By Aaron Masangkay
December 9, 2012, Philippine time, Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao faced each other for the 4th time in the boxing ring. Pacquiao started aggressively and Marquez is just hanging around. Marquez knocked Pacquiao in the 3rd, Pacquiao knocked him down in the 5th and Marquez sealed his victory with one devastating right hand in the 6th round. The world was stunned after they saw Pacquiao down in the canvass. The hopes of fellow Filipino people fell down together with Manny. He was in good shape, very sharp and having one of his better fights in previous years but only to come down big against his nemesis. Hats off to both fighters for a great boxing match.
I’ve seen this more than a year ago, when great athletes fall down on the biggest moment of their careers. After their loss, they are hated and made fun of. June 2011, the NBA Finals, when LeBron James and the Miami Heat fell short of winning a championship and lost to the Dallas Mavericks in 6 games. People started to make fun of LeBron, mock him, putting up statements and stories that he can’t win a championship, etc. Not recognizing how great he was in recent years, statwise and awardwise. The next season, he won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award, Finals MVP Award, NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal all in one year. He silenced his critics in a dominating fashion.
It is how you get back up after falling down hard. Manny showed a classy, true sportsman-like gesture after the fight, smiled and congratulated Marquez. He didn’t made any excuses but took the blame on himself saying he became overconfident during the bout. Both players showed respect for each other. We shall wait for weeks or months on how Manny handles this situation. This loss may define who he really is as an athlete, and as a champion. True champions know how to win, and they also know how to lose. I just wish Manny will do the right thing to silence his critics and regain the respect of those who hated him. Just like what my favourite basketball player did, he went back to the basics and focused on the sport. Much respect for Manny even in his loss and I know that great players know how to get back on top.