By JOHN GATLING .
Sometimes, a pair of Nike swoosh shoes just won’t fit anymore. Perhaps the soul has worn away. People change. Feelings rearrange. Lovers drift or friends have fits. Friends become enemies and lovers become strangers.
A point of view becomes a lack of vision. It’s life, which runs a lot smoother when the laws of nature are in accordance with acceptance.
And Manny Pacquiao must have made some serious resolutions on New Year’s Eve.
Though Top Rank will have broadcast rights in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for his challenge of Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 14 (July 15 in Asia), “Pac-Man” has gobbled his last contract from Bob Arum, ending arguably the most successful fighter/promoter run in the history of boxing.
What a difference a decade makes.
Around this time in 2008, I was arguing with Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sports about just how great Pacquiao would become after a narrow escape of arch-nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez via e-mail. I was cool with MySpace and thought Facebook sucked (it uh… it still does). His trainer, Freddie Roach, was fast becoming a legend, largely because of what Pacquiao was becoming—a dystopian ring monster with cojones the size of the Wild Card Gym.
By the end of 2008, Pacquiao was “annihilating” Oscar De La Hoya during Jim Lampley’s call on HBO, much to the chagrin of so called “experts” and a genuine superstar was born. Pacquiao turned into my favorite fighter of all-time, an incredibly unpredictable, powerful and super-fast southpaw hybrid of Aaron Pryor and Henry Armstrong.
But in 2018 the landscape has changed. De La Hoya would’ve most likely offered Pacquiao the same suitcase full of money to fight Matthysse, that he offered him around this time a decade ago to fight under Golden Boy. Now, Pacquiao needs to help him save the company during this fiscal year, after his own Golden Boy, Canelo Alvarez, was sacked due to politics and corruption. I’m not buying the whole Clenbuteral bullshit.
Canelo was the A-Side and it doesn’t make sense, unless one considers that the United States under Donald Trump, has a serious problem with Mexico having any economic strength.
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“Manny Knows” what happens due to a lack of compliance with divine figures in dark suits: i.e. Tax problems, horrible Tim Bradley decisions, Incredible Hulk versions of Marquez, a super-rehydrated/recharged Floyd Mayweather while fighting with a fucked up arm and a big “Denied” stamp on a Toradol shot, and a gargantuan Jeff Horn allowed to shit all over his legacy in Australia by fighting under the rules of Rugby.
It was during that bout last July in Queensland, that Pacquiao truly realized Freddie Roach had been sprayed with Raid and no longer himself. I love Freddie, but he’s essentially a low battery now incapable of being fully in charge. Thus, it came as no surprise to some of us, that Pacquiao was going to let Roach go. He’s back to square one—even before Murad Muhammad and the gang, and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs in the most intense times.
Because of Manny’s appeal all over Asia and the adjacent archipelago, this fight is likely to be as huge for Pacquiao and Golden Boy, as it will be for Argentina and South America. People need to understand that it isSenator Manny Pacquiao that will be facing Lucas Matthysse from a favorable position of cooperation, as opposed to the abject usury of a corporation that launched Jeff Horn and bolstered Australia at his expense. The same was attempted by having Manny appear on the undercard of Jeff Horn V Terence Crawford, for his stolen WBO welterweight belt.
Enough was enough.
A new wrinkle of political intrigue sent ripple effects through Malaysia with the recent killing of popular Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh, which occurred during the Pacquiao V Matthysse promotion there. Boxing has almost become an international platform for the dark, cinematic theater veiled from public view.