"..a bardy view!"

Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao

The WBO title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, soon to be confirmed for March 13th, could not be contested by two fighters more further removed from each other.

Whilst both have made millions of dollars, the former displays his wealth with more grandeur than an Essex chav wrapped in fake Burberry, whilst the other fights for more than his corner and appears genuinely concerned about the poor plight of many sections of his Filipino countrymen.

Having followed the Pacman with interest over the length of this blog to date, my admiration for him grows in equal measure. Pacquiao is a role model of immense stature. His sense of purpose, respect for his family, concerns for the poor, and desire to enter politics to have an impact on the world around him are all qualities which are the marks of men who stand out over and above those whose moons orbit the shallow worlds of superficial celebrity and fame.

Mayweather Junior cites his hobbies as throwing around piles of cash into nightclub crowds, and driving down to the Las Vegas Strip after training to frequent casinos that must revel in the opportunity to part him from the occasional wad. Gambling emporiums love wealthy losers who have more money than sense.

He's also very keen to show off his mansion, fleet of cars and jewellery to any camera crew passing. He rarely travels from his driveway without thousands of dollars which some bull-necked bodyguard will carry for him. A YouTube video shows him counting out $1 million in cash from a bedside cabinet and stuffing it in a bag.

He's expected to make at least $20 million from the contest by just turning up! Such is his arrogance that he regards the fight as a mere formality, and dismisses his opponent as good, but already defeated. Of course this is regular boxing hype-speak, but Pacquiao's previous opponents adopted the same hyperbole whilst he responded with dignified contempt.

If Floyd is a role model then it is the wrong sort. He represents everything negative that wealth and fame can bring. In his country where African-Americans and Hispanics are the most dispossessed, he could have projected a healthier image.

Perhaps we expect too much from our sports stars. In defence of Floyd at least he is not a hypocrite. Maybe if multi-nationals like Gillette had used him for a close shave instead of Tiger Woods, they may not be in such an embarrassing position today. Particularly as their other star Tieri Anri displayed suspect gamesmanship by handling a ball which knocked Ireland out of the World Cup.

Perhaps the advertisers should stop selling their products on the backs of athletes who they believe represent Olympic idealism – Skill, fair play, sportsmanship, and discretion. Put anyone on a pedestal and they're likely to fall off.

But back to the big fight. The Pacman is unique. I want him to win. I want him to demolish his opponent. If that happens, then I know the best man won!

If he doesn't, then I also know the best man lost. Whatever the result – he's the true champion!


December 10, 2009 - Posted by | Boxing, The Philippines | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Well said.. Don’t worry Pacman will win this fight, after seeing what he did to Cotto, I don’t think Gayweather stand a chance, He cannot defend the whole fight, I’ll see Manny breaking him down..


    Comment by healthy sports | December 22, 2009 | Reply

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