Pacquiao over the Indus

Beating Hatton is comparable to gazing across the Indus, to the great expanse of India, as the Macedonian Alexander did. How did he get there? Mexico must venerate him the way the Persians did of Alexander, and now he’s begun to get the attention of the rest of the world.  But how further can he really go?

There were many reasons for Alexander of Macedon to cross from the Greek mainland and challenge the supremacy of Persia. Memories of the Persian invasion of Greece and their sack of Athens were burned in every Greek mind, and for as long as it existed, Persian ambitions will not be sated beyond Asia Minor (present day Turkey). In uniting the Greek states under the Macedonian banner, Alexander had to make a statement and one victory against the Persian Empire.

One victory led to another, until Alexander divested himself of the entirety of the Persian Empire, as well as Egypt, Judaea, and east to Bactria. Suddenly he found himself staring at the Indus, and at the gates of India. How did he get there? Why did he get there? And how further can he go?

Our country has been abuzz with the recent victory of the Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao. His performance against the Briton and Mancunian fighter Ricky “Hitman” Hatton was nothing short of breathtaking. And frightening. While this blogger joined in the loud cheering as Pacquiao dealt powerful hammer blows early into the first round, then finished his opponent off with a left shot on the second round, one could not but see from hindsight that the power of his punches have reached dim mak (Death Touch) levels. The way he destroyed the Briton in only two rounds was reminiscent of his third match with Morales many years back, in which he dispatched the Mexican just as briefly. His signature blow (left or right) has sent professional, well-trained boxers falling to a heap or collapsing stunned on the mat. If these professional athletes, trained and conditioned to withstand the pressure of repeated blows to the face, can get flat on the back in a few seconds from a Pacquiao on boxing gloves, imagine the average guy if he received one of those fists from a, well, let’s say for example an angry Pacquiao.  Or let’s say from a Pacquiao who delivers that KO punch by accident. Without shock-absorbing gloves. The poor recipient of his punch might be put in a coma.

Even more surprising, Hatton was a junior welterweight champion. Pacquiao, like Alexander of Macedon, began with a few victories against Mexicans from the featherweight level. Now he’s earned the reputation of having destroyed Mexico’s most skilled boxers and champions, the name “Mexic-Assassin” and, with his victory over De La Hoya and Hatton, all six titles from featherweight to welterweight. And, in one article, the added title of “The Destroyer”.

But beating Hatton is comparable to gazing across the Indus, to the great expanse of India, as the Macedonian Alexander did. How did he get there? Mexico must venerate him the way the Persians did of Alexander, and now he’s begun to get the attention of the rest of the world. Particularly the rowdy British nation. How further can he go? There is talk now of a Cotta or a Mosley fight, welterweight fighters… and then of Mayweather. But how much more can he take, and how farther does he plan to go?

Pacquiao, like Alexander before him, was not made to be a long-standing institution. Already, having vacated the four titles he earned to get to the top, to make for welterweight, the void of these championships has been refilled by the Mexicans that he has beaten. He has blazed a trail, which no other Filipino boxer can as yet follow. What he is, is a force of nature. He should try to consolidate his position now (fighting welterweights, and not going further), while the going is good, but he is now impelled to go further and further up the title levels. As Alexander was impelled further and further in India, until his own troops forced him back.

His legacy is now assured, the reputation of the Philippines in boxing, by his efforts, has been cemented.  That is enough. We should now turn our attention to his successors, and how to follow that trail he blazed across. Any force of nature, after all, does not last for very long, though its effects may be total and felt for a very long time.