Thursday, December 04, 2008

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Boxing may be compared to chess rather than to politics. In politics, the politician needs money and support from a major political party machine to promote his candidacy to win votes. A boxer needs to be strong physically and mentally, skillful with boxing techniques, and exceptionally fast with his whole body using a great deal of reflexes in order to knock out his opponent. Comparing the Pacquiao – De la Hoya fight on Dec. 6th to the recent presidential contest between Obama and McCain is ridiculous.

A boxer may apply some of the mating techniques of famous chess masters to win by knockout. Some world heavyweight boxing champions like Dr. Vitaly Klitschko of Ukraine and Britiain’s Lennox Lewis study chess strategy and tactics and use them during championship fights.

As a Filipino American born in the Philippines, I want Manny Pacquiao to win this fight with the greatest Mexican American boxer, Oscar De la Hoya. However, from an objective assessment of their different fighting skills and other assets, De la Hoya has a definite advantage due to his height(4 inches over), length of his fighting arms(six inches over), and his methodical fighting techniques.

Both Pacquiao and De la Hoya have shown to be equally strong. But they use different moves during the first rounds. Pacquiao seems to be more of a tactical fighter going for the jugular a la Mike Tyson. He is more of a brawler letting off with his lightning fast punches all over his opponent. One good solid hit with a Pacquiao punch would knock out his opponent. If he misses a lot of such punches, then he would be the one under attack. Such is a tactical player like Pacquiao.

De la Hoya, on the other hand, makes use of his equally lightning fast jabs in the early rounds against his opponent. The intent is to weaken his opponent’s defenses in the same manner a chess champion would deploy his pawns. He waits for the right position to hit his opponent hard for a knockout or to mate the king as in a chess game.

At any rate, I will choose not to bet on either boxer though my heart goes to my “kababayan” Pacquiao. Also, I, too, am a tactical fighter in chess or in politics or even in romance.



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