Dec. 9, 2012(GMT+8, Philippine Time) the date of the downfall of the greatest Filipino boxer to ever donned gloves. Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao’s nemesis timed a perfect counter right straight to Manny’s jaw, squarely just below the lower lip and slightly above the chin. This punch caused Manny to lay motionless, face planted to the canvass and lungs clearly gasping for air. The scene was difficult to take specially that Pacquiao has become the nation’s sole flag carrier with regards to international sports. Filipino’s could just stare blankly on the screen with mouths wide open uttering jibberish sounds as the person they consider to embody them could get up no more. The Pacquiao era could very well be done.
What went wrong? Manny Pacquiao was heavily favored to KO Marquez. He was like a strong bull which no matador could tame but alas this bull could only attack so much and ran into real student of the sport and a genius at that. No question Marquez is no pushover, yes he is older than Manny at 39 but as they say wine gets better when it has aged, same thing could be true for Marquez. This is the 4th time they fight, and this time Marquez made sure he has all the arsenals to defeat Pacquiao using the previous 3 encounters as his learning references. Marquez is just clearly better at this point. Plain and simple the better man won that night.There is just an angle of this fight that I need to discuss. I know some would probably make fun of me for even suggesting something not in the bounds of how someone(not me) thinks.
Anyways, in this fight, there is something Manny deviated to do from his usual routine. I noticed Manny wear rosary no more. I first noticed this during weigh in. Manny always wear the rosary faithfully in his neck on all of his previous fights, this is not something a boxing fan or a Pacquiao fan would miss. This made me think, something is not right. Fast forward to the fight time, during the ring introduction i noticed Manny not doing the sign of the cross during prayers and that Rosary was absent. Later on, i learned that Manny changed his religion. Probably to one of those Christian sects that labels Catholics as idol worshippers(which is somewhat true imho). This is puzzling to me considering Manny is a life long Catholic devout. I mean what happened?!
This is a red flag! at least for someone like me. Committing a major change in your life in face of a very difficult battle ahead will never do you any Good. For example, if you became great by doing the things you have done in the past, why change it? I know you will shout in my face that RELIGION has nothing to do with sports (actually it has but i’ll discuss it later or on a separate post) but what about a human beings psyche?! a human beings mental preparation. How hard is it to carry something like that on a crucial fight. Manny knows his Mom is against it. Manny knows a lot of his former catholic friends are against it. Manny knows the priests who celebrates masses with him are against it. Now sum it all up and add more problems that involves the change in Religion and tell me if it can’t affect anything to a persons state of mind. For me any distraction is a distraction. Do I believe Manny lost because of this? NO. Do i believe this is one of the factors why Manny lost? Absolutely.
If you hate any topics about religion, I suggest you STOP reading upto this point.
Ok, on the spiritual aspect. Many people on facebook have diverse opinions or is biased towards there affiliation. The catholics thinks Manny lost because he stopped praying to Mary evident by his abandonment of the Rosary. Then there are the non-catholic Christians (Born Again, Baptist, Pentecostal etc) who says that it is just a test to Manny’s new found salvation. Some of them are posting that the real God that Manny found wanted him to learn a lesson and lost by posting some phrase from the bible which clearly implies it.
What do i think of it? I am not biased to the Catholics since I myself have not been a devout catholic(yes, I joined CFC since it is Couples for Christ and not Couples for CATHOLICS) and i stopped making signs of the cross and praying to Mary. Now this is a personal choice because of the learnings or revelation of the bible to me mixed with some fact finding research. But even then, i DO NOT mock any religion here on earth. I believe religion brings division. All of us earth dwellers have just one true God, though we call them in different names just like humans speak different language by geography. I always believe God is brilliant and smart and will NOT send you to hell if you by birth is in a certain sect. Why I am saying this? This just to justify that i personally do not have a bias and it will support my succeeding opinion about how God affects this fight.
So some are saying God sides with no Man. true that! But God always want people to develop a personal relationship with him. This people could be catholics, born agains, INCs, moslems, pentecostals, buddhist or what have you? So what is the significance of this to Manny’s fight and on the outcome. Consider this, there are a lot or loads of people that Manny influenced to come back to God. They can attribute Manny’s success to praying to God. Personally I believed God blessed Manny since Manny openly praise God to Millions. as i mentioned earlier God wants humans to have a personal relationship with him. Now what happens if the same people Manny influenced to pray and develop a relationship to God sees that Manny already abandoned the faith which he had during his rise to stardom. Don’t you think it’ll somewhat affect their outlook towards praying to God. These guys are the normal masses which does not do extensive research about Manny’s faith. Most of them would never follow Manny to his new religion considering the norm in the Philippines is to born and die a Catholic. With this, God does not the people Manny brought to him to think that Manny’s life long faith before converting is worthless and thus God probably decided that the outcome of the fight go against Manny so these people would think that the faith Manny abandoned is not worthless. Now how about on the side of the Religion where Manny newly joined to? God knows these guys are already on his side and no matter what happens they have this faith with them. Just like the story of the Prodigal Son, where the rich man’s other son is not given special attention since he is with the father always it is those whose faith is easily swayed that God needs taking care of. It is probably same with this, God does not want the people Manny influenced through his faith wither away from praying by seeing Manny being triumphant even though he abandoned the same faith he had when he was rising.
Anyways, these are all my personal opinions and interpretations. I will not say that the holy spirit is working inside me as others claim to be but rather this is a product of my thinking based on what i learned from the bible.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28