Thanks to my pal Gary Neely for finding this and forwarding it to me.  Culpepper is a thoughtful sportswriter and his reflections on the last effects of Pacquiao-Marquez 4 are spot on.


The Power of One Punch

by Chuck Culpepper in SportsonEarth

What a weird Las Vegas hangover, even if it does lack a tiger and a naked man in the trunk.

Manny Pacquiao conked out and boxing woke up.

The man often said to be propping up the sport needed propping up himself, which somehow wound up propping up the sport.

Pacquiao fell, Mitt Romney gasped, Manila mourned, Mexico City raved and the near future brimmed. People actually chattered about the fight that happened rather than the fight that still hasn’t happened. And 2013 sits ahead looking pretty sumptuous, with possibilities of Pacquiao-Marquez V, or Marquez-Mayweather II, or Pacquiao-Bradley II, plus a Mayweather-Pacquiao topic probably most find dormant but some find renewed.

Boxing. Who knew.

The five rounds and two minutes and 59 seconds of Pacquiao’s fourth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez seem to have reiterated that the sport is fascinating, that there’s a reason it’s the subject of two Best Picture winners plus another that didn’t win Best Picture but won merely the critical-consensus best film of the 1980s. Pacquiao-Marquez IV showed again the exponential value of one punch.

One punch can relight the past, overwhelm the present and flatter the future. That’s a lot of terrain for an entity that might have traveled less than a foot.

The past glows again for Pacquiao as one punch reminds us that one punch can happen, lending an even greater impression of the agility and skill and concentration required to avert it for so long. Before the third round on Saturday night, Pacquiao had not gone down in almost a decade. Before the final second of the sixth, he had not gone down for good since 1999 in southern Thailand. “He knows he walked into a punch,” his trainer Freddie Roach said. “He made a mistake. He got careless. That happens in boxing.”

Yes, well, apparently we need some reminding, because so impressively long it did not happen to Pacquiao.


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