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What doesn’t kill you, can only make you stronger. Or if I may translate it in boxing terms: What won’t break a fighter can only make a fighter.
Instead of this blame game a lot of these arm chair experts love to play when one of our aspiring young talents falter on a global stage, it’s time to change the culture and instead focus more on the improvements that needs to be made.
The obvious doesn’t take a genius to point out. When your fighters always go down from body shots, you need to work that core. Perhaps do as Manny did and pick up that hit stick- Manny after all used to be considered weak in the body too.
When your fighters keep getting hit with clean punches in the head regardless of the quality of opponent, you need to work on that defense and head movement. But you know what is also easy? Talk.
Talk is cheap. And all of these know-it-all boxing geniuses always seem to pop up when one of our aspiring young fighters go down, calling them bums, overrated and even asking for their retirement.
The fact is, we are all to blame. From the trainers to the fighters to the media to the good-for-nothing entourages and even the forum posters. A lot of fans and people in the media are quick to jock when a fighter accomplishes something, yet when he loses, they’ll be the same ones hating. The same people that made these kids’ heads swollen big are the same ones who crucify them.
It’s time to take a closer look at our boxing culture. It’s safe to say we’re past that Pacquiao honeymoon stage. What I mean by that is, Pacquiao’s been on top for a while now and it’s time that we acted like we’re used to greatness at this point. In other words, it’s time to truly expect and demand greatness from our boxing; not just from fighters, but down to trainers, promoters and everyone involved.
Pacquiao has laid down the blueprint to success- not only through his successes, but even through his failures. Hare’s some things our young talents like Marvin Sonsona, Ciso Morales, AJ Banal and even those who have recently been victorious like Bernabe Concepcion, Mark Melligen and Mercito Gesta can keep in mind. HARD WORK. Pacquiao trains like no other man. As respected columnist Chino Trinidad, who has covered Pacquiao since his early years in boxing, told me, “I have not seen anyone train and jog in the morning the way Manny Pacquiao does; not even any of the young fighters that train at the Wild Card. Some of them would just come to Griffith Park get their pictures taken or take shortcuts.” Not saying these kids don’t put in hard work but there’s always room for improvement.
Secondly, attitude and focus. These days, once a fighter gets some kind of press, aside from people proclaiming him “the next”, various hangers on and distractions latch on wanting a piece of the limelight and possible riches in the future similar to the ‘Pacquiao jockers’ crew. You don’t need those. They won’t get you anywhere in your career. Keep your crew as tight as your budget and don’t let the fame get to your head.
Now is not the time to bash our warriors. Sonsona is only 19 and has a whole future ahead of him like the rest of our promising young fighters out there. As they say, united we stand, divided we fall. If we celebrate victory as a nation, we should take losses in the same manner as well. The real bums are those who have nothing good to do with their lives other than call boxers bums in internet forums. You’re not a bum are you?
Dennis “D Source” Guillermo is a freelance sportswriter. You can contact him through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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