There were many good reasons Manny Pacquiao waited 11 months to fight. Not among them, however, was the reason most resonant to the men sitting at the bar at Krystal's Cafe 81 in the Lower Eastside on Saturday night.
"I still don't think I'm ready to see it again," said the man in the blue hoodie.
He didn't have to explain it. To this room full of Pacquiao faithful, it was the moment the ride ended, the inevitable flipside to the years of euphoria, the night their hero fell. It was the Juan Manuel Marquez punch that knocked Pacquiao, cold, to the canvas.
Yet before the faithful could watch him enter the ring for the first time since, they knew they would have to see it again. Montages showed it every way possible -- from multiple angles, in black and white, in slow motion.
Even a year later, barely a scab had formed. The men at the bar groaned. Some looked away. Others stared, straight-faced, shaking their heads.More »