FightHype.com

LEFT-HOOK LOUNGE: DID PACQUIAO'S LOSS HAVE A BIGGER SPIRITUAL LESSON BEHIND IT?

By Vivek Wallace | December 11, 2012
LEFT-HOOK LOUNGE: DID PACQUIAO'S LOSS HAVE A BIGGER SPIRITUAL LESSON BEHIND IT?

Boxing Scribe Vivek Wallace brings his Left-Hook Lounge mailbag to FightHype.com, answering questions for fans and giving his own unique perspective on all the latest current events in boxing. This week, check out his response to fans as they discuss Juan Manuel Marquez's knockout of Manny Pacquiao and much more.



Casey H. (Ontario, CA): On your FB page you spoke about the significance (in your mind) of Pacquiao's loss, and what you felt was a spiritual connotation behind it. Can you elaborate?


Vivek W.: Without doubt, I can tell you there was a spiritual connotation behind this lesson. What's even more intriguing is that some of his very own fans will tell you that. People forget that this was a man who didn't need a private jet to reach the clouds. Pacquiao has lived on the highest plain known to man for quite some time now. He has appeared humble in appearance, but behind the scenes, there was clearly more to the life of Manny Pacquiao. People look at what happened last Saturday night as some abstract isolated moment in time, when in reality, this was just another piece of the puzzle. When you look at the big picture and revisit the past, suddenly the mystery makes total sense.

There was a time when Pacquiao could have helped clean a sport that took him out of poverty. Rather than standing on principle, he declined. Years later, there was a familiar face who stood across from him. Close enough in talent to keep things interesting, yet not close enough to get over the hump. Here we are now looking in the rear view mirror, and coincidentally that man who couldn't get over the hump found a way to do it in dramatic fashion. Suddenly we realize the questions Pacquiao could have helped prevent by standing for a higher cause have somehow appeared to turn against him. We'll never know if Pacquiao was using steroids. What we do know is that had he taken a harder stance on the pursuit of catching those who do, he may not have fallen victim to a man he now feels could have too.

Aside from the steroid rhetoric, Pacquaio, as noble as he appears, has somewhat lived a double life. Humble man by day, Hennessy endorser by night. After all the casinos, night life, and slow grinds in the fast lane, Pacquiao recently decided the time has come to turn his life over to God. That's excellent in philosophy, but the unpopular part of that conversion is the cleansing process. And only a painful wound can produce a scab, which ultimately produces fresh skin, which symbolizes the true healing and cleansing which takes place. Anyone who has ever tried real hard to follow a spiritual path in life knows first hand that the better you try to be, the tougher life seems to get.

Pacquaio had his fun, but short of adultery, never has he been one to do anything punishable by law. Therefore his 'painful wound' would never produce a 'scab' on par with incarceration, like we saw with Mayweather. Instead, his 'painful wound' came in the form of the only true vice he has. That vice being the very dangerous ring life! Despite his small stature, Pacquaio was a larger-than-life specimen who no one could ever imagine out on his back, let alone his face. When Marquez landed that proverbial "shot heard around the world" it produced what many viewed to be a humble-defining moment for a man who unquestionably entered the night thinking there wasn't a mere chance it could happen. For Pacquiao, life was absolute perfection. But to quote the great Roberto Duran: "No Mas"!

In less than a half hour suddenly it all changed. He went from cloud 9 to being ridiculed harder than any elite athlete we can remember. The internet is swamped with photoshop pics humiliating him at all cost. And it's all because in life, height matches depth. The higher you go, the lower you fall. I don't care what God you believe in....The same Bible Pacquiao preaches from says humble yourself and you'll be exalted; or exalt yourself and you'll be humbled. Others call it karma. Some say what goes around comes around. Then you have others that say what goes up must come down. But again, whatever you believe in, the silver-lining that connects all beliefs is that the master of this universe who writes the scripts gives many blessings, but also teaches several lessons.

He has taken the fall which produced the 'scab'. Now he has to let the healing process take place while showing the world he truly does live by those Biblical lessons learned. If his faith is as strong as we've been led to believe, he realizes this was just a serious mental test. One possibly bought on by his own actions.....that will be healed only by the proper reaction (to it). He didn't get up last Saturday night. But if his faith is where we believe, we'll see him rise again in life. He's a warrior. And a rose is a rose. That's just how the story goes! (I can elaborate more on FightHypeRadio Wednesday night).

