WAS MANNY PACQUIAO TAKEN FOR A RIDE?
By: Reynante Pascual Santiago
MANNY PACQUIAO WAS DEFEATED ON HIS LAST BOXING BOUT AGAINST YORDENIS UGAS OF CUBA IN THE WBA 147 TITLE CLASH ON AUGUST 21, 2021. THE FIGHT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETWEEN ERROR SPENCE JR. AND MANNY PACQUIAO WHILE UGAS WOULD HAVE AS OPPONENT FABIAN MAIDANA OF ARGENTINA IN THE UNDERCARD FIGHT OF THE EVENT.
UNFORTUNATELY, AND IN A SUDDENT TURN OF EVENT, ERROL SPENCE WITHDREW FROM THE FIGHT ELEVEN (11) DAYS INTO THE MATCH AS HIS DOCTOR DISCOVERED A TORN RETINA ON SPENCES LEFT EYE THAT REQUIRES SURGERY CAUSING HIM TO WITHDRAW FROM THE FIGHT. BY THEN, AND ALMOST CONVENIENTLY, FABIAN ALSO RETREATED FROM HIS BOUT AGAINST UGAS BECAUSE OF AN ACQUIRED INJURY WHICH IS SIMILAR TO THE INJURY SUSTAINED BY ERROL SPENCE. THAT EVENT LED TO THE PACQUIAO AND UGAS FIGHT ON THE SQUARE RING.
WAS THE WITHDRAWAL OF SPENCE AND FABIAN DUE TO INJURIES JUST COINCIDENCE OR CONTRIVED? SIMILAR INJURIES TO TWO PERSONS INVOLVED IN A BIG EVENT?
Had Spence not withdrew from his match against Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao would have been given the opportunity to become the unified world champion, a record for the 42 year old pugilist if he defeats Spence. That chance, like bubble bursting, has been blown to smithereens. He was once given the opportunity to be unified champion when he had a match against AGAPITO SANCHEZ on November 10, 2001 but that was stymied when that match resulted in a technical split draw because of the accidental headbutt that Pacquiao sustained in that fight.
Now, going back to Spence, had he not withdrawn from the match, Pacquiao has a better chance of defeating Spence and Pacquiao would have earned the UNIFIED TITLE long aspired for and should that happened, Pacquiao would be within the range of the opportunity to fight and possibly defeat another champion Terence Crawford and the reigning WBA Champion Ugas. That would have cemented his legacy as undisputed champion in the annals of boxing. It seems though that fate has not favored him with the awesome opportunity to be unified champion. On Saturday, he lost to the late replacement Ugas via unanimous decision.
We might ask, do Spence and Maidana, have injuries? Was it intentional or coincidental? Do the camp of Ugas already knew from the get go that Ugas will be fighting Pacquio and not Maidana? If we watch again the match, it is very obvious that Ugas has studied well every move of Pacquiao. While it may be conceded that Pacquiao is no longer at his peak, but in the eleven (11) days of preparation, Ugas was able to instantly perfect a fight plan against one of the best boxers and the only 8 division world champion in boxing history? As my friend Jay Sri Krishna Coralde, from Libjo, Tiwi, Albay Philippines conjects Maybe Pacquiao was designed to fight Ugas and not Spence. Maybe from the start, Ugas has been training and preparing for the boxing style of Manny Pacquiao, and not Maidana who was his published match, because Ugas knew from the start that he will be up against Manny Pacquiao.
If this is true or just mere speculations, I pity Manny Pacquiao because it is apparent that he was once again deprived of the grand opportunity to earn the honor that would place him in a higher position in the annals of boxing.