The best pound-for-pound, period.

Posted in API, culture, sports by nam on December 7, 2008


Earlier tonight I drove down I-5 headed to the Spitfire Lounge with the most excitement I’ve ever had for a boxing match since, well, Pacquiao’s last fight (when he knocked David Diaz the fuck out!). Coming fresh from Bellingham, or “The Ham” where I rocked an unexpected set at WWU, opening up for the homies Geo and Sabzi aka Blue Scholars. (Good lookin out Saba!) Driving back to Seattle listening to ESPN radio, they (and the rest of the media) mentioned that this was the “Dream Match” . Now I’m sure they meant that the significance and anticipation of this fight is a “dream”. Which i can definitely agree. I mean c’mon, its the legend, the “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya vs. probably the most electrifying, most tough, most influential fighter of our decade, the Philippines “National Fist”, the “Pac-Man” Manny Pacquiao.

But also to me, this “Dream Match” is labeled that because of the achievement of a fellow API (Asian Pacific Islander) in a mainstream society where API’s aren’t very well represented. The overcoming of countless struggles, in the sports world and the world we live in. From being a young man in a poverty stricken country under political corruption, running away from home, fighting in the ring while fighting to survive, to now coming face to face with one of the most legendary boxers to ever lace up the gloves. This dream, isnt just for Manny, but for someone like myself, who dreamed of playing for the Mariners since I first picked up a baseball 13 years ago, but was never good enough, nor disciplined enough to get into UW and play (I may have different passions and goals now, but those who known me for the longest, know that i was pretty damn good on the baseball field). This was for those API’s that are stereotyped to be non-athletic in American sports, to those that are pressured by their parents to keep their heads in the books…wishing they had a chance to try something new or just to walk on the field and be a part of the team, for those who were picked last in basketball during recess, for those who sat on the bench the whole season, for those who were told they were too short, too small, or too weak. Pacquiao’s victory was a victory for all of us.

When i got to Spitfire Lounge, the place was already packed, with the under-card fights showing on 20+ tv’s, and a lot of my homies there already (props to Bee and Anne for putting on a dope event!). Now, im not Filipino, im Vietnamese (and i rep it proudly), but if you know me, you know that Im the most Filipino-Vietnamese guy you will probably ever meet, and that 99% of my friends have Luzviminda* in their blood. (* = see, i told ya!) So cheering and screaming for Pacquiao was like cheering for one of my own. By the way, be on the look out for Nam Phan (no relation), dude is a Viet-Am lightweight MMA (mixed martial arts/cage) fighter on the rise. Anyway, by the time the introductions started and Michael Buffer uttered that famous phrase, there was pretty much no room to move around, and we were “ready to rumble”. About eighty percent of the place was for Pacquiao, chanting “Man-ny! Man-ny!” and went nuts every time he landed a punch as if we were live at Vegas ringside.

It was pretty much a one-sided match with typical Pac Man tactics and technique. Swift defense and balanced footwork, in addition to those lightning quick jabs, setting up for those dangerous left hooks. Manny just made the Golden Boy look silly every round, with every replay between rounds a slow-mo of Pacquiao’s punches owning De La Hoya’s pretty face. Wasn’t so pretty anymore after the 8th round when Oscar’s left eye was swollen shut, and his trainers threw in the towel. Manny won every round. Done and done. De La Hoya looked fatigued and sluggish the whole night, consistently on defense, and was scared to pull the trigger, like Freddy Roach (Pacquiao’s trainer) said he was, weeks before the match. It’s easy to say that Oscar’s stamina and power was affected by his age (35). But still, its Oscar De La Hoya…his resume is more than good, so i was a little surprised on how dominating and one sided the fight was.

Punch stats…

Pacquiao: thrown – 333 | landed – 195 = 59%

De La Hoya: thrown – 164 | landed – 51 = 31%



So who’s next to face the Pac Man? Ricky Hatton? Antonio Margarito (current Welterweight Champ)? Who knows, but for sure…Manny will be ready. Like i said, this “dream”, this win…was not only for Manny Pacquiao and the Philippines, but for all of us who were expected less of as API brothas and sistas. Pacquiao is the best, pound-for-pound fighter, and truly is The People’s Champ, period.

It’s been a good weekend. Long, but definitely good.

Done and done.


9 Responses

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  1. Full Contact Outlet said, on December 8, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Yes, it was a good weekend. I was actually a little bit concerned that Manny was jumping up 3 weight classes from where he started the year, but wow he looked good! Like you are saying, Manny is the perfect example of someone that has overcome all adversity to become a TRUE champion. He deserved the win, and I hope he will achieve many more. Man would I love to see him fight Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and be the first to take him to the canvas!

  2. Christian said, on December 8, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    I got the chance to film about half of the show at Western from inside the barrier, but right after I got kicked out I saw you come up for the second time and just destroy, so I bought a copy of Exhale. Keep up the good work, dude.

  3. chev your daddy said, on December 9, 2008 at 3:03 am

    he look like the olden boy

  4. thaswassup said, on December 9, 2008 at 5:56 am

    olden polynice

  5. versis said, on December 10, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Now, im not Filipino, im Vietnamese (and i rep it proudly), but if you know me, you know that Im the most Filipino-Vietnamese guy you will probably ever meet, and that 99% of my camp has Luzviminda* in their blood. (* = see, i told ya!)

    LOL what does that mean

  6. nam said, on December 10, 2008 at 4:58 am

    hahaha which part?

    Camp = my friends i kick it with
    Luzviminda = Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao

  7. versis said, on December 12, 2008 at 2:27 am

    i know what those words mean. i just wonder what it means to be “the most filipino-vietnamese guy” regardless of your association with a camp that has 99% of luzviminda in their blood.


  8. nam said, on December 12, 2008 at 5:51 am

    i guess just identifying with many of the similarities and appreciation of the cultures. obviously im not filipino, you know that, but i being around filipinos almost my whole life, i sometimes feel like i am a part of the culture, whether it be with family of friends, or friends of family, or food, or language, or struggles, or history. i probably shouldnt have labeled myself something im not (which now that i think about it, may be offensive to many)…but instead acknowledging the affiliation and love that i have with those in my community. hope ya understand. correct me if im wrong. =)

    but yea how’d your finals go? i think im goin back to school in January at Central.

  9. yaotzu said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Great match.
    Much respect to De La Hoya but his golden age is over. The new generation is comming up. I guess its a trade off that the older guys have more experience but less hunger.

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