The Sweet Science's "Deconstructing Manny"

“The Sweet Science” website came out today with probably the best article written about Manny Pacquiao so far. It is written by a writer named, “Springs Toledo”.

“Springs Toledo” is a strange name, even for a writer. If you reverse it, it ends up “Toledo Springs”, which is like a familiar-sounding place in the US.

This writer also writes irregularly, sometimes a month apart, indicating that the topics he writes are carefully chosen.

The strange name, irregular, well-screened subjects and extra-ordinary writing style makes me think that “Springs Toledo” is a pseudonymn of a great literary writer/boxing fan. Or perhaps it is the work of a pool of writers, sharing their work for a special topic. In this case, it is Manny Pacquiao.

Here are the first five paragraphs of the article. The rest of the article can be read at the link at the bottom of the page:

DECONSTRUCTING MANNY

By Springs Toledo

Manny Pacquiao: I’m just [an] ordinary fighter…

Freddie Roach (interrupting): –You’re not ordinary.

Manny Pacquiao: Sorry about that, master.

“He finds gaps,” said Emanuel Steward after Manny Pacquiao stopped Miguel Cotto in the twelfth round. Those three words mirror the words of a far older, far more legendary war tactician: Sun Tzu. “Strike at their gaps,” The Art of War asserted two thousand years ago, “attack when they are lax, don’t let the enemy figure out how to prepare.” The second knockdown of Cotto illustrated this theory. Cotto, a conventional boxer-puncher, was hit in the fourth round by an uppercut from the left side that went inside and underneath his guard. Pacquiao found a gap, capitalized on the momentary carelessness of an onrushing opponent, and spent the rest of the fight exploding every potential solution Cotto thought he had.

“When you are going to attack nearby make it look as if you are going to go a long way,” Sun Tzu said, “when you are going to attack far away, make it look as if you are going just a short distance.” Pacquiao seems to be moving out when he’s coming in and coming in when he’s moving out. He exploits expectations with illusions. He “draws them in” and then “takes them by confusion.” Trainer Freddie Roach, himself a former professional boxer, agrees that Pacquiao is “very hard to read.” Pacquiao continues punching when his opponent expects a pause, his angles are bizarre, and he is often not where he is expected to be after a combination. Due to such unorthodoxies, this southpaw is a master of destroying the timing and rhythm of a conventional fighter. He is similar to Joe Calzaghe in that regard. Mikkel Kessler said that Calzaghe “ruins your boxing.” Indeed, Pacquiao does worse than that.

While a disruptive boxer like Calzaghe spills ink all over your blueprint and laughs about it, Pacquiao ruins your blueprint, but then adds injury to insult by crashing the drafting table over your head.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MANNY
Pacquiao has athletic gifts that translate well in the ring: disruptive rhythm, timing, and speed, all financed by shocking power that belies his featherweight frame. As if this weren’t enough, his whiskers safely absorbed the shock of Cotto’s left hooks. He was never hurt, which raises eyebrows. Manny, we must remember, was exchanging punches in a division forty pounds north of the one he began in. And he reveled in it, he invited it, even snarling at times and standing disdainfully in the final stanzas to challenge the manhood of the retreating Puerto Rican. Roberto Duran, 58, watched from the crowd. His coal-black eyes remembering the night he dethroned another welterweight who thought he could outgun a smaller man. Duran watched Pacquiao’s black hair flying with the force of his blows, his beard paying unintentional tribute. A smile, once sinister, betrayed his lips.”

Read the rest of the article here: [url=http://www.thesweetscience.com/boxing-article/7437/deconstructing-manny/?article_id=7437&comment=0#comments]http://www.thesweetscience.com/boxing-article/7437/deconstructing-manny/?article_id=7437&comment=0#comments[/url]

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