Three big letdowns
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-05-17
Last week was one that your Chair Wrecker would rather strike off the calendar, if that were only possible. Three big letdowns hit us one after the other.

Manny Pacquiao started the bad trend when he figured in that forgettable May 8 fight with Shane Mosley in Las Vegas. Only one fighter entered the ring and that was Manny Pacquiao. Just like Oscar dela Hoya before him, Mosley only went on top of the ring to collect a big paycheck that he would otherwise not have been able to earn as a clearly over the hill boxer. Just like the dela Hoya fight, Manny Pacquiao fought with a reputation, nothing more.

Even our very pro-Pacquiao boxing analysts like Ed Tolentino and my friends Recah Trinidad and Ronnie Nathanielz could not hide their disappointment over the mismatch. No wonder, promoter Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao were so engrossed in trying to make Mosley appear like a serious threat. Any boxing aficionado would know that Mosley was at his prime 15 years ago, in the mid-1990s. Your Chair Wrecker even aired some of his HBO fights on Philippine television along with the fights of other circa mid-1990s boxing greats — now retired — like Roy Jones Jr. and Kostya Tszyu.

The Mosley fight can be considered a highway robbery and the main culprit should be Bob Arum. However, Manny Pacquiao cannot totally escape responsibility for that highway robbery. Manny should have known better and he should have taken steps to protect his reputation by ensuring that people get to watch a competitive ring combat. Being the defending champion and the crowd drawer, Manny could demand to be matched with opponents that deserve the billing they get during the fight promo. Mosley didn’t even measure up to a quarter of the billing and build up that they gave him.

All the signs were there that the fight would not be competitive. At 39, Mosley was a year older than Muhammad Ali when Ali made a fool of himself in fighting then Heavyweight champ Larry Holmes. Mosley was two years older than boxing legend Joe Louis when Rocky Marciano knocked Louis out in a one-sided fight on October 26, 1951. Mosley’s last two fights before fighting Pacquiao clearly showed how much the years had taken away from him.  

It was already a crime to match Mosley against Manny Pacquiao. What made it more reprehensible was the blatant attempt to portray Mosley as a sort of Joe Frazier, as when Smokin Joe Frazier fought Muhammad Ali in Manila.

We were all still expressing our deepest disappointments over the Pacquiao-Mosley fight when just a day after it — came the unceremonious exit of NBA defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, from the playoffs. The Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavs. The game 4 winning margin was 36 points — something that you’d expect if the local PBA Talk N Text team played the Dallas Mavs.

The 4th game was also the swan song of destined Hall of Famer Phil Jackson. It was like watching two legends, the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers and coach Phil, disintegrate after four quarters of a basketball game. My heart went out to Phil Jackson whose basketball career your Chair Wrecker has followed since his playing days as a New York Knickerbocker in that 1973 champion team which included Hall of Famers Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Read, Jerry Lucas, Dave DeBusschere and future New York senator, Bill Bradley.

If the Pacquiao-Mosley fight and the 36-point drubbing of the LA Lakers were not enough letdowns for a span of just 24 hours — the Sandiganbayan (Graft Court) joined the bandwagon and ruined every right thinking Filipino’s day. Last Tuesday, we were shocked to hear that the Sandiganbayan had approved the plea bargain deal with Retired AFP Comptroller Carlos Garcia.

After the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s very elucidating hearings on the AFP corruption scandals, we were expecting that the Garcia plea bargain deal would be rejected. There was hardly any doubt in mind that the case against General Garcia was strong. Only the controversial Ombudsman, recently resigned, and her staff agreed with the Sandiganbayan decision. President Noynoy Aquino and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima led the many protests that came from various sectors condemning the decision.

In a media interview, Senator Frank Drilon didn’t hold his punches when he admitted that he had sensed a determined effort to get Gen. Garcia off the hook by whatever means. Any Philippine political watcher knows that Gen. Garcia could not have feathered his nest egg without the participation or blessings of more powerful public officials.

President Aquino did right to question and challenge the Sandiganbayan decision. More than the money that was allegedly stolen, the bigger problem is the fact that the courts have become the very impediments to paving the DAANG MATUWID (straight path). A crook that got away will not prevent the paving of DAANG MATUWID so long as the other crooks, especially the bigger ones, do not also escape from justice.

An Ombudsman and a Sandiganbayan, specifically tasked to prosecute graft, and are unable to function properly — undermine the entire campaign to clean up government operations. This situation makes the problem systemic and it is systemic corruption that drives investors away from our country.

* * *

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo