When the bell rings, he is a fearless beast armed with a complete two-fisted arsenal. He is now a very different warrior compared to his first international appearance as an unknown young, sleek yet promising power puncher from the Philippines. Today, he is a two-fisted slugger and tactician; a complete fighter with deadly power punches and blinding speed courtesy of Freddie Roach. Inside the four corners of the boxing ring, he is the king. No one can stop him even the Golden Boy that obviously shown his rusted self, as he fears no one; that is, if the price is right. Manny Pacquiao has reached the pinnacle of success as an athlete carrying always upon his shoulders a nation mired by corruption and poverty.
But the Pacman’s immortality stops as soon as he steps out of the war zone.
March 17 when news circulated that Manny’s May 2, 2009 fight with the British boxing superstar Ricky Hatton would no longer be locally televised on Solar Sports and in effect on GMA Network. He said that he approached local media giant ABS-CBN Corporation to air his next fight reasoning that Solar Sports had breached their contract when they did not fulfill their financial obligations to the Pound-for-Pound king. This is when the confusion clouded the media, sports analysts, boxing aficionados and the fans while the Pacman is hundred of miles away in a tightly-guarded Wildcard Gym sweating it out in preparation for his mega-fight.
He never saw it coming. An uppercut of lawsuit amounting to 150 million was readied by Solar Sports in reaction to Manny’s decision, for they never saw any breach of contract on their part. They still have broadcast rights over Manny’s fights until 2011 and their contract have provisions to follow when things severe between the two parties.
But Manny countered this by his usual head and lateral movement. Bring it on baby. But hey, 150 million is 150 million, it is no joke at all. Manny had no place to hide anymore though he may run all night long. He was hit and knocked down. By the fact that he was wrong, no need for a judge to give him a standing eight count.
Went back to Solar Sports, asked for an apology for the confusion he made to the public and to the parties concerned, and left a stinging jab at ABS-CBN saying that he never permitted the airing of his interview inviting people to watch his May 2 fight on ABS-CBN. And now Manny is on the hot seat.
This is not something new. Manny has shown this irritating attitude before when he signed up and received a fat paycheck from Golden Boy Promotions only to shock the world by his signing up at Bob Arum’s outfit Top Rank Promotions. And this new problem that Manny entered into is another big solid punch to his reputation and integrity. His antics outside the right are just so irritating. His attitude of hitting below the belt is just so unbecoming.
Is Manny the victim here?
Boxing so they say is a red light district of gamblers, hustlers and hot-bloodied financiers hidden from the spotlight. In short, the sport is a big money-maker. It is a gold mine. Manny could have been ill-advised by the hundreds of people around him who may have some kickbacks after all when he switches corners. Or he may have been lured by a bigger offer of the rival station in order for them to air his fight and so also rake in millions of pesos from sponsorships and advertisers. There are so many speculations, but behind the façade, money changes hands; that is one sure thing. Manny could have been the poor victim of network wars or a victim of greed of some?
Or we could also look at it this way; that Manny has that attitude problem that tarnishes his seemingly immaculate athletic ability. He also could have felt so powerful and great that he could just dupe business partners as easy as like sending his foes to kiss the canvass. If he can send boxing champions kneeling before him full of sweat and blood by his sheer strength, he could do the same maybe outside the ring.
This hullaballoo only tells us that the champ that we adore is not totally perfect and far from being a heaven-sent messiah many of us used to feel. This nasty incident only confirms that Manny cannot rule the world and cannot own the world by his sheer power and speed. The world is simply more complex and complicated than foes inside the boxing arena. And maybe entering politics especially being in the legislature is not simply anointed on his fate.
Just box. That is where we put you on high esteem.
Do think that Manny Pacquiao has indeed attitude problems? In this incident involving his upcoming mega-bout, is he the one at fault? What do you think the pound-for-pound king should just do?
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