For Timothy Bardley, Jr, Manny Pacquiao’s fierceness and “fire” in the ring is gone. No less than Freddie Roach in an ABS-CBN report the other day said that “The Bible is getting in the way' of Pacquiao's killer instinct.” Roach says that the Pacman has become compassionate, refusing to finish the fight whenever he sees his opponents hurt. Roach said that the bible has affected the Pambansang Kamao’s mind set in his previous fight. But things have changed now according to Roach. He said, “What helped me a lot, was Bradley saying is that Manny does not have the 'Eye of the Tiger' any more, that he no longer has hunger to win. Bradley has motivated Manny. Manny feels embarrassed by those comments and he's ready to go.” Pacquiao with all humility responded to his opponent’s harsh comment with these words: “That is why I pray for that [fire].” Feel embarrassed and be angry but do not hate.
According to Roach himself assuring us boxing fans that, “The thing is The Bible is getting in the way a little bit, but I showed him in The Bible there is violence, and there is payback," Roach said in Gareth Davies’ report to “The Telegraph.” See how apparently Manny influenced even Roach to become a preacher and a theologian which I also try to do in this blog post. Of course, that is solely from my limited and poor perspective as a boxing fan and a communicator and not an expert on faith or biblical theology. So, do not rely on me much or be serious about this. Maybe this is just due to my lack of something to write as of this very moment or my excitement to the upcoming rematch.
Well, one thing is sure. The Pacquiao-Bradley rematch on Sunday (Manila time) is just a sleep away before the Holy Week. Certainly, in Jesus’ passion and resurrection, though many of His people expected retaliation and retribution, the Son of Man by example emphasized that there should be no payback. Violence is not allowed as God’s command and vengeance is unholy! But the fight is dubbed by GMA-7 as "Vengeance in Vegas" but "Vengeance is mine", says the Lord.
Pacquiao have already resurrected from that recent and fatal KO he suffered from his life-long nemesis his (almost) tucayo, Manuel Marquez, Jr. and his controversial lost to Bradley via scorecards before that. Manny resurrected because the Filipino people including his fans world-wide never abandoned the Pacman. Unlike Christ’s disciples who denied, betrayed, abandoned their leader to his fate. His fight against Brandon Rios convinced us that Manny indeed have risen. Though maybe, Bradley has his own reasons to say that the “fire” or the killer instinct in Manny is now gone. But a fighter should not be always a killer and that’s what we learned from the Jewish Carpenter. From my point of view, though boxing they say is a “hurt business” it is also a “sweet science”. And in that “sweetness” lies that we should not hate our enemies. We could be angry at them but we must not hate them. We must love our enemy to the point that we teach them a lesson by way of showing or making them feel our “sweetest love” by giving him instructions even to the point of giving body blows, exemplary footwork and tremendous flashing punches in bunches. Boxers cannot afford to spoil the rod, err…the glove. The preachers scattered around our champ for whatever reason should realize that the proper place for them now is certainly not at the Wild Card Gym.
Go, Manny, go as ever. Show Bradley that he’s the King of the Ring in his own rights and the King of Kings is behind him because he’s true to His commands, especially by being ever humble, on being as meek as a lamb even at the face of his most arrogant detractors and adversities. This made me remember the nasty remarks made by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on Manny.
By the way, I trust Freddie Roach donning punching pads and not when he's holding a Bible in his hands. On the other hand, the pastors should also stay away from Manny at this final stretch of the training camp...
(Photo: Sports Illustrated)