Anthony C. (Coventry U.K.): What do you make of the pre and post fight talk of Marquez using steroids? And short of a 5th fight with Olympic styled testing, how does Marquez get full credit without the whispering of critics?

Vivek W.: I've said for quite some time that Team Pacquaio hurt their position in several ways that were both unnecessary and extremely difficult to overcome. For starters, if you look at the various catchweight fights, Pacquiao could have won every last one without the assistance of weight-draining tactics. All that tactic did was eat away at the accomplishments of hard earned victory. When we get into the steroid topic, I think the damage done by balking at Olympic styled drug testing was even more incriminating. Not only could he have been an ambassador of the sport by leading the charge, but he could have also removed all doubt, (not to mention all asterisks).

Unfortunately for Pacquiao and his supporters, their reluctance to take part in the testing has led to great suspicion. And what's even more unfortunate is that they were so outspoken about those who questioned them that they can't attempt to raise a legitimate argument against the man they feel could be guilty of the same accusation. It's absolutely hypocritical of any Team Pacquiao member or fan to levy this accusation against Marquez. His position on testing seemed to be far more favorable than Pacquiao and his team at any point in the past. Should Marquez agree to a 5th fight with testing involved? I would say absolutely not! If Pacquiao landed the KO no one on the planet would care to see another fight.

Each of the past fights were so close that clarity was needed. Here, we get absolute clarity and the losing side wants to see this again? Really? Right now I think Pacquiao needs Marquez far more than Marquez needs Pacquiao. If Marquez wants another big pay day, there are options. Some don't want to hear it, but he could totally steal the spotlight from Guerrero and land a Mayweather clash on the strength of his strong Pacquaio performance combined with his new comfort at a weight class that he was barely getting to know when he faced Mayweather before. All the strength and conditioning work. The new found power. The intensity. Why not see how Mayweather holds up?

Probably because he knows the outcome wouldn't change. But that being said, Marquez is in the drivers seat, and if I were him, I'd want a more neutral split if I did choose Pacquiao. Right about now he brings just as much to the table. The most definitive victory. From the looks of the MGM Grand last week, a bigger crowd base. He's totally a parallel at this stage. Pacquiao is coming off a fight he won that he should have loss. A fight he loss that he should have won. And a fight he loss that he probably should have never agreed to take. Anything less than 50/50 isn't worth a discussion. If four of Pacquaio's 8 world titles are to go down without question, there's no way they can question Marquez. Period. Anything less fails the test!

Melvin C. (Brooklyn, NYC): I don't totally agree with your "out with the old, in with the new" tweet from the other day. Can you explain why you feel there's a changing of the guard in Boxing?

Vivek W.: Nothing lasts forever. As much as we adore these warriors of the sport, I'd be the first to admit that the sun is quickly fading on them, too. A few years ago we had a young Mayweather, Cotto, Margarito, Williams, Cintron, and others at welterweight. A few ounces above we had De la Hoya and Mosley among others. Williams has been stripped of his career by unfortunate tragedy. But Margarito, Cotto, Mosley, Oscar....some would now agree Pacquiao as well, have all found themselves in that crop of fighters we feel we've literally watched get "old right before our eyes". The irony here is that Mayweather was the one who we can assure was clean throughout this process, and as the smoke clears, thus far, that hasn't changed, as he remains the last man standing.

Replacing these other warriors is the likes of Broner, Trout, Canelo, Ward, Garcia, Donaire, and a few other youngsters. Each of these men bring elements that make them special. Two possess a special Mayweather like makeup. That blueprint allows him to remain relevant today. Truth be known, that's the only reason he's still relevant. Less punishment taken. I like to remind people that "skills pay the bills". Pacquiao was deemed great. But the man he can't seem to get beyond possessed that 5 letter word (skills) as well. All in all, when we see these guys from the fading era and how many of them stack up currently, it doesn't take a genius to realize that a new day has come. It happened before, and it's happening again. All I'll say is embrace it. As no era last forever.

Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached on Wednesday nights at FightHypeRadio, also at vivekwallace@ymail.com, Twitter (@vivekwallace747), and FaceBook.

APRIL 24, 2015
APRIL 23, 2015
APRIL 22, 2015