No, this is not a late post that congratulates Manny Pacquiao on his bout against Bradley. This is about Pacquiao’s fight vs Marquez. But this is not a “Pacquiao the true winner, Marquez the cheater” article. However painful it is for me as a Pacquiao fan, I must admit that I admired Marquez for his win. I acknowledge his skills and I know that it is not going to be easy for Pacquiao. Pacquiao-Marquez is like a “matter-anti-matter” thing. Like the local sports analyst said, “It was not Marquez’ right hand that knocked out Pacquiao. It was a sledge-hammer.” I couldn’t agree more.
So what’s with the title? Pacquiao’s defeat has been given a religious issue. Some Filipinos, especially his mother, Mommy Dionisia (Joh-knee-sha), blames the Champion’s defeat on his change of religion. They stressed out that Manny didn’t do his rituals before the fight which includes signing of the cross and wearing a rosary which is very visible on his last victorious fights. Mommy Dionisia even expressed hatred to the pastors who influenced Pacquiao to a life-changing path. Is it really God’s punishment to the Champion? Does Pacquiao really made a mistake?
There can be lots of reasons why God allowed that to happened to Pacquiao in spite of being in the truth. Maybe God wants him to experience defeat for humbling reason (1 Peter 5:6) or to learn how to stand up from the fall (Proverbs 24:16) and want him to be dependent on Him (Isaiah 41:13).
This could also be the test of faith. God is testing if Manny will still be faithful after He let him experience a painful defeat. After what Manny has done being a Christian; Bible reading, Gospel sharing, preaching, God still allowed a great blow in his face that would knock him out and fall. Will Manny doubt his new faith and regret the conversion? Will Manny’s faith be as strong as Job’s?
Since I already mentioned Job here, I could hear Mommy Dionisia speak like Job’s wife “Curse your God and win!” (Job 2:9)
Manny’s life is different before he was introduced in Christ. He is always the topic of the news almost everyday with reports about his gambling (casino and cock-fighting), his womanizing, and his conflicts with his wife. If it wasn’t for his conversion, maybe he and Jinkee might have been separated by now. But these news were instantly changed when he became a Christian and started to read the Bible. News were became about Manny’s dedication to the Bible and preaching it. He sold his hundreds of fighting cocks and gone are the news about his bouts vs Jinkee. But I’m wondering maybe Mommy Dionisia prefers his son’s former life than what he has now, as long as he’s winning. For Mommy Dionisia and other Filipinos, winning is a proof of having God’s favor. For them, miracle is beating up huge opponents, not changing lives to the straight path.
For me, Manny Pacquiao is already victorious the moment when he was converted. This is the most precious victory that he will have and this victory will never be taken away from him.