I expected younger opponents to deliver the closing chapters of Manny Pacquaio’s glorious and unparalleled boxing career, and hardly 39 year old Mexican Juan Miguel Marquez.
Whatever reasons attributed; deficient physical conditioning, reduced practice, lack of concentration, politics and et. al. that bout showed how luck can play a big and decisive role in determining outcomes.
I haven’t been watching boxing matches but the alternating knockdowns from both pugilists which I read via ESPN’s live forum, prompted me to do so from the replay. And I’d reckon that Marquez-Pacquiao 4 was a classic bout at par with Thrilla in Manila, Ali-Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran etc...
And as I have been saying, Manny Pacquiao heralded as national pride, is only human. That match, contra populist sentiment, delivered the poignant message.
While boxing legend Pacquiao says he will consider retirement only after losing the second time, I’d say that the law of diminishing returns has been getting the better of him. The reason Pacquiao’s denies or refuses to accept retirement is that as I previously wrote
Of course reality bites, Mr. Pacquiao’s fame, fortune and political career have all been tied up with his boxing career. Once Mr. Pacquiao retires this privilege will erode overtime, as with all of the local celebrity sporting forebears.So he may push his boxing career to the limits or take unnecessary risks in order to struggle to preserve this privilege.
Pacquiao’s attachment to his present privileges reflects on the people’s natural affinity to entitlements.
Yet Pacquiao’s devastating loss has stirred an outpouring of mushy comments on mainstream and social media. Most seem to forget that his national stature has come about due to his string of victories. That era may have ended.
Where victory has a thousand fathers, said the late US President John F. Kennedy, defeat is an orphan. Such truism will likely expose on the public’s penchant for survivorship bias or the attachment or fixation on winners. If Pacquiao continues to lose (and lose badly) will he remain the national pride? I doubt. My intuition is that like the other predecessor sporting legends, he will be forgotten. And this will likely even be manifested in his political career. The public will look for other talking points.
But not for me, as a former boxing fan, I’d say Pacquiao’s most valuable legacy have been one for the sporting history books: a feat that will remain unrivaled for a long long long period of time.