From movies to the real world, we are all suckers for happy endings. Yesterday was no different. As soon as “Eye of the tiger” the famous theme song from Rocky 3 started, Manny Pacquiao walked down the aisle with over 50,000 people screaming in Brisbane Australia. This was the old warrior putting his life again for one more time for the delight of all his boxing fans. He fought like a master tactician against a game Jeff Horn that was groggy going to the tenth round, after a blistering ninth round from Pacquiao that almost got the fight ended. It was like watching a Rocky movie when the referee told Horn that he would stop the fight if he doesn’t show anything in the tenth round.
Horn fought back and went all the way to the 12th round.
It could have been one memorable fight with Pacquiao passing his torch to a younger and hungry champion but it wasn’t the case. Throughout the fight, Jeff Horn engaged Manny into a wrestling match, headlocks, head butts, elbows and hitting behind Manny’s head. The referee didn’t do anything. The judges also connive with questionable scoring including a bizarre 117-111 from Waleska Roldan. The same controversial judge who scored 76-74 on the Marcus Browne-Radivoje Kalajdzic fight when Browne went down three times in that fight but awarded the win to Browne.
However, Manny Pacquiao wasn’t only fighting Jeff Horn that night, he was also fighting father time. When a younger Pacquiao could have ended the fight earlier, Manny failed to deliver his patented combinations and rapid hands and foot speed that defined him throughout his career.
For years, Manny gave us exciting fights. He had done a lot for boxing. Yet, this is how boxing rewarded him.
Boxing is a dying sport, and they rob us of Manny’s great ending to his career. They are now forcing him to retire.
A controversial and sad ending to the man who gave his life to the sport.