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Thu May 17, 2012, 11:04 AM

Regarding Manny Pacquiao

When Manny Pacquiao's statement, in which he expressed his opposition to President Barack Obama's stance on marriage equality, is but another example of how boxing transcends sports, and serves as a measure of socio-political dynamics. Let's take a closer look at this situation.

In fact, Pacquiao is himself a member of the House of Representatives in the Philippines. His status as an elite athlete provided him with the platform he needed to win that office. He has won "titles" in eight divisions -- from Junior Flyweight to Junior Middleweight -- including four lineal ("real") world's titles. His most consistent theme in his government service has been helping to poor.

It is no secret that Pacquiao, after he retires from boxing, wants to run for the presidency of the Philippines. Recent controversial "tax issues" suggest that the powers-that-be in his country are not in favor of his accomplishing this. But his statement opposing President Obama's stance on marriage equality is a controversy of his own making.

None of Boxing's greatest fighters have had a socio-political influence on their own. Boxing, as heavyweight champion Charles "Sonny" Liston said in the early 1960s, is like a cowboy movie: there's got to be a good guy and a bad guy. That's what people pay to see -- the good guy beat the bad guy. That, of course, doesn't always happen.

When Jack Johnson, the first recognized black heavyweight champion, defended his title against former champion Jim Jeffries (who had retired undefeated), white America had identified Johnson as the bad guy. But he easily knocked Jeffries out.

When the great Joe Louis defended his title against Max Schmeling, it was viewed as America versus the Nazi Germany. Louis won by first round knockout, after fracturing Schmeling's spine with a vicious blow.

And when Muhammad Ali came out of the forced retirement (for refusing to be drafted) to challenge Joe Frazier, it was much more than two undefeated heavyweight champions meeting for the first time. Ali represented the anti-war, pro-civil rights population, and Frazier -- not by choice -- represented blue collar, white Nixon supporters. Frazier won a 15-round decision.

The man standing opposite of Manny Pacquiao is undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Outside of the boxing community, Manny has been viewed as a "Golden Boy" -- clean-cut, polite, and even charming in his attempts to become a recording artist. Floyd has largely been viewed as the "bad guy" -- indeed, he is scheduled to begin a three-month jail term for domestic violence in June.

When Senator Barack Obama was running for president, he wanted to appear publicly with Floyd Mayweather. However, his advisors rejected the idea, because of Floyd's public image. Manny Pacquiao would visit President Obama at the White House, in a move that got a lot of media attention. More recently, President Obama got together with Floyd, without media coverage.

The boxing community views the pair very differently than does the American general public. We are aware that Floyd comes from a family in which two of the most important people in his life -- his father and Uncle Roger -- have histories of domestic violence. (Also, when Floyd was about five years old, his father held him in front of himself, for protection from the gun that an associate in crime was pointing at him.) Floyd has had problems in this area, too. Domestic violence is something that the boxing community strongly disapproves of, and wants Floyd to be held accountable for. We also know that people who commit domestic violence can change.

We view Pacquiao differently than does the general public, too. There is a controversy about drug-testing that derailed the first scheduled PacMan vs Money Mayweather bout. In January of 2010, ESPN's Teddy Atlas reported live, on the Friday Night Fights, about two e-mails that the a Pacquiao representative sent to the Mayweather camp: the first asked how large a fine they would demand when Manny failed the tests; the second asked if they would agree to keep it secret "for the good of boxing."

Steroids and related performance-enhancing drugs are a growing problem in boxing, as they are in other sports. But there is an important distinction. It's not just that Manny had a suspicious "growth streak," in which his endurance increased as dramtically as the size of his head. Or that he came out of nowhere to break Henry Armstrong's hard-earned record. A baseball player may break the home-run record by cheating; but in boxing, one risks serious injury (or death) when the opponent cheats.

Pacquiao's position against marriage equality may cement his popularity among the hate crowd. But Floyd's response to the controversy may suprise others, and perhaps gain him wider support:

"I stand behind President Obama and support gay marriage. I'm an American citizen, and I believe people should live their life the way they want." -- Floyd Mayweather; May 16, 2012

19 replies, 2613 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Regarding Manny Pacquiao (Original post)
H2O Man May 2012 OP
bigtree May 2012 #1
H2O Man May 2012 #4
bigtree May 2012 #5
WilliamPitt May 2012 #2
H2O Man May 2012 #6
Mr Dixon May 2012 #3
H2O Man May 2012 #16
The Link May 2012 #7
Mr Dixon May 2012 #8
The Link May 2012 #9
H2O Man May 2012 #12
The Link May 2012 #13
H2O Man May 2012 #14
Bake May 2012 #10
H2O Man May 2012 #15
Bake May 2012 #18
ellisonz May 2012 #11
H2O Man May 2012 #17
bvar22 May 2012 #19

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:08 AM

1. BIG REC!

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Response to bigtree (Reply #1)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:29 AM

4. Thanks!

I'm hoping that people will find this interesting, and worth reading.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:38 AM

5. priceless insight and perspective

very engaging . . . I liked the punch at the end! A knockout!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:10 AM

2. The hardest sport to write about is boxing.

You do it very, very well.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #2)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:42 AM

6. It's a curious sport.

Boxing is primal, sometimes brutal. And boxers tend to be complicated figures outside of the ring. There are people -- even on this forum -- who have a strong dislike for boxing. But when there is a great fight, with social-political implications, everyone pays attention.

Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:13 AM

3. IMO

I like FMW , always have, Pac-man was cool until he got the gift decision in his last fight, Boxing is corrupt to the core. But big ups, to Floyd for speaking his mind and never being a puppet to the corruption within the sport.

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Response to Mr Dixon (Reply #3)

Fri May 18, 2012, 09:42 AM

16. Marquez clearly won

that fight. But the judges, who represent the promoter's interests, know there is no money to be made in Mayweather vs Marquez II, and hundreds of millions for Mayweather vs Pacquiao.

It is a shame that the sport is corrupted by money.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:49 AM

7. Praising Mayweather for his statement is ludicrous.

 

Pacquiao's views are disgusting and homophobic.

Mayweather has made racially bigoted remarks about Asians. And he made comments about Cotto on 24/7 regarding him sleeping in the same bed as his friend and manager...and that he (Mayweather) only has women in his bed.

They are both hateful bigots.

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Response to The Link (Reply #7)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:58 AM

8. IMO

I See your outrage and raise you one, FMW is nobody’s poster child nor is Pac-man, I'm talking about boxing not politics, however FMW significant other is Spanish, which leads me to believe his rants are all about publicity to make a PPV fight, sort of like the WWE had the Iron Sheik (pro-Iran) or Gold dust it all entertainment. Pac-man however is using his personnel feelings to voice his opinions which he has every right to do whether I agree with them or not. For the record I only sleep with women, does that make me a homophobe?

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Response to Mr Dixon (Reply #8)

Thu May 17, 2012, 12:02 PM

9. I have no doubt he saw this as an opportunity to build some hype between himself and Manny.

 

If you make jokes on TV about your opponent and feel the need to say you only sleep with women, immediately after talking about your opponent sleeping with men, then yes, you are a homophobe.

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Response to The Link (Reply #7)

Thu May 17, 2012, 01:30 PM

12. 50% agreement.

I do not think Floyd's comments about Cotto were "hype" to build interest in the fight. Rather, I believe that it was part of the process of building tension between him and Miguel -- a man that is difficult to dislike. Those comments were foolish.

Years ago, one of my best friends needled Emile Griffith about his sexuality. After Emile came storming out, my friend KOed him in the first round. (The next fellow who insulted Emile that way was carried out on a stretcher, ina coma, and died shortly afterward.) I told my friend, many years ago, that his words were ugly. He said it was the only way to trick Griffith into brawling; otherwise, Emile would have easily outboxed hinm. (Worse, the two were friends, and Emile remained one of my pal's strongest supporters.)

I'm not excusing it, or saying it's okay. But I do put it in context. Still very wrong.

I also put Floyd's comments on Jeremy Lin in context:

"Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise."

What he said might make people uncomfortable, but they are not bigoted, and not intended to insult Asians or anyone else. Even in junior high school basketball, black players are too frequently viewed differently by non-black coaches, referees, and fans. They face different expectations, and are held to a very different standard. To attribute ill intent to Floyd for commenting on this strikes me as tortured logic.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #12)

Thu May 17, 2012, 01:53 PM

13. I disagree on the Lin comments, but offer some context for my disagreement.

 

He had previously said of Manny that he will make Pacquaio “make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice.” He did later apologize for the remarks.

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Response to The Link (Reply #13)

Fri May 18, 2012, 09:39 AM

14. My son was reading

this, and told me about the previous comments. He agrees with you that Floyd is guilty of some unacceptable anti-Asian comments. I stand corrected by both you and him.

He also made some interesting points on Floyd's comments per Miguel sleeping with his friend. He points out the role of culture, including things like "personal space." Also, a high percentage of the boxing community has some contact -- often directly -- with incarceration. Add that black Americans have the highest rates of incarceration. In prison, rape is used as a weapon of control, by both the administration/guards, and inmate population. In this context, what is viewed as homosexuality is akin to heterosexual rape in the non-prison society. It's not about sex, in the natural sense. So an unnatural view is taken.

More, all boxers have to dehumanize their opponent before a fight. I had mentioned that Floyd experienced some difficulty in this per Cotto, because Miguel is truly a gentleman -- and a gentle, loving husband and father outside of the ring. (Of him, Floyd, Oscar, Manny, etc, one could easily identify Cotto as the best "role model" for young folks.) You can't go into that ring thinking of the opponent as a human being. My son made the further point that one must actually dehumanize one's self to box. Valid point. Again, it doesn't okay or excuse the behavior, but adds context.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 12:15 PM

10. They should both stick to boxing.

It's what they do best.

But I can't help but hope that Money beats the snot out of PacMan.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #10)

Fri May 18, 2012, 09:40 AM

15. Greg Haugen told me

that both he and friend Roberto Duran believe Floyd will KO Manny in four or five rounds. I think it will be in 10 or 11.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Fri May 18, 2012, 12:16 PM

18. I think it'll go the distance, but it will be EPIC.

My money's on Money.

Bake

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 12:19 PM

11. They both just need to suck it up...

...and split the pot 50-50.

I agree that Pacquaio may have done something dirty in the past. HGH?

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #11)

Fri May 18, 2012, 09:43 AM

17. I wish that it

could be 75% and 25% -- with the winner getting the jackpot.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2012, 01:33 PM

19. They should both stick to what they do best.

Personally, I have always had a problem with Mayweather.
He is a brilliant boxer, but he is a "cocky, douchbag, asshole".




I hope Manny is able to teach Mayweather some respect.

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