When Manny Pacquiao said he’s dedicating his boxing match with WBC lightweight champ Mexican American David Diaz on June 28, 2008 to the victims of the Typhoon Frank, it’s the best the fighter can do for the Filipinos. At a time when there has been much to despair about in a country rocked by unsolved scandals and natural calamities, Pacquiao dashed out in the wind to stand firmly on his word.
On Saturday, in the Mandalay Bay Events in Las Vegas, Nevada, the boxer from Gen. Santos City electrified the nation anew with a record-breaking performance.
“Manny Pacquiao knocks out David Diaz in the ninth round to become the new World Boxing Council lightweight champion. Pacquiao has made history as the first Asian to win world titles in four different weight classes, and the first Filipino to become a lightweight champion. Inquirer (06/30/08)
“What a masterpiece,” the president said after watching Pacquiao demolish his opponent. “Manny once again showed the sterling quality of excellence of a Filipino at his best. We rejoice with the whole nation in his victory,” Mrs. Arroyo said in statement released by Press Secretary Jesus Dureza. Philstar. (06/30/80, Romero.P.)
Sen. Benigno Aquino III said Pacquiao’s win also boosts the country’s “wounded pride,” after having landed in the top list of most corrupt nations. Malaya (06/30.08, Vigilia W.et al)
Surely Manny is great! (see AP/Reuters photos) Millions of people simply adore him. His phenomenal boxing record makes his fans forget their failures and despair. Because of his winnings, he is rich in almost all counts. His triumphs and fame attract all kinds of people whose motives anyone could guess. In spite of his meager education, politicians think he’s a good material for an elective post in the government. In May 2007 elections, he ran for a congressional seat in his town but lost.
For all the thrills and allure of boxing, there’s a price to pay. Adding to the face-disfiguring cuts, bruises, and scars a boxer endures, there is his brain, like a jello, that’s repeatedly jabbed, rattled, and whacked by a pugilist’s glove. There are those who die with lethal injuries in the sport. This is a reason why boxing, like bloody cockfighting, is such a controversial sport. You only need to watch the great Muhammad Ali wobble with tremors, fidget in his festinating gait, and put up that wry smile with mask-like plasticity to understand why. =0=