LOS ANGELES – The first time Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez met inside the ring, I had it on my score card 114-112 for the Pacman. In my blow by blow notes, I had both fighters winning six rounds each, but Marquez got a seven in the first round when he went down three times. However, the official result said it was a draw.
In the second collision, I had Marquez winning seven rounds to Pacquiao five. And even if I gave the Mexican an 8when he got knocked down in the sixth, the figures in my score card were very clear – Marquez won: 114-113. Of course, we know it wasn’t so, because two of the three judges of the match gave Pacquiao the split decision victory.
After that, I stopped doing my round by round scoring whenever I do the Pacquiao boxing coverage. I got frustrated that my scoring was not in sync with the official verdict. Since I am writing for a twice-a-week newspaper, I shifted the focus of my stories to the interesting sidelights surrounding the Pacquiao fight, like the presence of junketeers from the Philippine government, the photo-op freaks that couldn’t get enough basking under the reflected glory of the champion, the post fight concert and Pinoy celebrations, and other trivial things that are made significant because the Pambansang Kamao (national fist), is in town, and is victorious once more.
When I mentioned in my story that I had Marquez winning in my score card, I got five nasty emails from Pinoy boxing fans chastising me, saying I am a very incompetent sportswriter and should stop being one.
Still, I thanked the email writers for reading my story, but got back at them quickly saying that they were utterly wrong. But you cannot blame the sports fans; they possess less rational brains, and the most fanatic of them are essentially morons.
The truth is my training as a sportswriter in Manila was very extensive, and I persevered long and hard to be accepted as a bonafide member of the elitist Philippine Sportswriters Association. I couldn’t forget the day when Eking Gonzalez, the Times Journal sports editor – after making me rewrite the sports press releases for two months – sent me out for my first sports coverage, a semifinal NCAA match between teams that were likely to earn championship berths.
Needless to say, it was a disaster. When I came back to the office, he took a long quizzical look at my running score and asked, “What happened here?” All I could do was scratch my head, embarrassed that I turned in a poor material for a sports story.
And then he went on to chastise me: “You should remember kid, you are out there and you have a job to do. You are not out there as a fan. You are a sportswriter. You have to tell as accurately as possible what happened during the sporting contest,” he said.
I remember what Eking told me every time I sit down to cover a sporting event, and I turned out, by his (Iking) own admission, to be a very diligent sportswriter.
Did I lose my diligence and objectivity as a sportswriter when I scored the Pacquiao-Marquez II in favor of the Mexican?…. Read more at Balita.com