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10.07.2007

PACQUIAO vs BARERRA 2: round by round commentary - HERE IT IS!

Caveat Emptor: This is a commentary from a non boxer's point of view. The author, though, is well experienced in hand to hand combat situations and the exposure in this area stretches to more than a decade.

ROUND 1:
Started with both trying to measure each other. Pacquiao gave a few isolated combinations but back pedaled whenever Barrera countered. Barrera tried to explode a couple of times but stopped and readjusted after PAC has shifted his line. Winner? Hard to say.. Even?

ROUND 2: Barrera probably led it by a few points. He tagged the PAC with a few slugs that did not seem to hurt. As a fighter, I’d say it wasn’t much. But in boxing where points count, the Pac should not have allowed MAB to hit him at all unless he was using it to measure the distance and hit back with knockout punches.

ROUND 3: Barrera landed more solid punches but Pac wasn’t hurt. The Pac was unable to punch effectively.

It’s in this round though where I saw how fast Manny’s punches are. His 1-2-3 left-right combination punches all land within a split second. What sets this apart from the other fighters is that Manny’s punches are equally powerful. Barrera on the other hand has a very nice jab and footwork combination. He can dance around his opponent fast while landing powerful jabs.

ROUND 4: Pac found his distance and won this round. He landed better punches and frustrated Barrera’s counters. Barrera was also unhurt in this round and in my opinion; he could have landed better counters. I noticed that he seemed hesitant or perhaps, out of oxygen to be able to take advantage of the opportunities. An example is when Manny made the sign of the cross in the middle of the round and MAB just watched. Catholic or otherwise, it was the middle of a battle. It was a no quarters scenario. Hesitate and die!

ROUND 5: Barrera’s attention was again called for locking Pac’s head inside his armpits. I am starting to get the impression that MAB fights along the boundaries of legality. This also happened during the previous round.

Pac landed some heavy punches but that did not hurt MAB. In fact, MAB used the Pac blows as a springboard for his powerful counters that landed square in Pac’s jaw. These boxers have such solid jaws, the ordinary street thug would have been hospitalized many times over by blows that both fighter landed.

ROUND 6: Great explosions in this round. Both landed solid hits but my hazy recollection favored MAB in terms of number of punches that landed. However, Barrera’s solid hits didn’t seem to hurt Pac and it is in this round where he seemed to have started getting tired or weary from the Pac punches in the previous rounds. Barrera may have landed more solid punches, but I think this is the round where the legend started to fade. It probably explained the illegal armpit techniques in the previous rounds. MAB was getting tired. Again, as a fighter in the street arts, I would say that MAB’s punches were of no use. He seemed to have landed his best shots but it failed to knock his opponent. On the contrary, he hasn’t received the best of the Pac.

Despite that, the Pac still seemed to be awkward considering the fact that he routed MAB during their first outing. Being to overly cautious may have taken its toll on him.

ROUND 7: Same as round 6. It was at the end of this round when I noticed that the TV network (or whoever) seemed to have scored an overwhelming number of rounds in Pac's favor. I don’t believe it was that lopsided since the Pac hasn’t really exploded. He was either stopped by Barrera’s footwork or his overly cautious attitude was causing the delay.

ROUND 8: MAB was unable to counter as effectively as he did during the first few rounds. I got the impression that he was getting tired. Pac on the other hand, had none of the masterful attacks and counters that he displayed against Erik Morales in their 3rd fight. He scored with lunges and that could have been stopped by Barrera’s powerful jabs. Lucky for him, the MAB was unable to. If MAB had done that and followed with a good head combination, he probably could have stopped the PAC. This round again disappointed me since I’ve been itching to see a round of powerful nonstop exchanges. Who won? The TV commentators had it for Pac, I think.

ROUND 9: The PAC landed the better blows and again, MAB was unable to convert those hits as effective counter attacks. I think he’s tired but not that much. I say, the PAC was more powerful and had more air left in him. I’m now wondering where all those MAB’s pre-fight statements are, at this point. He talked so much about the Pac avoiding him for 4 years but he seemed to have not initiated attacks since round 1. I think he was just forced to be in the ring because of constant ribbing that he got from critics and the urging of his countrymen.

ROUND 10: MAB was clearly outclassed in this round. His dirty tactics were used more times in this round than the previous making me believe that he’s desperate. Clearly this is not the fight he declared to be personal and a revenge. He is as Morales said he will be, “A sissy who will be running away”. Clearly, I am disappointed. I was hoping that MAB will win via KO and Pac will be crying for a rematch.

ROUND 11: Good exchanges that almost knocked Barrera. MAB probably realized that he was losing so he became dirtier than ever. He punched Pac after the ref stopped them and that had the PAC hurting in the ringside. A point deduction was called on MAB. Thereafter, the ref was heard telling the fighters, “Clean fight. Clean fight!”. To me, it meant, “Keep it clean, Barerra”. It was really disgusting. That is no way for a champ, a legend at that, to behave. I could have called it an adrenaline induced accident but in the light of his tactics in the previous rounds, I’d say it was intentional. As a fighter, I know that pugilists react at a hint of an opportunity. It was dirty blood rushing this time.

ROUND 12: The TV commentators said that the MAB was holding out, waiting for that counter attack opportunity that will knock the Pac. I don’t think he can. Any fighter can be dropped by a sucker punch but the Pac can’t be downed by a single Barrera punch while in battle. The final round came to an end without fireworks.

Winner: The Pac via unanimous decision.



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