Sunday, December 9, 2012
The shot heard round the world
"The shot heard round the world," was the famous call for the NY Giants Bobby Thompson's dramatic walk off home run in the clinching game of the 1951 National League playoffs. It was so dramatic that 51 years later the phrase is universally known for that one play in sports; that was until Saturday night.
With a singular punch from his right hand with one second left in the sixth round, Juan Manuel Marquez delivered what I consider to be a "shot heard round the world." If not a shot, then a shock because the after effects of seeing Manny Pacquiao, arguably boxing's pound for pound best, laid out unconscious face down on the mat for several minutes was not only shocking, but scary. It was especially shocking considering Pacquaio seemed to have Marquez on the ropes (no pun intended).
In what was their fourth bout in eight years, Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO's) and Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO's) put on their best fight yet. Not that the previous three were in anyway inferior, but the six rounds fought on Saturday had as many knockdowns in it since the first round of their first fight. Unfortunately for Pacquiao, who had not been down in any of the previous three affairs, two of the knockdowns, one permanent, were against him.
The first came in the third round when Marquez caught Pacquiao with a looping overhand right hand, ala former UFC champion Chuck Liddell, flush on the face. That one put Pac on his back and clearly stunned him, but he got right back up and finished the round. Determined to get it back, Pacquiao came back in the fifth with a straight right hand that dropped Marquez for the fifth time in his career against the Pac-Man.
Pac seemed in control going into the sixth and with Marquez bleeding profusely through his nose and Pacquiao sticking and moving with pin-point accuracy, the end appeared near and clear. Little did we know the end was near, but the outcome was not what we expected?
With Pacquaio aggressively pursuing Marquez and with just one second left in the sixth round, Marquez threw a counter right hand that met with Pacquaio's face just as the Filipino stepped in to throw a punch. That combination of force resulted in Pacquaio falling face first onto the mat completely unconscious and out for several minutes.
The fight was over; Marquez overjoyed deservedly celebrated his victory. Meanwhile, while Pacquaio lay motionless on the mat, HBO's commentator Jim Lampley made a comment I couldn't believe. He made reference to the Marquez punch being equivalent to "the tsunami that hit the Philippines."
I understand that Marquez's punch was as powerful as a tsunami and its target happens to be from the Philippines, but I immediately felt the comment was insensitive to the victims of that tsunami who had to endure that ordeal. Also, I thought it was insensitive to the people of the Philippines where Pacquiao is not just a native son, but an icon. It was a shot that was totally unnecessary.
From what I've been told, that country completely shuts down when Pacquaio fights; even the lawbreakers take the night off to watch their hero. For Lampley to make such a comment at a time when their beloved countryman is laid out unconscious, was thoughtless and without class. It's not the first time in his career Lampley has come out of his mouth with an idiotic statement. Just think about when he called a James Kirkland fight and said that Kirkland, who is African American, needed to "Go ghetto on him" referring to his opponent.
I've been saying for years Lampley has to go and this latest blunder is just another on his long list of asinine comments. All respect due to Larry Merchant, but at 81 years old it's time for him to retire and Jim Lampley to be put out to pasture. Emanuel Steward, "You are missed more than you know."
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