Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Poor Mayweather: after sweating out 12 rounds with Manny he had to defend himself from instantaneous booing throughout cavernous MGM Grand, from fans who paid great deal of mullah to watch "boxing bout of the century," not his version of TNT (takbo ng takbo!). Manny too polite when asked why his punches failed to deliver, saying, “Floyd was always moving outside.” Roach more sarcastic: “I thought Floyd ran very well.” Miriam congratulates Floyd for "winning the 3K Fun Run."

Floyd Mayweather, defending his new victory before MGM Grand crowd that rang out with prolonged booings
 (Photo credit: rappler.com)

Floyd Mayweather, adjudged the best fighter in the world of his generation, stood on a stool inside the boxing ring in MGM Grand to greet fans and collect what he felt he deserved after his victory over PH champ Manny Pacquiao---loud hurrahs and whistles. Instead he reaped boos from all over the over 16,000 seat amphitheater, so that for some moments Floyd looked so perplexed and later angry, asking, Why, did I not win?  By contrast, Manny, greeting the crowds, got wild cheerings and he threw kisses to them.

Discussing this interesting turn of events at my place earlier today, where my son and his barkada and their families gathered to a pot-luck lunch to watch the uninterrupted pay-per-fight, I ventured that the booing must have come from the many Pinoys inside the arena. But my son’s friend, businessman Bobby Miralles, shot back, “Ma’am, it couldn’t have been just Filipinos. They couldn’t have filled that cavernous arena by themselves.” He is right: the booing ran out loud and clear all around, and persisted for a long while.


The booing was actually articulating keen FRUSTRATIONS and Mayweather got so angry at the crowds, gesticulating wildly and shouting as if to reassure himself that “I’m the champ.”  People were obviously unhappy about the way he kept running and running away from his opponent, INSTEAD OF GIVING THEM THE BOXING FIGHT THEY HAD WAITED FOR. FOR FIVE LONG YEARS, and paid so much for---from $1,500 up to $7,500, and double from scalpers. 

Pacman, when interviewed, after the fight, asserted that “I thought I won,” and when pressed further on why his punches didn’t land on target, he complained Pinoy style (polite, diplomatic and even hesitantly), “He kept moving outside,” when the truthful thing to say was that Floyd kept running and running, or embracing his opponent tightly when cornered. Freddie Roach, Manny’s trainer, didn’t mince words, though: “I thought Floyd ran very well.”  

Facebook exploded with all kinds of jokes about Floyd's tactic. Lawyer Mariz Manalo termed it the “Fun Run of the Century brought to you by Mayweather.” Another wisecracked that “Ibang klaseng TNT ang practice ni Mayweather: Takbo ng takbo.” Another said, echoing Forrest Gump, "Run, Floyd, Run." Still another dubbed the champ :Flight Maryweather." Senator Miriam Santiago congratulated Floyd for "winning the 3K Fun Run."

Actually, Floyd is no newcomer to controversy in his personal life as well as in his colorful career where he's known as a "dirty player." Various bouts of his were invariably sprinkled with booing at the end, but of course, lest we forget, Floyd emerges from this controversial win with easily an estimated net $180 million.  


This blogger is no boxing analyst, but it’s easy to discern some points. Both boxers got no bruising blows or ugly cuts in their face and neither was knocked out. Freddie Roach, who had promised a TKO of Floyd in Round 9, had trumped that his boxer’s “killer instinct” is back, but many of us watching Manny were quite puzzled as to why, in the series of blows that he managed to inflict on the cornered Floyd especially in Rounds 4 up to 7, he would then walk away instead of delivering perhaps the fatal one. Manny shot lightning punches, any one of which could have damaged Floyd, but our champ also obviously dreaded the strength of Floyd’s longer and powerful arm (perhaps Manny was still traumatized by his two-minute knock out a couple of years back).  

I don’t blame Manny whose dread was obvious in the first three rounds---the powerfully built Floyd just looked so menacing while Manny looked so lean beside him. But by Round 4 our boxer from Saranggani found his courage and he put on a spectacular show in the next three rounds---aggressive and sure of his blows.  


On the other hand, TV viewers could hear Mayweather’s father, Floyd M. Sr., scolding his son after the 8th round, on why he failed to deliver his punches. Floyd Sr. was reacting to the fact that as a US commentator put it, up to Round 7 “it was Manny Pacquiao who was bringing the fight to Floyd Mayweather.” From Round 9 to the end, however, the Mayweather camp changed tactics. 

