Manny Pacquiao seemingly rocked Timothy Bradley a number of times, but he never found a way to put Bradley down. After losing a split decision 115-113, 113-115 and 115-113, Pacquiao will have to spend the immediate future figuring out what went wrong.
If he can figure it out, then this controversial loss may be the best thing that could have happened to Pacquiao.
For most observers, punch numbers told them that Pacquaio should have won the fight. What else can Manny look to as the reason for his defeat?
Marital strife can be eliminated, as he has patched things up with his wife .
It also would not be fair to say religion was to blame; after all, it wasn't a Saturday evening mass that Manny was watching on TV when he should have been focused on the fight.
Pacquaio, a Boston Celtics fan, decided to delay the beginning of his prizefight until the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Game 7 Eastern Conference Final had concluded.
When the conclusion of that game came nearly at the same time as the final undercard bout between Jorge Arce and Jesus Rojas ended in a no contest, Pacquiao was seemingly unprepared to fight.
No, Manny should not give up watching basketball the same way he has given up drinking, gambling and girls.
If he truly wants to return to the top of the boxing game, he must rededicate himself to the sport. Pacquiao must attack the game with the same dogged determination that his overmatched opponent Bradley does.
If that means he cannot watch his favorite team play because he is at work, then he has to turn the TV off and be satisfied with getting updates from a member of his entourage.
Speaking of that entourage: At some point, Pacquiao must come to the realization that he cannot carry everyone on his back, and that not everyone he surrounds himself with performs a useful function. Pacquiao has a big heart, both inside and outside the ring, and it is how much he cares outside of the ring that takes away from his ability to prepare himself for what he needs to do inside of it.
The cuts he might need to make include ones that involve core members too. The strife between Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza has been well documented, and that is yet another distraction that Manny must eliminate.
He should ask himself, "Who is more important to my success? Freddie Roach or Alex Ariza?" The person who is left holding the short end of the stick needs to be removed from the equation.
Goodbye, Alex Ariza!
If Manny can eliminate all of the distractions, then maybe he can get back to being the Manny that decided when his fights would end rather than when they begin.
Because when he examines all of the mistakes he made leading up to tonight, the last mistake he made was leaving his fate in the hands of the judges.
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