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Let the Fight Begin
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:43:12 AM »
By Atty. Cristifil Baluma
Published: November 19, 2006 by The Bohol Standard

Finally, the long awaited “Grand Finale” fight between Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao and Mexico’s ring legend Erik Morales will push through as both fighters during their weigh-in tipped the scale at exactly 129 lbs. The much feared scenario shared by this piece last week did not happen as Erik Morales, the fighter many believed would not make the weight, surprisingly made the weight!

The classic fight will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center, a 17,000-seat venue where the Lewis-Holyfield bout and the Camacho-Chavez fight were held. Unlike in the past fights of Pacquiao against Mexicans in America where majority of those in attendance were Mexicans rooting for their countrymen, today’s fight is different as more Filipinos are expected to crowd the great venue and many Mexicans would be rooting for Pacquiao. Unlike in the past where the odds where almost even, now Pacquiao is a 3–1 favorite to win over Morales. The betting game in Las Vegas is that a $270 bet for Pacquiao would only win a hundred dollars. While a $100 bet for Morales would win $230.

Because of the high level of public interest generated by the Pacquiao-Morales III fight, this writer is once again sharing his views on the matter. For places where normally the public would flock or go to in the morning will be wide and quiet as many drivers would never compromise watching the fight over anything. Unofficially, the Philippines takes a break from the pressures of politics, intrigues and economic struggles in order to watch and see one of her top flag-bearers, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao wage battle with Mexico’s Morales.

Although the fight is not billed as Philippines versus Mexico boxing match, the hype seems to be leading to that direction. Last Friday, the brother of Manny Pacquiao, Bobby Pacquiao, lost by disqualification to a Mexican. Today, two Filipino fighters, Pacquiao and Viloria slug it out with Mexicans. A victory by both Filipinos today would certainly create a gigantic impact on the mood and atmosphere of the Filipino nation.

While our very own Pacquiao trained abroad at the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach, Erik Morales before plunging into deep training at the Otomi Mountains of Mexico, took an eight-week weight reduction and condition program under the auspices of a group of professional conditioning coaches at the Velocity Sports Performance Center in Los Angeles. The effect of what modern science can do to an aging and troubled Morales will be answered today as he battles a fighter who is reaching a superstardom status in the boxing world and who has redefined the sport of boxing.

The factors working in favor of Morales are the following: his hunger and determination to regain his once lofty position as the top super-featherweight boxer of the world; his superior skill and technique; and lastly his experience.

The question as to whether Morales has the stamina to face an agile and cat-quick Pacquiao will all be answered in this great fight. The question as to whether Morales was more focused in reducing his weight than in his fight plans against Pacquiao will likewise be answered today.

Rafael Mendoza, a noted Mexican boxing expert, once said that Morales would have to cut his legs just to make 130 lbs. With Morales making the weight, Mendoza was stunned to see the Mexican boxer in such a good shape. This writer agrees with the opinion of Mendoza who opined that if Morales manages to keep his stamina after losing so much weight, then the coming fight at the Thomas and Mack Center might just go the distance.

While many boxing experts are not taking Morales seriously to pose a challenge against Pacquiao in this fight, in boxing it takes only a single punch to close a fight.

Almost all factors are going for Pacquiao. With his blinding speed, power and a courageous heart, it would take the very best performance of Morales in order to score an upset.

Pacquiao now has developed into a natural super-featherweight division and now has become very comfortable with the 130 lbs. division. In one advertisement, it is depicted that Pacquiao carries the hopes of the millions of Filipino people. I hope this won’t carry much pressure on him as to affect his performance against Morales.

Wherever you are today, whether you are in the comfort of your home or at the malls watching the live action before the wide movie screen, let us all be united in hoping and praying that our top fighters, Pacquiao and Viloria would in the end, carry our flag to victory.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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