By Mark F. Villanueva
Forget about the forty to fifty million big ones. Forget about HBO pay-per-views and the question as to who the biggest draw in boxing is. Forget about the prize in prizefighter and let’s go down deeper into what makes a man: Principle.
When the countdown for Floyd Jr. to sign the contract held by Top Rank died down a few days ago, trickling down to the last milliseconds, the silence of Team Mayweather rippled across the globe and into nothingness. The trash-talking American boxer who bullied Shane Mosley in a Welterweight battle had just been bullied by the humblest fighter in the planet who got tired of listening to him talk. I know the self-proclaimed greatest boxer of all time loves basketball, but is there no Michael Jordan in him who would just chuck it and say, “This is personal!!!”?
When the spotlights went up glaring against Mayweather’s door I expected that dragon referred to by coach Nazim Richardson to open up and belt out the fire of a cornered fighter, but no. Instead we got Jerry, of Tom and Jerry, a mouse peeping from inside his hole in the wall saying “I’m really not thinking of boxing right now.” But doesn’t the challenge in itself make you want to forget about those hand wraps, take off your gloves and step outside the street to meet the challenge? Whatever happened to standing your ground as best pound for pound, as the rap music goes. Those days were quite odd to me. I respect Mayweather’s skills enough to say he’s got more skills than Manny Pacquiao, and I am a proud Filipino. I say it’s odd when someone bullies you into a challenge screaming outside at your front lawn for you to show up, to come down and fight but you’d rather sleep and cuddle your honey.
Every fan of boxing is disappointed right now, I should say. This is the fight we all want and I’m so embarrassed for Floyd that I wish I could do the fighting for him and keep whatever respect he has for himself. Yet indeed, I’m no Floyd Mayweather Jr. And if I was, I’d be the one standing at Pacquiao’s front yard screaming “I’m the best of the best and I’m here to show it!” I’m not going as far as saying Floyd is afraid of Manny Pacquiao or that the guy is a coward. Define cowardice.
If it’s true that Team Pacquiao has agreed in essence to meet Mayweather’s demands such as the issues on financial sharing and blood testing and all, then I don’t see any reason why a gag order should still be in place for either team. I say let’s bring the case back outside of the private courtrooms and onto the open public and let the people see for themselves and decide who is ducking who, and who’s character’s noses grow longer each time they lie. Let’s go all out! Let’s throw a haymaker!
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