Monday, January 18, 2010

Pacquiao could be beaten–by two men

THERE’S ONE WAY TO BEAT MANNY PACQUIAO, and it would need the clone of two great warriors the Filipino boxing superhero had previously beaten.

“They should combine the skills of Erik Morales and the power of Miguel Cotto,” said Col. Antonio F. Mariano in that roadside spot at Barrio Onse, San Juan, where the late literary giant Nick Joaquin used to hold court.

You must be kidding, the burly colonel with a fat moustache was told.

But, even that, is no surefire formula, he replied.

* * *

What about Joshua Clottey, the durable Ghanaian whom Pacquiao will be facing in Texas next March?

He’s at best tough, and that’s about it.

Doesn’t he pose a danger to the Pacman?

Well, only if Clottey himself turns out to be a clone of Love Allotey.

* * *

Love Allotey?

Yes, the colonel continued, not too many fans could remember him but Allotey gave the great Flash Elorde hell in a riotous bout at the Araneta Coliseum in 1963,

Elorde, defending his world junior lightweight crown, was roughed up and repeatedly fouled by his terrible Ghanaian challenger.

That bout was stopped by referee Jimmy Valencia in the 11th round with Elorde bloodied and looking very tired.

* * *

A reminder to that wild night at the Big Dome was a picture taken by the great Ben Roxas, who was killed in the Plaza Miranda bombing, the vivid black-and-white frame prominently hung in the main entrance to the editorial section of the old Manila Times building on Florentino Street, Manila.

In that picture, Allotey, clawing like a maddened tiger, was chasing after referee Valencia.

Providing a startling foreground was the drawn gun of an unidentified man in white short sleeves who stood in the middle of the melee.

Elorde, declared winner in controversial fashion, went on to complete a seven-year reign as world champ.

* * *

Anyway, the allusion to Allotey was based on reports that Clottey doesn’t happen to be the safest, cleanest ring warrior in the world.

Well, it was not that Clottey rhymes with Allotey.

It so happened that Pacquiao’s next foe had also been observed to resort to foul tactics, like butting, in other fights.

Last heard of, Clottey was still disputing his split-decision loss to Cotto last June.

But whether he will be able to make true his vow of stopping Pacquiao—without riding on foulness—remains a big questions mark.

* * *

If at all, it’s his Ghanaian lineage, the tradition of being truck-tire tough, that should prop Clottey when he proceeds to trade leather with the mighty Pacquiao off the ropes or in mid-ring.

It’s not totally hopeless, anything could happen, suggested Col. Mariano of the Pacquiao-Clottey fight.

This, the colonel added, cannot be said of his job to disassociate his boss, former

ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan, from the Maguindanao horror crimes his brother and father are accused of masterminding.

“We, Zaldy and I, both cried the morning after we learned about it,” Mariano said.

The problem, he added, is that nobody appeared ready to listen.

It’s because of the utter foulness, sir.


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