyway, the fight was good. It wasn’t his best - but for his age, it was still really good. Like some said, his B game is almost everyone else’s A game.

    I’m excited to see what’s next for him.

  40. Leroy 03:17pm, 07/15/2018

    remember, fascism comes wrapped in the flag and cross. Sound familiar?

  41. Gordon Marino 03:08pm, 07/15/2018

    With all due respect, the international press and even “state media”, namely Fox News, acknowledge that Duterte is a murderous dictator.

  42. Chico Salmon 02:35pm, 07/15/2018

    What the hell does Donald Trump have to do with a Pacquiao fight? Or how in the hell do you equate Trump to someone who ALLEGEDLY throws people out of helicopters??  From what I read and hear, most of the Filipino people are quite happy with President Duterte and since it is THEIR country, that is good enough for me. Some of the claims of what President Duterte has done or said are indeed horrific but are they true? Our media surely wouldn’t lie, or spew propaganda would they? lolol.  Back to the actual fight, Pacquiao needs to go out with this win. IF he chooses to keep fighting, look for him to go out the same way that great ones before him went out.

Leave a comment