Fight of the century

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By Giano M. Libot

I have issues

Monday, May 26, 2014


AS someone who identifies himself as just more than average boxing fan, the fight to be of this era has got to be Mayweather versus Pacquiao, beyond lines of nationalism the reason why this fight has to happen is, both are going to written down in history as all-time greats, and that status merits that pundits’ imaginative debate has to be settled.

This isn’t just about knowing who this generation’s greatest boxer is, like the fights that defined their predecessors, Ali-Frazier, Leonard-Hearns, Morales-Barrera this is about a finality to a story that couldn’t have been written any better.

A look at Floyd Mayweather’s career compared to Manny Pacquiao and the comparisons couldn’t be more polarizing, they represent the extremes a sports tale, and one that captivates the imagination of anyone who loves boxing, or is in two those narratives. Though Mayweather and Pacquiao may not be the direct posters of Good versus Evil, their stories play well enough to merit a huge clash to the casual follower.

Manny Pacquiao fills the good natured narrative, he has remained largely humble throughout his career, he has been invincible and vulnerable at some point of his rise, and he’s grown from the scrawny bantamweight to one the most lethal and exciting welterweights that ever graced the boxing ring. Mayweather on the other hand is a Savant, untouchable both in and out of the ring, loud mouthed and proud, never really to censor himself to opinion, and has less care about being careful or politically correct. But despite his character he is undefeated, a boxer you hate for his antics, but you secretly follow for his genius inside the ring.

This fight represents the contrast of all contrasts. Pacquiao’s career has been built on excitement, on unparalleled speed and power, on the humble warrior outside but a vicious executioner inside. When you watch a Pacquiao match you see that crowd pleaser flashing smiles to his fans, with an ever-growing proficiency in the English language he’s learned to say “I’ll fight anyone anytime” to an even better degree, without even flinching a jab at the opponent’s character.

Mayweather on the other hand has been carefully destroying all his opponents, both through interviews and in fights, whether in admirable or even sometimes less gentlemanly methods. His unblemished record is undeniable, and his skill is almost unmatched. Their personal lives have taken different roads one has been elected into public office, the other served jail time, but their paths continue to cross as much as its been dodged or avoided.

This is explosive unworldly offense versus deductive genius defense and no one could have written it better, this is why this fight has to happen.

In a book by Karen Healey, she says, “Stories change us. They change the world. People are stories of themselves.”

Pacquiao and Mayweather are stories that continue to unfold, but we all want them to end this chapter before the light of their fight fades, their conclusion should be at the center of the ring, and all of the world watching.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 26, 2014.

Opinion

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