Thursday, June 18, 2009


Tungod, Inabanga, Bohol – In light of recent events involving future matchup prospects for the reigning pound for pound king Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao of the Philippines, a noteworthy topic has noticeably surfaced. Here, we are going to discuss the issue on “catchweight”, a scorching hot issue that has yet become the main subject of debates among boxing buffs, pundits and fans alike.

An article by the esteemed writer Juan Angel Zurita of suggested that by seeking for a catchweight if and when Pacquiao challenges Cotto, Mosley or whomever for a welterweight title, the fire-breathing Pinoy boxing genius should also be subjected to the same criticism accorded to “Golden-Pretty Boys” tandem of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. for conning previous opponents in to make concessions, which perceivably gave them an advantage in those bouts.

While this writer respects Zurita’s take on this issue, still, the Filipino idol’s case cannot be likened to those of the “Golden-Pretty Boys” for the mere fact that the 4-division lineal world champion (112lbs, 126lbs, 130 lbs, and 140lbs) and 6-time alphabet soup champ in as many divisions (112lbs, 122lbs, 126lbs, 130lbs, 135lbs, and 140lbs) Pacquiao isn’t doing this to gain a perceivable advantage, but rather, to create a level playing field.

Size-difference is the main issue being fought for by Pacquiao and his team. By no means should a smaller guy be criticized for fighting a bigger guy. The “Golden-Pretty Boys” were carped because their cases were the exact opposite… or even worse, since they never compromised at a catchweight to compensate for the size advantage that they had over their smaller foes.

Instead of condemnation, Pacquiao ought to be commended for taking on the challenges that the self-proclaimed best fighter Mayweather Jr., who is a legitimate welterweight, should be taking himself. Whether he admits it or not, Mayweather wants no part of Mosley and/or Cotto. Pacquiao, on the other hand, relishes at the thought of sharing the squared circle with these fellow ring warriors, notwithstanding the apparent size disadvantage he’ll need to overcome.

One might cite and question the legitimacy of staking a welterweight title at a “catchweight”. However, let us first be clear here that there is no existing rule in any sanctioning organization (at least to my knowledge) that prohibits it for as long as it is within the stipulated welterweight range. The “catchweight” concept is really more of an agreement between honorable men who are willing to compromise to ensure a fair confrontation. This is after all a professional sport. Dignity, honor and sportsmanship are vital traits that a professional athlete should possess.

This is not an issue of legitimacy. At the end of the day, people don’t really care about the title, its legitimacy, or how much money these guys are getting. These are just far, fleeting issues. People will not talk about it that much… they would perhaps talk a lot more about how the pugilistic showdown transpired in terms of the level of excitement, the intensity of action, and how brave and courageous the ring combatants were. That’s really all that matters… at least to an average fan.

Now, let’s go back to the posed question above. Does Pacquiao deserve to be criticized for negotiating for a “catchweight”? You be the judge…

Source: (June 17, 2009)

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