“I couldn’t surrender,” said Rey Bautista. “I remembered my hardship when I was growing up, the time a bamboo pole was stuck in my head when I was a kid bleeding and walking 30 minutes before reaching home to find someone to remove it. I remembered my poor parents. I couldn’t let them down.”
Hooray for Boom-Boom! Wasn’t he amazing? Listening to Edito Villamor, his trainer, dishing out advice (“Ari sa tiyan!”) between rounds, didn’t you feel proud to be Bisaya? After Boom-Boom’s win, when he raised both arms, stared at the TV screen, and screamed “Para ni sa imo, ma!” or words to that effect, didn’t you want to shed a tear?
To me, the fight of the night was Bautista’s. De la Hoya vs. Mayweather? Nah. Lousy. I’m no boxing expert, but wasn’t that boring? Maybe it was the hype or the six months wait. But that was no classic. Sure, we saw jabs and jabs and jabs, and we saw Floyd sliding back and sliding back and sliding back. That’s it? That’s it. Was that what the world awaited?
Maybe that’s why I liked Mike Tyson and adore Manny Pacquiao. They jump on you, bloody you, rifle you with machine-gun punches, rarely on the defense, always on the offense, and when they smell defeat dripping off the enemy’s sweat, they bite, chew, and then kiss you. Yes. Kiss you with a KO.