Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BOXING: Viacrucis Clan celebrate Pacquiao victory

Filipino prizefighter Manny Pacquiao conquered the ranks of the light welterweight division (140 lbs) by punishing British pugilist Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton in 2 lopsided rounds the other day in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Crime was at a standstill and traffic stopped for a mere 10 minutes in the 7,107 islands in the Philippines as Hatton succumbed to 2 successive knockdowns in the 1st round and 1 devastating TKO in the 2nd by a left straight or a left hook (analysts couldn’t agree on this one), perhaps ending The Hitman's illustrious career at 140 lbs.

Referee Kenny Bayless didn’t bother counting out Hatton when the British pound-for-pound fighter hit the deck. Hatton had to be taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure after the fight.

In the small town of Palompon, Leyte here in the Philippines, the Viacrucis Clan were having their 13th Triennial Reunion when news came delivered through SMS to Dr. Lino Villegas’ phone followed by shouts of jubilation and awe of the Pacman’s power, his plyometric-enhanced body hardly breaking sweat taking down Hatton in R2.

Pacquiao, legitimate 6-division champion including titles in Flyweight (112 lbs.), Super Bantamweight (122 lbs.), Ring Magazine Featherweight (126 lbs.), Super Featherweight (130 lbs.), Lightweight (135 lbs.) and now, Light Welterweight (140 lbs), has prompted Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to declare Manny “the greatest boxer of all time.” Note that the wily promoter has been around boxing for more than 30 years and his statement does not come around cheap having witnessed boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard in their prime.

The winner of the Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez showdown in July this year will get a shot at the world’s #1 pound-for-pound artist. A Mayweather win against both boxers will solidify his unbeaten record and take back his #1 pound-for-pound title taken by Manny when the former retired. A win by JMM against the future hall of famer Mayweather will speak volumes of a 3rd rematch against Pacquiao.

Pacquiao’s victory has uplifted the Filipino’s spirit against a backdrop of a global financial crisis and the Viacrucis clan couldn’t agree more.