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The country, if not the whole world, was shocked. No one saw it coming. It was like the message in the morning service (if my memory serves me right) at Victory Fort I attended earlier when Mary received the news that she will give birth to a son through the Holy Spirit: 1. Unexpected; 2. Unusual: 3. Unbelievable.

That Manny’s loss was 1. Unexpected – at least to the millions of the Filipinos out there. Everyone thought like Manny did – that this time, he will give a statement fight and only a KO can prove a definitive win over the other. Yes, there was a KO but it was Pacquiao who got knocked down.

That Manny’s loss was 2. Unusual – in his rise to fame, never was Manny knocked down this way. He may have lost a fight via a decision but he was “Hattoned” (to depict how Manny sent Hatton to the canvas).

fallen

That Manny’s loss was 3. Unbelievable – People will be talking about this loss for days, weeks or even months to come. It was like a sign that Manny’s hold at the top has come to an end. Again, no one saw it coming or maybe only Marquez.  To defeat Pacquiao like that was unbelievable – he was floored and he only regained consciousness after 2 minutes. Surely, Marquez is Manny’s kryptonite.

So what can we learn from this stunning defeat of Manny Pacquiao?

1. Defense wins games.

Manny was caught wide open by Marquez and when he saw that chance, he delivered that perfect punch that floored Pacquiao.

Just like in real life, we have to stand guard at all times. The Bible says:

Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. – Mark 13:33

Who would have thought that that 1 second will cost Pacquiao that fight? That he was floored with 1 second remaining tells us that while the game is not yet over, the enemy will always get that chance to defeat us. In the same way, in this “game of life”, we live in a spiritual warfare and we have to heed what the Bible says:

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

And how do we defend ourselves against the forces of evil? The Bible says that we have to

Ephesians 6:11-17 (NIV)

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

2. There’s a time for everything.

Too often, we see some great athletes unretire only to feel sorry that they took that route of “un-retiring”. Remember Magic Johnson? He can’t seem to make up his mind and he made one last ditch to play basketball again (1996) but eventually he didn’t get to finish the season. The same way with Michael Jordan. When he made that last shot in the 1998 finals series with the Jazz, that was a fitting end to his storied career as a Chicago Bull hero. But his itch for the game as he claimed made him come back to the sport he loves only to retire in obscurity with the Wizards.

I think it was a couple of years ago or maybe not so long ago, when I read about Manny Pacquiao saying that he dreamed of God telling him to retire. He should have heeded God’s advice to him. Maybe there was this little voice that told him to stop. He has nothing to prove anymore. But the rest is history as they say. This year, he lost twice – to Timothy Bradley via a decision then to Juan Manuel Marquez via a KO.

The Bible says there is a time for everything. There is a time to search and a time to give up. (Ecclesiastes 3:6a)

Was Manny’s loss unexpected? unusual? unbelievable? It wouldn’t have to be had he listened to God.

3. There is life after boxing. This is only temporary.

Manny doesn’t have to prove anything anymore. That he lost to a great warrior in Juan Manuel Marquez was nothing to be ashamed of. He already had 8 weight titles to his name that no one ever achieved, at least in his lifetime.

That Manny has a new found faith in Christ is far more valuable than all his achievements combined in the world of boxing, politics and even showbiz. All these are temporary after all. That is why I salute Pacquiao for being level-headed and being gracious in defeat when he said something to the effect that that is the reality in this sport: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

If he has the itch to get back at Marquez for a 5th showdown, I pray that he will just be content for all his achievements and just let it go. Hang up your gloves Manny. You deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Tell me, 100 years from now, who would have cared about this? This is only temporary. Instead, our mindset should focus on what is far more important than these things and that is focusing on what is eternal.

Manny Pacquiao, you are already a new creation in Christ. In the eyes of God, you are already a winner because of what Christ did for humanity: when He died on the cross, Satan thought that he defeated God. Little that he know that it was God’s final move to lure Satan into defeat: when Christ died and rose again, proving that His resurrection defeated the power of death over us. And when Manny Pacquiao accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Savior, God promised Him that he already has eternal life. Manny Pacquiao might have lost this fight but he is already victorious in Christ Jesus when God gave him eternal life.

You too can have eternal life now for the Bible says:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Photo credit: ESPN

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