Mendoza: Pacquiao politics at its crudest

·2 min read

What Manny Pacquiao recently unleashed was Pacquiao politics at its crudest. If it were boxing, he’d be knocked out cold before he knew it.

His latest political ploy of trying to put President Duterte in a spot reminded me of his boxing strategy against Juan Manuel Marquez that proved disastrous beyond belief.

In that ill-fated fight on Dec. 9, 2012, Pacquiao was comfortably ahead on points after five action-packed rounds. But in his hurry to finish Marquez off, he forgot about defense in Round 6.

Trying to corner the Mexican brawler through a barrage of blows coming from all directions, Pacquiao, by now over confident, literally dropped his guard. In a flash, with just one second left in the round, he got caught by a crushing right to the face, sending him crashing flat on his face—the thud resonating all the way from Las Vegas to Manila.

For a while there, the cemetery-silent crowd that included Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, who was seated at ringside, watched terrified. Pacquiao was as still as a stone.

It took medics a while to revive Pacquiao, who had earlier beaten Marquez twice on points after they drew their first fight.

When he finally woke, Pacquaio’s first words were: “What happened?”

What happened was Marquez knocked him out at 2:59 of the sixth round in a non-title fight, the outcome proving to be the ugliest dent on Pacquiao’s illustrious career.

Now, presently, Pacquiao is in a fight outside the ring but, at the rate things are shaping up, it seems like he is in a battle that embraces the trappings of his fight with Marquez nine years ago.

For, isn’t it reckless for Pacquiao to suddenly accuse President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration as corrupt-ridden?

Incredibly careless, to say the least.

One, Mr. Duterte is Pacquiao’s party mate—the president being party chair and the fighting senator the acting party president himself.

Two, has Pacquiao forgotten that as president, Duterte has powers too formidable to ignore?

And three, why must Pacquiao pick up a fight at this time, when he has a fight coming up in barely six weeks—a fight atop the ring against Errol Spence Jr., the tough New Yorker unbeaten in 27 bouts, with 21 knockouts?

If Pacquiao doesn’t know it yet, “what happened” is, again, lurking ‘round the bend. Creepy.

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