By David Agren
Almost as soon as Filipino boxing phenom Manny Pacquiao hit the mat — knocked out Dec. 8 by Mexican opponent Juan Manuel Marquez — experts, heartbroken fans in the Philippines and the former champion’s own mother offered explanations for his unexpected defeat.
Boxing observers suggested it was a question of in-ring style, saying that Pacquiao didn’t match up well with Marquez, who had lost twice and fought to a draw in three previous encounters with the Pacquiao. Some fans in the Philippines suggested Pacquiao had become a part-time pugilist, having been elected to political office. His mother found another explanation: faith.
The Inquirer Global Nation website highlighted an interview with Pacquiao’s mother, Mommy Dionisia, in which she said, “That’s what he gets for changing his religion.
“Since the ‘Protestant’ pastors came into his life, he has not focus on his boxing.”
The article went on to say: “She does not approve of Pacquiao leaving the Catholic Church. She wants him to quit and become a Catholic again. Many have noticed that in the last two fights which ended in defeat, Pacquiao did not enter the ring with a rosary around his neck as he did before.”
It ended by positing, “The 33 year-old Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Manuel Marquez is not about religion. He lost because he became a part-time boxer while the 39-year-old Marquez remains as full time professional boxer.”