being afforded a special status ,now in the phillipines , that of ,he is helping a bit ,and was an old fighter ,so he cant be all bad , igave my predictions for the biggest event in the world ,that was taking place in the phillipino sych, no, not the global financial meltdown , no not the thai political meltdown ,that effects their area , er no ,not the impending impeachement in parliment for corruption , that is so common ,it hardly rates a mention , on the real streets in phillipines but the one thing that galvinises the country ,or the one person that does , is when the pacman steps into the ring . manny pacquio, is the phillipino legend ,and he has earned it the hard way ,winning 5 world championships at mosquito weight when he started off to now being the undisputed lightweight champion.
so when manny decided to take a fight with another supa champ that had been like 4 divisions higher ,
ole doc , thought ,well the money is monsterous , why not ? no matter how many phillipinos asked me for my expert opinion , ididnt give one , because their champ means so much to the country , any other caucasion , i said ,a good big one , will beat a good little one .
i think the only phillipino i said my thoughts to was our coach melvin , i didnt even watch the fight , but on awaking after fight morning , melvin was quick , to tell me the pacman had again done the business for the phillipines.
So excited ,i thought i owe it to watch the replay , well the pacman didnt win the fight , he beat the living hell out of a living supa star, from the first 10sec, it was obvious , there were not stars in manny's eyes ,the golden one ,was called the golden boy to manny only for the ammount of money he was paying
manny to show him ,that its time to stop fighting .
the golden one , was moving more like the clay one as i watched my mind flew back to the day this terrific fighter completely dismantled the then great julio chaveas, a supreme champion, he too looked clay as the golden boy took him apart.
Manny decided being complacent was not on the agenda , this night and he used de la hoya as his personal punching bag .
this i had some kindred spirit with , remember my last camp in phillipines , i had the brasilian coach cali ,
pull my wings off , in out little "good natured" race . i felt like the clay one too.
i then realised my time had come , and stopped what pathetic form of training i was attempting , but back in phillipines and 12 kilogram heavier , my wife brought ,up part of our marriage vows contract , which of course i had added .
10 years or 10 pound clause , for those pound challenged it means 5 kilograms .
she pointed out it is nearly 10 yrs married and she was now 2 children and 2 kilograms lighter than when we married , while i , on the other hand had no kids and added 24kilo or 52lb.
i tried to explain the kids effected me in a different way ,she wasnt buying.
so it was in her opinion ,that i try to restart my campain and get the weight off .
now what does that have to do with pacman dela hoya ?
well on my return to phillipines melvin , some how had shrunk himself to be 1/2 his size ,this caused me no end of problems , as my missus used melvin as a model , see he did it why can you , well i didnt want to say melvin is living in a different town to his wife at the time, so exercise has become his new mantra ,
so, i just promised , to try a bit harder , to do better with out tripping the ole doc obsessive switch ,as this leads to kaos as well .
so again before i left , melvin and i went for a little run after i had put in ithought a strong 3 weeks .
we talked a bit , we went thru athletes training , we were having a pleasant run till we hit beniktikon hill
then it all come flooding back ,cali just floating away up the hill and me becoming delerious ,
it was ground hog day all over .
i said good bye to melvin as he and the hill kicked my arse ,and as i sludged home , i can remember feeling like a beat up fighter , i said to my self the very exact words
your just like an old punching bag , takin the hits but you have none to give .
de lahoya must have been thinking the same thing .
to have an angry ant , give him the mother of all beatings , must have been the most humbling experience ,of this once ring giant , in his prime , it would have been not allowed , but thru greed and circumstance , maybe it wasnt manny kicking his arse , but himself .
he was yesterdays champion , and the pacman is todays champion 29 at the peak of his powers .
the most couragous thing for a human being , is knowing when to say , i am not what i was .
its sports biggest quandary , as champions have to deal with no more roar of the crowd, no more adrenilen surge as you take a great match , its not boxing ,its all sport .
you want sad , i just watched greg redanski beat the once great pete sampras in a masters tounament
what was that ?
lets analise, has pete , failed to come to terms with life without tennis ,or has he become so happy , with life that , he can stand infront of 8,000 people and get humiliated by a player that didnt rate enuff to hold his jock strap in the change rooms, rather than his tennis racket , in boths hey day .
pete was smiley happy , and on the other court a very old looking john mac just got beat in the other semi by a guy 15 yrs younger , and the mac true to his younger day .
said in his postmatch speech to the crowd , he didnt play well , i just played crap , then asked a consileraty question to calm him down , he just said to the crowd it was such shit , that you are all going to take home a little history , as this is the last competitive match john mcenroe has played ,he cant go on letting himself down like that , waved to the crowd and he was gone .
so has john come to terms with not being at his very best , one would think just as in life he has yet to come to terms with any of it ,
but boxing has a brutal truth to it . It reaches out and tells you the hard way , your time is up .
you cant sugar coat war , your either in it , or your dead .
coming to terms , with your not what you used to be , is lifes best question asked?
how you answer it ,just doesnt effect you but the ones that truly love you .
i some times take on the devils advocate role for my athletes when this question , is being openly asked of them by their sport , most dont like my intrusion in such matters,
as the reality between the pursuit of excellence ,or the pursuit of lifestyle , tends to get blurred in triathlon , more than any sport i have been involved in .
i think its triathlons biggest strength , it can be used as a life style ,and should be ,its what attracted me to it in the first place , what i found difficult ,is the ammount of athletes once they have given it their best shot , dont just move back and do it for fun and fitness .
i know from personal experience feeling lie a punching bag evry day , is no fun .
but i am coming to grips ,with i am not what i was , so headway is being made at a personal level .
we all just got to find our way to deal with it .
the pacman , will one day face it just as those before him have had to .
lets hope for the phillipines he doesnt go 1 or 2 fights too many . he should be remembered as ,at one time the greatest fighter pound for pound the world had , and he was born and bred pinoy boy.
and so proud of it !