‘The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away’ Psalm 90:10
They say every great fighter has one last, great fight in him.
It felt like 2009, when Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto where being physically beaten and battered by a monstrous, Manny Pacquiao. The living legend stalked Lucas Matthysse from the opening round, showing glimpses of what made him a Mt. Rushmore fighter of his generation.
Does he beat Terence Crawford and Errol Spence? Hell no. But do they beat the version of 2009 Pacquiao? Fuck no, not on their best night. But this isn’t about fantasy fights, we’re here to give praise to one of boxing’s most polarizing fighters ever.
Manny Pacquiao turned back the hands of time last night, and he did so under enormous scrutiny. The awkward divorce from Freddie Roach, the missed payments to Golden Boy, and of course, the reality of his demise. None of it distracted him, none of it deterred him, none of it played a part in the outcome of the fight. When he stepped through the ropes in front of his adoring Malaysian fans, Pacquiao was at home, literally and figuratively. It’s where every fighter past or present can distract themselves from their world outside of the ring. It’s their sanctuary, their peace and quiet. Yeah, that sounds weird, but ask any fighter if they would rather be somewhere else on fight night, and all the true greats would say, “No!”
And Pacquiao performed like we all envisioned he could, it was though the last 8 years were matrixed and Manny was returning after the Cotto fight – lean, mean and ferocious. I think we seem to forget that nine wins have followed the Cotto fight, but none of them have been in that fashion.
For one last night we could just be adoring fans and watch greatness for one last time like when Kobe dropped 60 and walked off the court. Unfortunately, Pacquiao, at this moment, will not be walking away. And honestly, he’ll probably rack up a few more wins, including one or two major fights. However, we may never see his greatness on display again. So enjoy this moment, don’t ruin it envisioning any of the fighters you dick ride beating an old Manny Pacquiao – they could never hold his jock in his heyday.
‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us’ Romans 8:18
A star is being born. The talents of ‘Rougarou’ were on display last night when he walked down, and through, Juan Jose Velasco on ESPN. It was a ‘good’ performance, it was exciting and the upside of Prograis is tremendous. However, we have yet to see how truly great he can be because he has yet to face his equal, based on talent. But boy is he exciting to watch and the bigger his profile gets, the more we get to see his personality and confidence.
His back story and what he’s overcome, should be a rooting purpose alone. The fact that he’s also a fire cracker in the ring is just icing on a sweet, delicious cake. Prograis is a firm example of what a throwback fighter is, was and why the Golden Age(s) of boxing will forever live in purists’ hearts. For Prograis, he’s building a fan base full of past, present and future diehard boxing fans.
Hopefully his entrance into the World Boxing Super Series will finally let us see Prograis in a fight that takes him to the next level. The tournament includes a handful of competitors that are, head and shoulders, above the likes of Velasco and Indongo. It’s the perfect stage and time for ‘Rougarou’ to let the world know who exactly he is.
‘Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck’ Proverbs 1:8-9
This past week I complied a list of 10 fighters under 21 who will become superstars in the years to come. I had Lopez at No. 10, but fuck I should have put him at No. 1. Homeboy beat the breaks off of William Silva, and then proceeded to stick a knife in his heart with his post knockout celebration.
Bring on Lomachenko!!!
I’m just playing but seriously this young man is walking legend in the making. This has to be good Karma for Top Rank after years of stressfully building Felix Verdejo, only for him to become a dud. In Lopez they have a bonafide star in the making, and the kid just absolutely gives you every reason to love him. He’s confident, technically sound has a modern day Roberto Duran killer instinct.
The process of creating a world champion is daunting due to fighters’ personalities and the team they’ve assembled around them. However, both sides seem to be on the same page and have puppy love admiration for each other. I’m just going to jump on the train and enjoy Lopez’s ride to the top of the boxing world.