Pacquiao Watch: The intangibles beyond the numbers

Edwin G. Espejo
Pacquiao Watch: The intangibles beyond the numbers
For Pacquiao, it is purely personal. For Mayweather, it is professional.

MANILA, Philippines – The punch lines this column discussed over the past 3 issues will point to a comfortable win for Manny Pacquiao over Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

If only boxing was like basketball – the more you hit the basket than your opponent, the more you win.

Boxing though – especially professional boxing – is not solely dictated by punches connected. Otherwise, all boxing matches need is to hire the mathematical genius who made up the Compubox, which was the basis of my previous articles.

Boxing is judged by 3 – and only 3 – people. It is scored on their subjective assessments of the fight. Sometimes ten jabs can easily be wiped out by a solid punch that wobbles the target. 

The only time the judges become irrelevant is when a fight is stopped or one of the fighters is knocked out cold. 

But that’s the way it is. After all, boxing is not called ‘sweet science’ for nothing. 

Pacquiao and Mayweather have figured in controversial fights.   

Pacquiao lost a highly suspect split decision to Timothy Bradley while many said Mayweather was gifted a unanimous win in the first Jose Luis Castillo fight in 2002. 

So much about subjective judging. 

The Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing saga will have a ton of intangibles coming into the fight. 

For one, motivation will be the biggest factor that will dictate the tempo and outcome of the fight. 

For Pacquiao, blitzing past Mayweather is his Holy Grail. 

When Mayweather approached Pacquiao during halftime of a Miami Heat game and dished a mouthful against the Filipino, something in the eyes of the 8-division boxing champion told us that the American was a marked man from that day on. 

For a man accustomed to having his way and treated like a demigod in his homeland, that rude ‘dressing down’ is a motivation like no other. 

Clearly, Mayweather pricked and wounded the pride of Pacquiao during that fateful encounter.  

When the American later went up the hotel suite of Pacquiao, there was no turning back for Mayweather.  

For him, it was all about money.  

The Pacquiao fight will give him the biggest paycheck given any athlete ever for a 36-minute workout – if the fight lasts the distance. 

It was he, after all, who gave himself the “Money Mayweather” moniker.

He is throwing away a sure fire walk to the rarified altar of undefeated Hall of Fame boxers by risking an immaculate slate against Pacquiao.

He may have seen Pacquiao slip through the years. But so has he.

If he was vulnerable to Pacquiao’s whirlwind and twister attacks then, he is no better off today.

Pacquiao will not mind losing again. It is the incentive of beating the man who has insulted him many times over the years that will give him the ultimate satisfaction.

Mayweather is his Mt. Everest. Once he conquers the flamboyant American, there are no longer mountains to scale.

For Pacquiao, it is purely personal.  

For Mayweather, it is professional. –

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