LAS VEGAS, NV – Many boxing fans, particularly Pacquiao fans, from among the 16,412 that trooped to the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 7 were disappointed to see the much-publicized and well-advertised fight between pound-for-pound king Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and the former four-time, three-division champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley ended without the usual fierce exchanges.
Round 1 would tell boxing enthusiasts that the two protagonists were very careful with their moves, trying to size up each other. But the fans were alive and excited when Mosley was knocked down in Round 3.
A closed up shot of Mosley’s face showed he was in pain. At the postfight press conference, Mosley told the members of the press that Pacquiao stunned him with the knockdown.
“That’s the most legitimate knockdown I got hit with in a long time,” said Mosley, admitting that Pacquiao’s speed and power is scary and unmatched.
And the fight went on until Pacquiao was literally floored in Round 10 when Mosley pushed him with all his might. And referee Bayless thought initially that Pacman was knocked down, and he began the mandatory count. Eventually, he apologized publicly for his error in judgment.
The hot and aggressive Pacquiao pursued Mosley most of the time during the 12-round bout, but Mosley did nothing but backed off instead of exchanging punches that truly dissatisfied even his own fans.
“I expected Shane to exchange toe-to-toe with me for at least five rounds, but it did not happen,” said Pacquiao with disappointment.
“It wasn’t my best performance,” Pacquiao told reporters after being declared by the three judges winner by unanimous decision. But he is not to be blamed. First, there was the coward-like attitude shown by Sugar Shane who kept moving backward, not a step forward, after being decked by a left-hand hook of Pacquiao in the third round.
Later, in the interview, Pacquiao would claim that he was also hampered by leg cramps starting on the fourth round. But Pacquiao showed his usual stance, attacking Mosley from Round 10, after he got off from the canvas from a “push” employed by Mosley to keep Manny away from him.
Before the May 7 fight (May 8 Manila time), Mosley was boasting that he would carry the fight to knock the Filipino hero out, but it turned out that it could only be better said than done.
The lone Congressman fromSaranganiProvincewore yellow Cleto Reyes gloves to symbolize unity. He even encouraged Filipinos going to the venue to wear something yellow, but not many adhered to the suggestion of the WBO welterweight champion, who has won his 14 consecutive fights, including non-title fights, which I have covered from Day 1, along with my ace photographer Romeo M. Balboa, with support from well known L.A. photographer Benjie Uy whose tandem completes the news and photo coverages.
Congressman Pacquiao, who has a soft spot in his heart for the poor, being one of them early in life, talked about how he could help alleviate his constituents from poverty. He expressed his support, during the postfight interview, by helping provide housing through Gawad Kalinga, a pet project of Tony Meloto, founder and first Executive Director of GK.
International recording artist, Charice, now going intoHollywoodmovies, provided the impetus to the fight when she rendered flawlessly “Lupang Hinirang,” the Philippine National Athem, that drew a roaring applause from a huge crowd at the MGM.
Everyone was surprised when beauteous socialite Paris Hilton showed up at the postfight press conference and obligingly posed for press photographers with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and wife, Jinkee.
“I am an avid fan of Pacman,” said Hilton. She added: “I’m looking forward to my newest business endeavor in thePhilippines, and I’m so excited for my trip.”
When asked whom he prefers to fight next, Manny Pacquiao said he leaves the matter to his manager, Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, to decide. “Whoever it would be, I am ready to fight,” Manny told the members of the press.
Since Floyd Mayweather is evading the encounter with Pacman, most likely it would be Juan Manuel Marquez again who would face Pacquiao in the November 12 fight, according to Bob Arum. Having watched their previous encounters, we can expect a much better fight in the showdown of these two prize fighters.