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Published:April 1st, 2007 09:33 EST
Manny Pacquiao: a True Boxing Icon

Manny Pacquiao: a True Boxing Icon

By Joey Liam

Whenever the name Manny Pacquiao is mentioned, everyone who hears it feels an unexplained excitement. Who would not feel this way? We are referring to the Destroyer, Pacman, and the Mexican Assassin of boxing. As Larry Merchant puts it, “Pacquiao is the most exciting fighter ever to come out of Asia and is considered as the boxing’s pound for pound King of the world.” Who would dare challenge this pronouncement of Mr. Merchant? Even Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, two of Mexico’s living boxing legends whom Pacquiao destroyed and annihilated, concur and would not even raise any dispute. In fact, the great Erik Morales even befriended Pacquiao after the final fight of their boxing trilogy and went to the Philippines to shoot a beer commercial with the Filipino icon.

Although Pacquiao entertains his fans when he puts on his gloves and climbs up the ring to fight, many are obviously displease with his recent decision to enter politics. Another uneventful fiasco happened when Pacquiao signed promotional contracts with Bob Arum of Top Rank and Oscar de la Hoya of the Golden Boy Promotions. Now these two giant promoters are battling neck to neck and are in legal disputes as to who really has the right to promote the biggest name in boxing today – Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

Boxing is Pacquiao’s world, not politics. Many friends and supporters of the People’s Champ have the same outcry when Pacquiao pronounces his candidacy for a congressional seat in South Cotabato. His aim is to dethrone the incumbent Congresswoman, Darlene Antonino-Custodio. The latter does not seem to have a remarkable feat in Congress so Pacquiao might once again conquer another coveted title outside the ring. The only problem is that Pacquiao is losing focus on training whenever he campaigns for his Congressional seat. Only when he fights Jorge Solis on April 14th will we find out if his political plan does not have any effect on his physical and mental preparations. However, if he loses, it can also come handy as a good alibi.

Without any bigotry or prejudice involved, one can readily say that Manny Pacquiao is really the hero of Philippine boxing. He achieved greater exploits than the former greats in the likes of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Rolando Navarette, Rolando Bohol, and Luisito Espinosa. Although all these boxers mentioned have made names for themselves and have been champions in their own right, none of them has really equaled the dynamic presence and astounding popularity of the Super Champion Manny Pacquiao. No matter what the outcome of the upcoming election will be, Pacquiao will remain in the hearts of the Filipino people as the greatest Pinoy pugilist ever and a magnificent hero of the masses.