Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brandon Rios Versus Manny Pacquiao

Gordon Marino writes a sports column in the Wall Street Journal and covers boxing.  He may not be your go-to guy for the hardcore boxing fan but he's very professional and writes in a way that offers boxing knowledge in a broad, easily digested human interest fashion.

I like the hardcore boxing stuff, okay?  But I'm up to here with its repetitive conventions.  You already know this much:

Brandon Rios is the hard-punching, straight forward marching, punishment taker that he always has been.   It's hard not to like a guy in the tradition of Mickey Ward, Carmen Basilio, Jake LaMotta -- and I like him.  

I like him so much that I hope he takes big earnings from this fight and goes home to take care of his wife and family-- like forever.  Not only does Rios take punishment well, he prides himself on putting his head right in the lion's jaw.

He does this for the crowd's pleasure, not for mine.  Even if he enjoys it, and many people say he does, he shouldn't be allowed to pursue his masochism beyond ordinary, acceptable limits.

Which means yeah, I get it.  I appreciate that Brandon Rios can take a beating and keep on fighting.  I can take a beating too, but I know that's not exactly the best recommendation for a career in the ring.

However,  when a beating becomes a primary motive, more primary than winning, I vote the other way.   A beating is not the point of the exercise is what I'm saying.

On the other hand you have Pacquiao.  Let me confess that, in most of Pacquiao's fights, I leaned the other way.  I cheered Marquez' KO victory that would have allowed the referee to have "counted to 600," as Marino says in his column.

Most of Marino's column is aimed at the toll knockouts take on its victims.  Some fighters are capable of rising from the ashes;  others seem locked into the limbo of an eternal ten count.

Unless Rios steps in early with KO power (and I don't think Pacquiao will let that happen), he's in for a rough night.  A merciful ref would stop it in the 7th as the fight settles into a sustained beating. 

I give Pacquiao credit for foregoing the easy tuneup and taking his chances with a guy like Rios.  There is always the puncher's chance, especially with a game fighter like Brandon Rios.

I wish there were some middle ground between "with your shield or on it," as the Spartans used to say.  For fighters like Brandon Rios, there isn't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a matter of levels.