‘Pacquiao should’ve won’
MANILA — A Filipino boxing analyst believes Manny Pacquiao was the winner in the controversial “Battle of Brisbane” against Australian Jeff Horn on Sunday.
Atty. Ed Tolentino said he scored the fight 116-112 in favor of Pacquiao, who, despite having a slow start, finished strong as he took over the second half of the bout.
“Maganda ang naging simula ni Jeff Horn. Lamáng nga siya after 7 rounds in my opinion e. Pero umarangkada naman si Pacquiao sa second half ng laban,” Tolentino told ABS-CBN News Monday.
(Jeff Horn had a good start. In my opinion, he was leading in after 7 rounds. But Pacquiao came out strong in the second half of the fight.)
He said it may be true that Horn employed some dirty tactics against Pacquiao and bullied the Filipino boxer, as he noted some questionable non-calls from the referee.
But ultimately, he said, Pacquiao should have made adjustments to win the fight. A knockdown or two, he added, would have changed the final scorecards.
“Pero nakita mo ‘yung Pacquiao, dumidistansiya sa laban. Hinihintay niyang pumasok si Horn. Hindi ‘yun ang vintage Manny Pacquiao. Ang vintage Pacquiao, uunahan ka na sa atake,” he said.
(If you saw Pacquiao, he was trying to distance himself from the fight. That’s not vintage Manny Pacquiao. Vintage Pacquiao will initiate the attack.)
PACQUIAO TOOK HORN LIGHTLY
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Tolentino believes Pacquiao, who is also a senator in the Philippines, lacked the focus he had before, even taking Horn lightly, made obvious in his lack of a solid game plan.
“The commitment of Pacquiao to boxing has been an issue when he started digging his fists into the political jar and other extracurricular activities,” he said.
He also noticed that the aggressiveness of Pacquiao in the ninth round was more of an act of desperation and not part of a clear fight plan.
Tolentino also believes Team Pacquiao did not have any “Plan B,” going against Horn, who exhibited impressive strength and aggressiveness during the fight.
SHOWING SIGNS OF MORTALITY
While Tolentino believes Pacquiao should have won, he said there were obvious signs that the Filipino was not his old self anymore, failing to throw lightning-quick counter punches against Horn.
He also noted that the 38-year-old Filipino boxer showed “signs of mortality” after 68 professional fights in his 22 years of boxing.
“Though I thought he won, hindi rin natin nakita ‘yung vintage Manny Pacquiao. Flat-footed si Manny, most of the time nasa lubid. Wala na ‘yung offensive rhythm na nakasanayan natin,” he said.
(Though I thought he won, we did not see the vintage Manny Pacquiao. He’s flat-footed. He’s in the ropes most of the time. He’s got no offensive rhythm.)
Tolentino said old age, along with lack of focus, strategy and commitment coming into the fight, are all factors that contributed to a lackluster performance from Pacquiao.
“Manny Pacquiao right now has a lot of soul-searching to do, as far as I see it. Can he recommit himself to the sport? He has not been answering that question in his last few fights,” he said.
PACQUIAO TOLD: CALL IT A DAY
While a rematch is not impossible, Tolentino believes it is time for Pacquiao to permanently hang his gloves as he has nothing more to prove.
“If I can have it my way, I’d tell Manny, call it a day because in a way he’s lucky you did not endure same beatings as the likes of (Muhammad) Ali, Oscar de la Joya, the ones you administered to him,” he said.
Even before the Battle of Brisbane, the Filipino has already cemented his legacy as a boxing all-time great, Tolentino stressed.
“What is the point of fighting Jeff Horn again — to prove you’re a better man? You’ve proved it already when you conquered (Erik) Morales, (Oscar) de la Hoya, (Marco Antonio) Barrera,” he said.
“This fight will not in any way affect your legacy which has long been fortified. You might even ruin it! Sometimes the toughest fight is won by just walking away,” he added.
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