PACQUIAO WATCH: Corona’s out, Manny’s in (again)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/04 June) — Normalcy is returning to the Philippine media a week Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona became the first to be ousted from office via the impeachment process.

With many aching to move on and consider Corona another footnote in Philippine politics, attention is again focused and centered on Rep. Manny Pacquiao who will defend his welterweight title around noontime Sunday in the Philippines.

Pacquiao took a backseat as Filipinos preoccupied themselves with the climactic ending of Corona’s dishonorable exit.  They were also caught in the flush of Fil-Am Jessica Sanchez’ incredible run in American Idol.  Both media events became global Twitter ‘trendings,’ two contrasting journeys that eclipsed Pacquiao’s traditional dominance in the Philippine press in the weeks leading to his fight.

With both media events now in the distant memories of Filipino boxing fans and with perennial nemesis Floyd Mayweather Jr. momentarily silenced in prison and unavailable for sound bites and quotable quotes, Pacquiao has once again become the center of attention.  Never mind Pacquiao’s newfound religiosity and biblical proselytizing.

Those aside and until Pacquiao again fights later in the year and Mayweather serves his sentence, boxing promises to be bland again after the Filipino boxing champion takes care of American challenger Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao has been carrying the interest of boxing fans over the last four years ever since he crashed into America’s mainstream sports consciousness when he took Oscar de la Hoya, peppered him from all angles, forced him into submission and subsequently sent him into retirement.

That fateful night in December 2008, he served the American media notice he was taking over de la Hoya’s mantle as boxing’s biggest draw and most popular attraction.  Except that Mayweather cannot stomach somebody else other than him being proclaimed as America’s best boxer.

Pacquiao’s last four fights however did not end up the way his fans were used at enjoying, especially the last two fights that were either frustrating (against Shane Mosely) or even too dividing for comfort (against Juan Manuel Marquez in their third fight).  Boxing fans were always looking for a savage stoppage wins that even the grizzly sight of Antonio Margarito’s face was not enough to satisfy their lust for blood.

With plenty of things changing and happening around Pacquiao’s professional camp and inside his personal life, many are looking forward to a return by the Filipino boxing icon to his old dominant and devastating ways.

This may tear Pacquiao in different ways as his religious beliefs and official day job are the anti-thesis of his chosen professional career.

Whatever, Pacquiao will again be out there over the weekend to entertain us.  After all, boxing is a sport and sports are all about entertainment.  That’s why there are people who get paid, handsomely like Pacquiao, to make us forget all the troubles around us.

Welcome back, Pacman. (Edwin G. Espejo writes for www.asiancorrespondent.com)