No excuses for Manny; he clearly lost to Money | Inquirer Opinion
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No excuses for Manny; he clearly lost to Money

/ 12:02 AM May 09, 2015

I am totally disappointed with Neal H. Cruz’s May 6 column (“Floyd ran all night, so how did he win?” Opinion). “Letdown” is probably the right word since I’ve always “looked up” to Cruz for his exceptional, down-to-earth common sense and grasp of why so many things are wrong in this country and what could be done about them. Of course, many other boxing fans have likewise expressed the same disgust on Floyd Mayweather’s style of fighting. But coming from one of my favorite columnists, I find it hard to believe.

Let’s face it, fighters are not to expose themselves to their opponents because the idea is to win. So every fighter develops his own style of fighting that he could use to his advantage over his opponent inside the ring. Mayweather’s style, as boxing fans have seen through the years, is to hit and run, keep dancing, circle the ring, and hug his opponent when trapped so that his opponent couldn’t use his arms locked in Floyd’s embrace until he, Floyd, is out of a disadvantaged position.

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And there’s no rule against that move. That’s the way Mayweather has always fought in all his previous fights. Everybody knows that. Boxing fans all over the world know that. Even Pacquiao’s team of trainers, coaches, advisers, etc. know that. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. And I thought, for sure, that even Cruz knew that, too! So, instead of putting the blame on Mayweather’s style of fighting for Pacquiao’s defeat, perhaps, we should be asking: Could Pacquiao’s coaches/trainers have developed a “trapping” strategy where Pacquiao, staying away from Mayweather’s grasp long enough, could deliver his “sleep-inducing punches” and win the fight? Maybe, and maybe not. But, it’s worth asking since they were all very much aware of Mayweather’s clever style.

So, to Cruz’s question: … “how did Mayweather win” the much ballyhooed “fight of the century”? Of course, Mayweather won it by “running all night” (doing it after delivering Pacquiao a punch or two here and there) because that’s the style of fighting that has always worked for him all these years. Should we fault him for that? And did anyone really expect Mayweather to stand there toe-to-toe continuously trading blows with Pacquiao, knowing that he may not be able to withstand or, even match Pacquiao’s hand speed and power?

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The fact is, Mayweather had a winning strategy that Pacquiao could not overcome or nullify. So, instead of looking for excuses, let’s be gracious about it and accept our hero’s defeat. After all, as the Americans would say: “That’s how it goes—you win some, you lose some.” Besides, we all know in our hearts that, as an eight-division title holder, Pacquiao is still the best fighter the world has ever known.

—JUANITO T. FUERTE, [email protected]

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TAGS: Boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao
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