This must have come from the realization that both boxers were so sturdy that there would be no KO, and instead it will be a DECISION FIGHT.  Hence, Floyd Jr. obeyed his irate father by becoming more aggressive and throwing a few more punches (to satisfy the three judges?);  but the BIGGER PART OF THAT TACTICAL SHIFT was to put in more “Takbo ng Takbo” until the final bell rang. Truly frustrating for boxing fans.


For many weeks as the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight drew near, the whole nation was caught up in Pacquiao Mania as he was clearly the underdog in this fight. Many cities across the nation put up “pay-per-view” shows in various places, such as the big screen in Plaza Miranda across from Quiapo Church, which offered simultaneous and uninterrupted boxing.

But it’s not only Filipinos here but also from all over the world, as well as foreign communities that has been hyped up Hollywood style in the much-ballyhooed "Battle of the Century," so that today’s fight in Las Vegas drew a number of the world’s greatest boxers as well as so many Hollywood stars, that it looked like Academy Awards night.


Here at home, the Filipino nation was united by prayer power for our boxing champ who declared to all the world that he’s “going to fight for the Filipinos.” Only a few days ago, the entire nation was caught up in a massive prayer campaign for Mary Jane Veloso, who would have been executed by a firing squad in Indonesia were it not for an eleventh hour reprieve.

Power power is the strength of our nation and this was again been marshaled for Manny Pacquiao. We needed this fight like heck---win or lose---if only because, for one brief shining moment we were united as a people. It would have been great if Manny had won, but he put up a good and honorable fight that won the respect of the world, while his pponent reaped all the boos. 


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is at it again. After jailing three opposition  senators 19 months ago on charges of channeling their PDAF to Janet Napoles’ bogus NGOs in years 2007-2009, she now says that PDAF cases from 2010 to 2013, the  Noynoy Aquino years, are “no longer a priority” because this administration is now engaged in preparations for the elections, etc. Also shelved is the second batch of cases involving anomalies in the Malampaya Fund. Actually there’s speculation that this third batch of PDAF cases channeled to fake NGOs involves a good number of Aquino allies, some of whom will be running in the 2016 elections.

Predictably De Lima’s statement drew loud howls of protest from incarcerated Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) through Secretary-General and spokesman Rep. Toby Tiangco of Navotas.

Significantly, even a close ally of P-Noy, Sen. Fracis Escudero, decried this bit-by-bit release of investigation results on the PDAF. Escudero pointed ou that the COA special audit of congressional pork barrel reported that more than P6 BILLION of these funds were channeled into ghost projects of fake NGOs and LGUs. Of these over P6 billion PDAF for legislators, only about P2 billion were funnelled to Janet Napoles' bogus NGOs. Just where did the biggest balance of over P4 billion go? queried the senator from Sorsogon. 


I can understand their frustration at the selective justice system that Leila de Lima did a fabulous job of enshrining in the Noynoy administration (it’s this same De Lima who argued that there is no command responsibility in the PNP, thus exonerating President Aquino in the Mamasapano mass tragedy). Recall how earlier then COA Chief Grace Pulido Tan and De Lima were quoted as saying they’re working on the third batch; but now that’s no longer priority, neither does the Ombudsman appear eager to press action.

The howls of protest from UNA and Senators Estrada and Escudero prompted the Palace to assure the public that cases vs. the third batch of suspects would be filed, “so long as strong evidence exists.” No discrimination, assures Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma. That colatilla about strong evidence needed to file cases should be unnecessary as the evidence in black and white is so overwhelming, and from COA itself; but the Palace will stick to this alibi to protect allies who are running in 2016. 

Besides, De Lima appears to be bitten by the election bug herself and she wouldn’t want to antagonize local and national politicians who are in that third batch of cases. 


The extent of involvement of P-Noy’s allies may be gleaned from the fact that corruption charges have been filed against Oriental Mindoro Gov. Umali, president of the League of Governors; on the other hand, reports indicate that alleged misuse of PDAF allocations by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and LGUs includes Javier town in Leyte, whose mayor, Leonardo Javier Jr., heads the League of Mayors of the Philippines. Both Leagues , which play such a huge role in elections, cannot be headed by anyone who’s not super-close to the President.

By the way, talk on the ground is strong that someone bigger than Napoles will surface with more interesting revelations. Abangan.


  1. I tot Manny Pacquio won. Floyd Mayweather Jr. danced away from Manny. He may have connections with the jurors. I did not see the X X indications that this round is in favor of this boxer. On TV, showed twice. First X in favor of Mayweather. Two succeeding Xs in favor of Pacman. Floyd is no hero. He gyped viewers of their money and he only fight for money! Money is not everything. Now, even if you "won" the Fight of the Century, the whole world booed you.