A Shocking Face-First Fall

A Shocking Face-First Fall

LAS VEGAS -- His face vanished. How jarring, even to the verge of creepy. We were at a boxing match involving Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand and then came a whoosh too brisk to process and suddenly we could not see his face.

I mean, come on. We always see that face. We have seen it through 23 U.S. bouts across 11 years in four states and eight venues and 15 wins in a row across seven years, not to mention in untold ads. Whether squinting to punch somebody or taking a punch, that face stays forever five-plus feet above the ground, atop Pacquiao’s small but statuesque frame, a face in ubiquity, the global face of boxing, the runaway most-famous face among the 103 million faces in the 12th-most-populous nation, the Philippines.

Now the face went away, pressed down against the canvas, out of sight for one minute, more than one minute, maybe close to two minutes. Really? Please, help us comprehend.

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