SPORTS KEN: Loss to Horn maybe God’s message

Is God preparing Manny Pacquiao for bigger and more meaningful assignments?

The nation howled in unison after that surprising but painful loss to Jeff Horn. “Harang!” Highway robbery!”

The Filipinos were not the only ones who noticed the obvious discrepancy in the “Battle of Brisbane.” Sports fans around the world, including the former undisputed heavyweight king Lennox Lewis called the one-sided unanimous decision a disgrace to boxing.

I felt it in my guts. I was angry. In my view, the worst judgment could have been a majority draw or a split decision for the Pacman.

No one was knocked down. Neither fighter dominated the 12-round encounter but for one moment, I thought the Pacman almost came to knocking out his opponent in the ninth. Horn suffered a battered, bloodied and closed right eye while our countryman was almost unmarked. So why did one judge render a 117-111 scorecard in favor of the Aussie? Meaning, Manny won just three rounds and his foe nine? Susmaryosep!

Horn literally lived up to his name, roughhousing his way for thirty six minutes.

Sadly, the “Battle of Brisbane” was a repeat of the Pambansang Kamao’s first meeting with Timothy Bradley when the sporting world raised quizzical eyebrows after ring judges erroneously decided in favor of the American boxer.

To make matters worse, Mark Nelson, the third man in the ring, tolerated the Aussie’s wrestling tactics. He also failed to warn the challenger after blood dripped from Manny’s scalp in the first headbutt. In the second, Nelson should have slapped a point deduction on Horn as the headbutt caused an ugly cut on Pacquiao’s upper left portion of his head.

Very obviously, Pacquiao was bothered. Any boxer for that matter.

Notice also that after Horns swings either with a left or right cross, his elbow goes along with the swing. Those headlocks were not un-intentional. They were meant to weaken the opponent as one loses oxygen when your breathing is impeded like a headlock or when one is strangled. Try it.

If Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, the longest world reigning junior lightweight champion, were alive today, he would make a qualified and credible testimony. During his young career in the mid-fifties as a rising featherweight, he fought Sandy Saddler, a Black-American, who was notorious for fighting dirty – headbutts, elbows, headlocks and all.

A rematch clause is provided for in the Brisbane fight contract. Meaning, the fighting senator can take his revenge in November this year.

All these have become academic.

The more important item I want to point out is this: Being a God-fearing Christian, will the good senator consider the loss a message from the Lord?

Ideally speaking, Manny already has everything. The good Lord has showered the former pandesal boy with tremendous success, a beautiful wife, obedient, healthy and well-educated children, so much riches – money (he could live ten times his present life and would not consume them all) and real estate properties – power and authority. He is just like Solomon whom God bestowed with every material thing, including wisdom and intelligence, because the former did not ask for riches but instead obeyed everything God commanded him to do.

In his FB posts, Pacquiao always says that he is nothing without God. His favorite biblical verse is Matthew 6:33 (Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added on to you.). I subscribe to this same biblical tenet. In Deuteronomy 8:18 the Bible confirms: “But remember the Lord your God for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…”

The Filipino nation owes Manny Pacquiao a lot. He is the country’s national treasure.  We don’t want any harm to befall our sports hero. Because of Pacquiao, the Filipino became popular world-wide and the condescending look upon us as an ethnic race is gone.

As even the Beatles sang “money can’t buy me love,” fortune and fame aren’t everything. Muhammad Ali, arguably the most popular boxer on earth, retired and passed away nursing a debilitating disease.

Nobody is growing younger. Everyday we get slowed down by age, if not by disease or other reasons. At past 38 summers and now an elected senator of the republic, perhaps Manny might sit down, pray and consult God for his next move.

David was a mere shepherd boy when God chose him to lead Israel. In killing the giant Goliath, the Lord gifted David everything he needed until David was adequately equipped to replace Saul as king of Israel.

Is God preparing Manny Pacquiao for bigger assignments? (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) Proverbs 3:5-6. GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!

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