Monday, April 27, 2015

Pacqiuao Shows Boxing's Positive Side

Boxing can take a real beating sometimes. People think it's immoral. People think it's distasteful. People think it isn't a real sport. Fortunately there are figures who emerge to prove that none of those things are true. Manny Pacquiao is one of those figures.

Here is man who literally lived in a hut, who literally went hungry as a kid, whose life was literally in danger when he was a youth. The sport of boxing has indeed saved the Filipino, and a whole lot of other people indirectly. For Manny, who earned a whopping two dollars for his first match, now gives a lot back - a whole lot back.

There's a reason the dude is so idolized.

He's also perfectly at ease with his profession. A devout Christian, he's personally told me he sees nothing ethically wrong with his job. That job, as far as Pacquiao is concerned, is getting the best of his fellow man - not killing him, not giving him brain damage - simply getting the best of him.

There is a lot of collateral damage in boxing - as there is in a lot of professions. Those professions aren't condemned out of hand, however. Gerald Washington, a rising heavyweight who once played in the NFL, told me that pro football is a lot more dangerous than pro boxing.

No one wants to condemn the NFL outright, however. People merely want the rugged sport of football to be as safe as possible. Why can't the same good will be shown towards boxing? Indeed it can be, when someone like Pacqauio is in the spotlight.

For Manny is a simple, humble man, someone who few, if any, would say isn't honorable. In fact, he's a nice counterpoint to a lot of today's athletes. I once spoke to the man in New York, where he was being very aggressively pursued by the media. Needless to say, Pacquiao was a lot more patient and polite with me than I myself might have been at that moment.

That's something that might be worth remembering - especially for those willing to write off the fight game entirely.

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