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Gryphon Hall (Hal Guerrero)
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Loremaster of Gryphon Hall

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RIP to the one and only, Sir Christopher Lee
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PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON THE EVE OF PACQUIAO VS MAYWEATHER.

I watched Pacquiao's first televised fight with my Dad. Even then, it was obvious that he was a power puncher, but we both dismissed him as someone who would burn out soon. My Dad and I were Gerry Peñalosa fans and we always thought that calm, scientific counter-punching would defeat someone who was essentially a one-armed bandit.

Fast forward to today, and I am hoping and praying that Pacquiao would be able to defeat a scientific counter-puncher, THE best scientific counter-puncher on the planet. Perhaps in history.

In the lead up to tomorrow's fight, I've been watching as many of the fights of both fighters as I could. Pacquiao's fights were always heart-stopping, even when I KNEW he was going to win. With Mayweather, the criticisms are true: he's boring. Floyd would either dance around and toy with someone who is woefully outclassed, or stay just out of reach of fighters who could have outclassed him.

Because this fight was billed as the "Fight of [THIS] Century", I also had to watch the historical best fights of them all. As I watched, it became very clear why both fighters tomorrow are touted as the best boxers of all time.

Just technique-wise, both fighters are already doing stuff that those who came before them did not do or, if they did, at their imperfect forms. I always thought that Pacquiao, if he fought de la Hoya during his prime, would not win. After watching some of de la Hoya's old fights again (my Dad and I used to watch him, Mosely, Leonard, Tyson, Holyfield... well, boxing was free to watch in the Philippines, so we watched what we could) and now I'm not so sure.

I mean, just the way modern boxers at the top of their game respond to knockdowns now is different.

I watched Mayweather's fights again, and I realised something.

He's a bosskiller. Probably the best bosskiller there is.

Let me explain. Anyone who's ever played video games and ever went up against the boss would know that bosses normally have more life, more power, and can often kill you in fewer hits than a normal opponent. But if you're a bosskiller, properly prepared, and if you can read the boss's moves, you can eventually inch that boss to death.

Such fights, when you watch walkthroughs on YouTube, are boring to watch if you expect an anime or movie boss fight. But for people who play the same game, it's different. THEN you appreciate the skill. THEN you appreciate the smarts.

Mayweather has been like that. He disposes of trash mobs when he could, and he dispatches bosses with care. But, then I also realised something.

I play Tekken, and one of the things I found is that I can keep my win percentage really high and, until I stopped caring because, undefeated... by essentially treating each fight like a boss fight. If I find there is any risk of losing, I just pull the plug, hit Practice mode, load up the character that gives me problems and develop a fighting plan. I stopped doing this when I got tired of having to do this every fight: I just want to hit continue and plow through.

I realised that Mayweather treats all fights like boss fights. BUT Pacquiao is the biggest boss he will ever fight.

Because while Freddie Roach can boast he can get Mayweather clones to spar against Manny, Mayweather can't do the same. Everybody says that Manny's fighting technique is unique—can be observed but not duplicated yet whereas Floyd's technique is as textbook as one can get.

In video games, the most difficult bosses are not the ones with the most HP or the biggest killer move but the ones that are unpredictable. Manny, so far from his days back in Blow by Blow televised fights, is now the most unpredictable top fighter on the planet.

This is saying a lot. Mark Twain said that the best swordsman in the world never need fear the second best swordsman but the rank amateur, but only because the amateur does what he ought not to do and is, therefore unexpected. This may be true. But if the best swordsman can defend against amateur mistakes, that's a different story, right?

But that's the thing about Pacquiao. Amateurs are unpredictable because they don't know better. Pacquiao learned to become unpredictable to become better. How can the best swordsman defeat the second best swordsman who's as unpredictable as an amateur but has the experience of the best?

People forget that Manny has more wins than Floyd. They forget that Manny has more knockouts than Floyd. A flying ace who has hours of combat flying and who survives being shot down has more chance of defeating another ace who does not have as much experience even if he hasn't been shot down yet.

At least, that is what I am hoping for and praying for tonight. If the best swordsman can be defeated by the unpredictable second best swordsman, one has to remember that the best swordsman became the best for a reason. Floyd is undefeated for a reason, even if it meant being smart and not fighting everyone who had a claim.

Even Yoda got beaten by Palpatine.

But I do hope Manny wins tomorrow. I feel that he deserves the win more, but what I feel doesn't matter. Whoever earns it tomorrow will be the victor.

#MayweatherVSPacquiao #PacquiaoWins
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Added photos to FIBC Vesper Service.

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Experiment with live streaming the vesper service of Filipino International Baptist Church
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