Monday, December 08, 2008

Dream Match: Mismatch

It was a mismatch before it began, even without the stats and the belts attached to their names. Experts predicted a De La Hoya win. Hopefuls and determined fans cheered for their People Champ Manny. Some had already changed heart because the stats and the experts said that De La Hoya will teach Manny what boxing is really all about.

We watched the fight live at the Hyatt Manila. We were comfortably seated at the front row of the big screen. We watched some of the undercard fights and I got to know who Juan Manuel Lopez is and why he is a feared fighter in his weight category. His opponent, Sergio Medina, is a champ from Argentina. But he looked like a fool in the ring. Our Gerry Penalosa could do better than that. Sergio was just a scared boy.

Then we listened to Karylle as she sang the Lupang Hinirang. I know a lot were scared of an embarrassing mistake. Did she sing it correctly? Well, by now, youtube will have lots of video replays of her rendition.

Then the fight. The mismatch was very obvious: David vs Goliath. But when Manny began connecting, and Oscar missing, the crowds' cheers were getting louder. Round by round, we saw De La Hoya punished. I even thought he'd be knocked down. But he stood his ground, only to suffer more. At the end of the eighth round, Oscar learned what boxing is. The mismatch was not actually in the size, the stats or even the number of titles held. It was a mismatch in terms of real skills and of heart. Manny deserves the win!

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