By Lungani Zama
Filipino Manny Pacquiao sits in his corner following the eleventh round of his WBO welterweight title fight against Timothy Bradley.
As if losing to Timothy Bradley wasn’t bad enough, Manny Pacquiao then had to deal with his mama wading into the argument.
The Filipino slugger was supposed to be nearing the end of his career, but he will have to put those plans on hold for a rematch with Bradley first. And if he didn’t really feel like it, his mother’s fury would have sent him straight back into the gym already.
Mrs Pacquiao, who you may have expected to not even watch her son trading blows at the age of 63, showed she was no shrinking violet, as she lambasted the judges, the referee… in fact, anyone who could have had anything to do with the dodgy outcome of last week’s scrap in Vegas.
At this rate, Pacquiao would do well to let his mama do the talking on future 24/7 shows. While the southpaw is reserved and respectful, his mama clearly has no issue with voicing her opinions. You can just imagine her trading insults and handbags with Floyd Mayweather to hype up a fight that may never materialise now.
Nevermind that Mayweather is busy watching his back in prison for beating up his former lover. The so-called superfight always rested on both men coming into the ring at their best.
Even if Pacquiao spanks the grin off Bradley’s face in a rematch later this year, considerable gloss has been wiped off the proposed “Fight of the Century” by Bradley’s mugging of Pacquiao.
And on the evidence of his last few fights, maybe avoiding Mayweather may not be the worst thing for Pacman. He was lucky to beat Juan Manuel Marquez on points, which probably explains why he hasn’t grumbled too much about the Bradley result. Karma is a bitch, they say.
What will concern him and his camp more, is his sudden inability to kill off opponents.
For years, he has enhanced his street cred by taking the decision out of dozy judges’ hands – he has simply blitzed all comers into a puddle of their own blood.
Now suddenly, he is looking a lot more laboured and the smart money suggests that Mayweather would pick him off at will, tainting a legacy that has always been built on courage and explosiveness.
Maybe, just maybe, Pacquiao needs to ignore his mother’s advice, and retire sooner rather than later. Boxing is littered with the battered egos of fighters who went on for a scrap too many.
Mayweather, hate him or not, has always insisted he will retire on his terms. No one will look after him once he is retired, he insists.
And Pacquiao only needs look at his trainer for evidence of what boxing can do to the human body. Brilliant mind that Freddie Roach is, the Parkinson’s that ravages his bones is down to refusing to let go when others told him it was time to stop the batterings. And now he is paying the price.
Speaking of paying a heavy toll, Harry Redknapp was fired by Tottenham Hotspur this week. A surprise to some, but I say good riddance.
’Arry contrived to squander a massive lead in third place, as he let the hysteria of the national team job distract him. It was shameless flirting, and lest we forget, the FA’s sweet nothings probably saved Redknapp from doing some time in prison for his dodgy deals at Portsmouth.
He has always left on his own terms, leaving the likes of West Ham, Southampton and Portsmouth in tatters when the call came from a bigger club.
He will inevitably get sympathy from those obsessed with all things English, but the truth is that ’Arry’s sole success was the FA Cup with Portsmouth – and the club is still recovering from the financial ruins that his expensively assembled squad left them in.
But don’t be too surprised if he springs up in the Premiership again. Like dodgy MPs, football managers always find a way to get back in the system, as desperate club owners find a reason to give them yet another chance to blow their budgets.
Now what is that saying about a fool and his money again?