Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth – Mike Tyson

Wa’ happened? Manny Pacquiao walked head first into an incoming train, the Marquez Express. That’s wa’ happened.

The next question is: Why?

Trainer Freddie Roach forgot to remind Pacquiao that blocking a right straight with one’s jaw is never a good idea. Not even if you’re convinced that your jaw can break your opponent’s fist. The only time the tactic is worth considering is if you’re an insomniac and you’re desperate for a good night’s sleep.

Ronnie Nathanielz the boxing pundit blamed it on Manny’s lack of conditioning.  He said Manny sparred and jogged and hit the bags which were fine for the cameras but not good enough to face a boxer like Marquez and who went all out on strength conditioning. Like Pacquiao used to do. He added Pacquiao should have done extra hard conditioning especially since he lost his last fight with Marquez. But he didn’t. And so what could have been only a fender bender with a speeding bus turned into a train wreck.

Mommy D thinks there was more to it than just an oversight by Roach or a lack of conditioning. She said her Manny lost because he stopped wearing a rosary around his neck and making the sign of the cross. Hmmm…

And my brother reminded me that December 8 is also the Feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. So not wearing a rosary could have made her mad enough to blind Manny to the incoming missile from Marquez. Hmmmm again.

Both would have been plausible explanations if Manny were not against the RH (Reproductive Health) Bill.  But he is. Strongly. He is so strongly against RH that he conducted his interpellation of the bill’s sponsor in English. So that, not just his foray into English, should have cancelled out the rosary thing. But it didn’t. Manny still kissed the canvass. At any rate, I reminded my brother that December 8 is also the day of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. That’s my hmmm…

So is there a theological explanation for the knock-out? We await Bishop Broderick “God-is- angry- over- the- RH Bill” Pabillo’s insight into the matter. By the way, we must also ask the good bishop if Typhoon Pablo’s u-turn towards Ilocos has something to do with the Northern Alliance’s opposition to the Sin Tax.

Politicians, as usual, had to weigh in with their airhead platitudes about rising from defeat, none of which will change the fact that Pacquiao was knocked out and Filipino boxing fans are inconsolable.

What the hell are those politicians doing equating national pride with having a champion in a bloodsport? And really — “If at first you don’t succeed try and try again” — is not sound advice for tight-rope walkers or boxers who just got their brains bashed.

While waiting for fight experts to sort things out and for more idiot-politicians to offer more inane platitudes, I decided to go to Sting’s concert at the Araneta Coliseum. It’s the best thing I’ve done all year. If, like me, Manny Pacquiao had gone to the Araneta instead of Las Vegas, he would have been serenaded by one of the greatest musicians ever instead of a bunch of birds circling and tweeting songs around his sorry head.

Manny Pacquiao has made his mark on a sport that like dog and horse fighting should have been banned years ago. He has nothing more to prove. And he has made enough money to kiss Bob Arum’s ass goodbye. It’s time he enjoyed the fruits of his labors full-time.

Unfortunately, he is still surrounded by people who have everything to lose if he retires and so he will most likely allow himself to be talked into one last fight. For redemption. And one more last fight. To erase any doubts about his greatness. And one more last fight. And one more last fight. Until his brains turn into mush.

Well as Mike Tyson once said, “I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.” Except that instead of having your head in the clouds, a fistful of clouds ends up inside your head.

No sympathy from me. This mindless adoration of boxing champions must stop. There are no heroes in a bloodsport. ‘Yun lang.


Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms (www.aer.ph).