by Leonard Who's going to watch the Manny Pacquiao-David Diaz fight on Saturday? It's like $50 on pay-per-view unless you find a bar to go watch it at.
At this point, Pac-Man seems unstoppable - he's the unofficial World's #1 pound-for-pound boxer. How will he do now that he's moved up to the Lightweight Division to fight Diaz for his WBC title? All we can do is wait, wave our Filipino flags, drink some San Miguel, eat some pulutan and see what happens.
Let's cross our fingers... the Philippines needs to feel good about something right now.
BTW, just to add some deeper context into it -- did you know that Pacquiao is just the most recent in a long line of Filipino World Boxing Champs. It ain't no fluke. Recognize the history, folks.
Pancho Villa rose from obscurity to win the World Flyweight boxing championship in 1923, earning acclaim in some quarters as "the greatest Asian fighter in boxing history". He was never knocked out in his entire boxing career, which ended with his sudden death at the age of 23 from complications following a tooth extraction.
'Flash' Elorde came right after Pancho Villa and together, they are the only 2 pinoy boxers in the Boxing Hall of Fame ('til Manny gets there, that is). Flash was pretty well known internationally, but real popular in the Philippines because he was the Champ from 1960-67, and those were some fun times in the Philz. After boxing, Flash Elorde turned into an action star and even did a few movies with Fernando Poe. Just goes to show when the dynamics of fame started getting all twisted in the Philippines. If he were still alive today, I bet he'd be a Governor by now.
Speedy Dado was born Diosdado Posadas in Manila. He fought exclusively on the West coast of the U.S. and was one of many good Filipino fighters of the era. Dado briefly held the California bantamweight championship in 1931 and they were calling him "the next Pancho Villa". Here's Speedy Dado again, with some other Pinoy boxers of the era, (r-l) Ceferino Garcia, Jess Cortez (he's in the suit), Dado and Felix Santiago, who I think was Argentinian but I guess hung with the flips.
Ceferino Garcia was the inventor of his very own punch - "the bolo punch" - which resembles the action of swinging a bolo. Isn't that so gangsta? Big users of the bolo punch are Roy Jones Jr. and Sugar Ray Leonard, who used it to knock out Duran in the "No Mas" fight.
And don't forget one of the most famous refs ever -- Carlos 'Sonny' Padilla. He was the referee for a lot of huge fights but most notably Ali vs. Frazier in "The Thrilla in Manila" at the Araneta Coliseum.
Look, there's Carlos Padilla right in the middle of Cassius and Smokin' Joe. Oh yeah and we also have him to thank for Zsa Zsa Padilla. He's her dad.
What's real funny about that last one is that the Philz was in Martial Law at the time of the fight (1975), and President Marcos sponsored the fight's purse. Oh and by the way, they named a shopping mall after Muhammad Ali, which is still there today - "The Ali Mall" in Cubao.
Damn. Why it always has to come back to malls!?!?