"..a bardy view!"

Not Boxing…Box Office…..

maypacAt 04.00 BST Sunday 3rd May, 2015 the Pacman will finally meet the Bagman in Las Vegas. A fight long overdue, which over the past six years has been continually put off because of childish and petulant behaviour (mainly from Mayweather) and unsporting gamesmanship.

My views have been well known about this money-making debacle over the years, indeed I have made several blog posts about it. Of course this is a welterweight fight, and it is indicative of the sport that the “greatest fight of the century” does not involve a heavyweight.

Indeed, I doubt anyone reading this, or anyone not seriously following the sport, could name the current heavyweight champion of the world. There may even be two, depending on which federation claims the title. Such is the dirge of great boxers and great personalities, it is the welterweights (higher than lightweight but less than middleweight) who have captured the public’s imagination. Mayweather is 5ft 8in, and Pacquiao two inches shorter, but between them they have demonstrated that physical stature is meaningless in Vegas – its hype not height that counts.

It is the richest fight in history, and both will walk away (win or lose) with a purse to fund a third world country for a year. The venue, the promoters, the agents, the marketeers, and the cable companies have all contrived to milk it, and and all have contrived to ensure a massive pay day.

Neither boxer ever fights outside Vegas. The days of the “Thriller in Manila” are over. Today boxing means box office.

I’d like to see Manny win, not because I am biased, but I want him to win because fundamentally he is a Filipino made good – he represents the street fighter from a poor background, is humble, doesn’t flaunt his wealth, has a strong faith, and has a passionate belief that he can make a difference for his fellow countrymen be it in politics or philanthropy.

He is in essence a symbol, and an aspiration to a generation of young people who believe that success can be rewarded, and the reward can be passed on to the less fortunate. He also holds the hopes and dreams of a nation that needs him, and he in turn has not abandoned them through his fame and fortune. Contrast that with Mayweather.

Mayweather hasn’t a single moral bone in his body, and he has demonstrated it in numerous occasions. He flaunts his wealth, is a bling king, and represents unadulterated excess. So what? Why should we expect sportsmen to be role models? Why should we expect Mayweather to be anything more than he is – a successful boxer? How he spends his money, or flaunts it, is really none of our business. Surely it’s not up to us to judge him?

Yet this fight tonight is not just a fight – as financially reprehensible and exploitative as it may be – it is a contest between two very different people who represent two different cultures, two different idealisms, and two different attitudes.

It’s not a battle of the heavyweights, but it’s a battle nonetheless. Both will win financially, yet only one will win the crown. Lets hope that he who wears the crown, wears it with dignity. The only man with dignity in the ring tonight will be Manny Pacquiao – so win or lose – that cannot be taken away from him!

Good luck Manny! Floor Floyd!


May 2, 2015 Posted by | Boxing, Culture, Current Affairs, The Philippines, USA | , , | 1 Comment

Manny Pacquiao, Gay Marriage, and US Political Agendas………..

MannyManny Pacquiao, the Pac-Man and boxer extraordinaire, is losing his revered status – not because of his stature in the ring – but because of his views on gay marriage.

I've mentioned often that sportsmen should keep their political views to themselves, but Manny has dreams of crusading endeavour outside the ring and his naivety will be his downfall (see Bardiness 26/03/2011).

Continue reading

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Boxing, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Politics, The Philippines, USA | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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


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