Denial, anger, and acceptance are three stages those stricken with grief often go through, and it's no different for Manny Pacquiao fans.
"Pac Man" suffered the most humiliating loss of his professional boxing career on Dec.8, getting knocked out cold during the sixth round of his fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Minutes after a devastating straight right sent the Filipino congressman to the canvas face first, he remained motionless on the canvas.
Some even thought he was dead.
Fortunately, Manny Pacquiao eventually regained his senses, waking up to the sad reality that he'll no longer be looked at as one of the boxing's best. Reality also hit Manny's fans hard, many of whom seem to be having a hard time dealing with the harsh fact that a man they've idolized for years might have been a bit overrated.
Logically speaking, a clean knockout is as conclusive as it gets in boxing and other combat sports, but the excuses have already started rolling in. Some are now accusing Marquez of steroid use, even though Pacquiao hasn't exactly been a fan of stringent drug tests in the past.
Manny's refusal to submit to Olympic style drug tests in 2009 is the main reason we've never gotten the chance to see a Floyd Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super-fight. It's ironic to find the same bunch that defended Pacquiao back then asking for Marquez to undergo additional tests.
Predictably, some Pacquiao fans are now looking for a bogeyman to blame for their idol's mortifying loss, and no one is safe from their wrath. Even former presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, has been used as a scapegoat by angry fans, who claim he jinxed Pacquiao with his "loser energy."
Others blamed Freddie Roach; some said it was Steven Seagal's fault, and a few even pointed their fingers at Pacquiao's wife, Jinky, since her name happens to share three letters with the word "Jinx."
For others, it's all Mayweather's fault.
The final stage of the grieving process, it's going to take a while before Pacquiao's fans finally accept the truth. Marquez has always been a better boxer than Manny Pacquiao, and his official record against the Filipino congressman should be 4-0. If the two ever fight again, expect Marquez to emerge victorious.