Heroes didn’t pursue a path strewn with dangers just to be great, though greatness they tracked down. They never had heroic musing in their mild and wild imagination but to do good to people.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. craves to be considered great in the sport of boxing. But think about it. A true champion savors the fruit of his sacrifices to be deeply grateful and does not glory in what he has accomplished to feed an ego. No man who is truly great ever thought of wanting to become great.
A great person is not self-centered, arrogant and demanding. He can be a rallying point for lofty ideals by virtue of his influence and inner strength, but he does not draw attention to himself. He is not imposing in manners, yet he can cause the fall of a ruthless kingdom and by inspiration he moves the downtrodden to rise above defeat and despair. A great man or woman does not sow seeds of discord but provides the impetus to peace and noble deeds. He is unaffected by the praises of throngs; neither he allows their “bites” to devastate him.
Greatness is a virtue and feat so great such that no mammal and institution can confer it on anyone. It is not the image you impress on people that makes you great. Image, as in a book, is mere image that has nothing behind it when you turn the page. Image is everything only to the self-proclaimed.
Greatness is what and who you are in the course of circumstances that reflect your heart as you give and do your utmost at the disposal of others and the world around you, without fanfare and away from the limelight – expecting nothing in return. It means having no yeast in mind to make you bloated, proud and corrupted or “pork barreled.”
You disqualify yourself for greatness the moment you seek to be great. Hence Mayweather can dream no more than just becoming the best by fighting the best.
Normal people don’t ascribe honor to those who ascribe honor to themselves, dwarfs do. Greatness is in itself what defines a man and it transcends what man can achieve. It comes naturally to the humblest and “lowliest” of people because they are the most capable of doing great things laudable in ways outside of the ordinary. You can only aspire to be brave and risk all for a worthy cause, with personal interests last and least in your thoughts and actions. That is heroism. And that is greatness.
It is when a champion bows down to dig within and look upward that kissing a trophy makes the act sweetest after winning.
Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather are enigmatic pugilists who “serve” us pretty well. Flawed champions as they are, they get the job done off the beam and at every point. And while they breathe in the sport, the “novelty” that is “Pacquiao-Mayweather” speaks volumes to untangle chains, if we would hear.
Icon and “icon” in their own rights, the boxing career of these two antithetical characters have become molded, hardened clays that can’t seem to be joined together inside the ring as Adam and Eve in the Garden were. It’s incredible that from mud element through which they were formed and by the fig leaves bearing their imprimatur to cover nakedness subsequent to The Fall, people nowadays can freely, freshly shovel treasures to unearth lessons that no university book and classroom on the planet can teach.
Whether you love or hate their person and antics; whether you harbor bias for and against either of them; or whoever between the boxers you’ll be rooting when they fight, they cause many to appreciate the sport in ways unique and better than the usual. We delight to talk about the boxing “duo” while judging them to have already “declined” and aged. We indulge in hearing and reading news about them regardless of the blunders they commit and which blunders and indiscretion bring about episodes that oft antagonize rather than enthrall us.
Though behind the brouhaha they create, the saga drives the world towards truth’s blare and gleam just as when Edison invented the incandescent light bulb to clear up darkness even in sunny open fields.
How ironic that every controversy seems to provide the vision-impaired a way to see brightly in lighted spots, much less in the dim corners of the human mind.
Something “mystical” must be occurring in boxing today that no time and generation in the past had experienced.
Pacquiao and Mayweather are opposites like crude and stream that have to be wholly blended as one to make it happen. They have no clue and are unaware of the phenomenon involving their “soul and spirit” which phenomenon benefits the soul and spirit of countless others. But it is likely, if not precisely, for such purpose why, up to this point, they haven’t fought.
Mayweather lives in a deserted kingdom surrounded by clouds and sits on a throne made of sinking sand; while Pacquiao proceeds to stray in the jungle to enjoy his seat and seats “to be” in politics (among suckers, vultures and sharks), strange and remote from the seat of his very soul’s high calling.
The situation looks beyond the “inseparable” pair of boxing. Cynics, agnostics, fanatics and “experts” are quadruplets in being astounded. They are one in blindly idolizing or mindlessly writing off Pacquiao, as they are firmly banded in condemning Mayweather to everlasting perdition by their worship of the latter’s “zero” god; and by condoning Mayweather to “rule” in boxing just by his own rules, putting up with the “herodic” whims and caprices that would usher the “king” further away from the light and reality.
These “gurus” are as lost as the lamb that strayed from the sheepfold, capturing no idea close to reality why Pac and Floyd remain to be exceedingly relevant to boxing as well as in the life of millions of their followers; and as far as the “good news” about them can reach throughout nations – “from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost, remotest place.”
A century hence, Pacquiao and Mayweather would have their place in boxing anal as potentially belonging to the top five boxers of all time if no one in the same cast and fashion as Ray Robinson and Henry Armstrong would emerge on the horizon; and should they prove to be fighters among fighters for the few defining bouts left in their closing career – through winning and losing for Floyd sans cherry-picking, but through winning for Pacman sans politicking.
Thus Pacqiuiao cannot afford turning himself into a victim of Bam Bum Rios in November. While it is consoling for Mayweather that he simply need to begin dazzling as a complete warrior even if he loses to Saul Alvarez on September 14.
But Pacquiao rejects Mayweather’s taunt and assures the fans he’s not over the hill yet: “I was not mauled by Marquez. It was a lucky punch that knocked me out,” he explains. Rightly so, Pacman was the one beating black and blue Juan Manuel Marquez into submission when the miracle blow suddenly hit the entire arena into shock.
If not for the “lucky” punch, another round and Marquez would be out. The bloodied and bruised Marquez, gasping for breath, appeared to be the over the hill boxer in that quadrilogy had it not for the seer that hypnotized Pacquiao to fall twice.
Besides, Pacquiao did not lose two in a row. He was merely robbed of a win versus Tim Bradley in the grandest larceny in fight sport. The boxer who lost must have lost in the fight, not in scorecards of blind masseurs. On such ground, nobody ought to say stop if the light is green, or go when it’s red. Those who insist that “a loss is a loss” lodge in space filled with dusk. Pacquiao’s recent loss is clearly but once and unfair, against a magician who employed Hulk tricks.
Wherefore, the Filipino boxing sensation is still a champion and he’s not a “has been” as Floyd claims, and by which claim Mayweather might be thinking he is relieved of the challenge of his lifetime, having found a way to duck Pacquiao forever. Pacman has “tomorrow” to look forward to and which brighter “tomorrow” may dawn on his fight with Rios, unless he looks back to “caress” the bitter past and “cherish” his misguided ambition.
Pacquiao and Mayweather will be missed. They will be exiting from boxing one day with or without the “Pacquiao-Mayweather.” However, the “healing” they have brought us by causing the sport ill or feverish will stay until long after they are gone. They have “endeared” themselves so much to boxing such that boxing may never be the same without them.
Fact is: we have been oddly taught and blessed by their stories thus far.
But we get tired of the “illusive” matchup anyhow and lose hope easily like the Israelites of old, the reason being they wandered in the wilderness for forty wasted years before reaching the Promised Land.
So why mumble, tumble and grumble only to be off-track exhausted and suffer similar fate, or worse?
Destiny tarries. Everyone may soon cross the “gulf” through Jordan River, if not by the Walls of Babylon which are certain to come crumbling down to pieces.
Heaven is good to those who shudder at going the apostate way. And Life is gracious to anyone who spurns clambering up heaven by piling stone on stone to rebuild an ancient detestable Tower – but through the old rugged tree, dug and planted on filthy, nasty earth.