I wasn't excited to watch the Pacquiao-Margarito fight live. I was just feeling giddy because I get to watch it live for FREE. Bazinga! Imagine the hundreds of pesos, people actually paid just to watch what appeared to me as a mere human cockfight! But lo and behold, when the game commenced I was praying for Pacman's win.
Pacman ruled rounds 1 and 2 without a doubt. He was feisty, aggressive and full of energy. He was undeniably quick and by the looks of Margarito's would be swelling face, irrevocably strong. Even at round 3, when it seemed as if Margarito has just only then put his game face on, I was confident Pacman will win the game.
The biased crowd I was watching with got rowdy at round 4. It was Pacman's highest high. Intense enough that I witnessed a glimpse of the great boxer that he really was (Ok, I can't believe I'm typing this). The moves, the speed, and the techniques were without a doubt a result of experience and excellent training. That day, boxing appeared as more than a form of violence and gambling to me. Surprisingly enough that I almost couldn't believe I'm saying this, it appeared much more of a science that had to be learned, developed and continually improved upon.
Rounds 5 through 8 were heart breaking. I was literally convincing GOD that Pacman, by all means, CANNOT lose. The Philippines needed the win. Flashes of the late hostage crisis, the oil spill and images of our current president literally busting his ass off just to convince the leaders of the rest of the world that the Philippines is still one safe place to travel and invest in populated my mind. Cheap, I know. But Pacman's loss would be one heart break that our already heart broken nation totally do not need right now. That punch on his side, the alleged liver punch, frightened the hell out of me- and I guess the hell out of everyone of us, watching, rooting for Pacman. Later that evening I found out that Aling Dionisia even experienced an anxiety attack because of it.
The crowd I was watching with grew silent until round 9, when we started being hopeful again. For me, that was the start of Manny's best rounds. It was obvious he was tired. It was obvious that his speed, accuracy and energy has waned. To an amateur like me, it seemed as if during the succeeding rounds, it was no longer a fight between the best moves and techniques. It was just a struggle to survive longer than the other- matira matibay, in our native tongue. Margarito cornered him more than once. In fact, Margarito was strong enough and skilled enough to repeatedly corner him throughout the remaining rounds. But Manny was resilient enough to continue fighting and to break loose from it every single time.
I guess, for me his unmatched resilience is his best skill. Not the strong punches. Not his quick moves. Not even his pumped up physical endurance. Just the undying will to fight and fight well until the final round- win or lose; but hopeful for a win. It was one hell of a fiesta when he was finally declared a winner by unanimous decision. Congratulatory tweets flooded my phone. That day. Manny made history. His 8th World Boxing title is something that the world can never take away from a Filipino.
No. I'm still not a Pacquiao fan, or at least I'll never admit being one- not even to myself! HAHA. AND I DEFINITELY STILL HATE BOXING and its VIOLENCE and dirty GAMBLING that comes along with it. But we have to give credit to a good game. And I have to admit that that 25-minute fight has brought me wonderful realizations about boxing as a sport, Pacman as the greatest boxer of our time, and the Filipinos as a nation. Even gone as far as inspiring me to become one good fighter in this ring called life.
P.S I pray to GOD I'll never have to marry a boxer. *wink*