Every fight evokes memories, and usually a story.
After so many fights and so many stories, after all the fame and fortune that boxers have incurred and all the belts fastened around their waists, fighters are linked like a chain.
However, legacies are in line, because the purse money is not. It’s called financial disparity.
Boxing is not only a sport, it is business as well. Ring parity has dominated bargaining chips at the negotiating table.
In a world where only the best would face the best, who carries the belt (regardless of promotional affiliation, prestige and personal bragging rights) is what counts.
I could only wish to have attended more fights, probably going all the way from Cain and Abel.
I’d probably know more about fighters’ stories — from soaring hopes of young fighters, to long goodbyes of veterans — and the jagged lines of their journey in between, perhaps learn more about who did what to whom.
I’d like to know more about the chorus around superboxers: men and women with diverse backgrounds, filled with their own dreams, who made their living from fighters’ dreams and without ever having to throw a punch.
These are the trainers, managers, promoters, booking agents, publicists and camp aides with their brand of resourcefulness (if not cunning) put to use in a business, where politics could be a crazy roulette and as such, are subject to the whims and exigencies of other schemers (as Jack London saw it.)
This bunch, who have to stand on the back row for the group photo-op with the great warriors, have access to power.
How do I pull the curtain to reveal their doubts, fears and tribulations? How do they keep their uneasy posts? These include referees and close in photographers.
There is always a pre-fight drama — the simmering animosity and controversy between the brawlers.
The allure of boxing is the quixotic inflammation of the senses. As soon as they step in the ring, they are surrounded by lights that tower, revolve, oscillate and soar in shapes.
The arena magnifies, foliates, embellishes and competes with the giddiness of electric jollification.
The sights are irresistible for young and old alike, with the megalomania of gambling — they bet on their choice.
We were there during Pacquiao’s most dramatic five-month period in 2008-2009. He stunned the boxing world by making Oscar de la Hoya quit in his corner; he put Ricky Hatton to sleep with one unforgettable left; and he beat up Cotto at his peak, which inspired comparison to boxing greats.
That will stay with us, no matter what happens.
No one can match Pacquiao’s winning mega titles in a record 8 of 17 weight classes.
Then, came that shocking knockout. It was short, sharp, merciless and complete. Marquez hit Pacquiao with a whistling right hand punch.
The provoking right hand made a crunching sound, when it hit Pacquiao’s jaw. It was the cruelest of defeats, because he was on the verge of knocking down Marquez but ran smack into his right hand instead.
This defeat would hound Pacquiao. He was taunted and teased. He received torrents of abuse, not only in the immediate aftermath of the fight, but in all the days and weeks that followed his measured humiliation.
Between that and the brawl in Macau with Brandon Rios was the longest lay off of his incredible career.
When he stepped back into the ring, his victory was expected (via a unanimous decision). The jubilation was far more than adoration, even if some wags said it lacked the bite and libido of his previous fights.
The Bradley-Pacquiao 2 fight in Las Vegas was sweet revenge for the champ.
This time, he did not lose to Bradley, unlike the questionable decision made in their first fight two years ago.
With my softball interviews that have worshipping questions that gush, I asked the champ if his new religion has affected his boxing career.
He said it helped him.”Wala ng sugal, alak and girls.”
There is no truth to theories about why he has gone through seven fights since 2009 without knocking out an opponent — that it was because he didn’t want to hurt people, that he was done with his “killer instinct,” and that doing nightly Bible study was wearing him down.
He “reads the Bible day and night, as a manual to life. When you have trials in life, you just have to lean on God.”
E-mail Mylah at firstname.lastname@example.org