In the pugilistic arena, good stories are good stories, regardless of who tells them.
Sports writers cobble these group of juicy pieces of fistic delights: vivid, immediate, firsthand, reported with the gluttony of an explorer.
The doubts, the fears, the trials: foibles and fallibility from the greatest names in the boxing arena, to some of the lightweights, who labor in the anonymity of boxing vine yards; to backyards of fighters, who once were light as cucumber in their salad years, and now are old age’s credential couriers.
The on-the-spot piece and eyewitness accounts are quick, subjective — at times slightly incomplete, written in the heat of the moment, reflecting the rush and compression and the ignorance of what is going to happen next that reporters have to put up with.
It was the night of December 8 in the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. This comes from an added newshen who was there.
My palms were wet, throat dry and jaw agape from the utter shock of watching Marquez knock out Manny Pacquiao.
Even the most hard-beating boxing fans had to have a fleeting moment of dread — that something really tragic had happened to the Pacman, as he fell flat in his face, out cold in a corner of that boxing ring.
For almost over a minute, he remained still — bereft of his senses, amid a swirling chaos inside the ring.
It was a shocking thing, that knockout. It was short, sharp, merciless and complete.
Marquez was a big lean warrior, tightened and re-tightened through months of training until he was a pregnant package of coiled venom and dynamite!
Marquez hit the Pacman with a whistling right hand punch, with one second left in the 6th round of the fight that came to a shocking halt. That awe-provoking right hand made a crunching sound when it hit Pacquiao’s jaw.
He fell down hurt, flat on his face. He was out, in a soggy mess, his fingers touching the canvass as pandemonium ensued on and by the ringside.
Then, the big crowd began to rustle restlessly toward the exits. Many accepted Marquez as the Champion who knocked out the darling of the fighting world.
Sprawled on a stool in his corner, Pacquiao got up, eventually. With his red, white and blue robe over his shoulder, he walked through the sad little crowd that hovered around him. The distraught Roach, his friend and mentor, never left his side.
The Congressman boxer returned to his hotel room and was fed some soup by his mother.
As he realized the implications of his defeat, he called his PR person to issue a statement to the media: “I am fine.” Then, he sat back on his couch and watched the video of the fight, according to his Aunt Lila.
Days after the fight, in an interview, Roach said that “he didn’t want Manny back in the ring, as early as April (even as Manny objected strongly and wanted warm up fights right away) but that a fifth fight on September would be all the better.”
Mr. Bob Arum’s thoughts were that a Pacquiao- Marquez V “maybe bigger right now than a Mayweather fight.”
Marquez (who’s in a great bargaining position) is asking for a $20 million purse. No deal has yet been reached.
He is 39 years old, with 65 professional fights and 462 professional rounds. Manny Pacquiao is 34, and has had 61 professional fights and 371 professional rounds.
Age and years of punishment should now be a concern for both fighters.
What makes a Pacquiao-Marquez V intriguing is the multitude of levels on which it is played (in negotiations).
But with the relative fluidity of commerce, expectations in the boxing arena are brimming with possibilities — all of them with a price tag.