By Lyle Fitzsimmons - I suppose I’m what you’d call a cinema savant.
I don’t go to a lot of movies – in fact, I haven’t been to five in the last five years – but when I find one I like I tend to watch it over and over until nearly every sliver of dialogue is memorized.
So it’s hardly a surprise that as Manny Pacquiao lay face down and motionless on the MGM Grand canvas, my early Sunday morning reactions instantly revolved around favorite on-screen quotes.
And by the time Tuesday comes and ring highlights have been dissected Zapruder-style in every cranny of every mother’s basement, it’s a whole lot better way to churn out the week’s 1,000 words.
Here, then, are a few flicks I immediately thought of while still wobbly from a post-KO buzz:
“To beat me, he’s gonna have to kill me. And to kill me, he’s gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me. And to do that, he’s got to be willing to die himself.”
-- Rocky Balboa, Rocky IV, 1985
I concede that quoting a series whose scenes were more caveman than cavalier is an odd tribute to Juan Manuel Marquez; but the more I thought about what it takes to actually employ counterpunching on the highest level, the more I came back to these words from Stallone to screen wife Talia Shire.
While appreciating the beauty of the right hand that ended Pacquiao’s stay atop pound-for-pound lists, the amount of courage it took to be ready to throw such a shot might get lost. Bottom line, while a lot of guys can evade an aggressive foe and later pounce on a tiring attacker, only a few – like Marquez on Saturday – stay deep enough in harm’s way to both draw the fire and launch the decisive return.
Sure, Rocky was talking about a significantly different brand of combat 27 years ago in the fourth-best installment of his signature six-pack, but his theme was still spot on for what occurred in Vegas right around 1 a.m. Sunday. [Click Here To Read More