May 3, 2015, PH. The boxing fight of the century. Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao, or whom we love to call “Pacman” and the “People’s Champ” has lost to his 5-year anticipated American rival, Floyd “Money” Mayweather in Las Vegas via unanimous decision.
Nevertheless, it does not make him less of a Champion. There are probably about a thousand of opinions that are looming around the world about the fight right now and maybe my opinion wouldn’t matter to some, but heck, this one goes to the People’s Champ. I am but an ordinary Pacquaio fan and for so many reasons.
I have a die-hard Pacman fan for a husband. My husband and I share the same passion and that is to support the great boxer in the littlest ways we can. I could remember that startling face-down defeat of Manny to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, my husband was as broken hearted as I was that he had tears in his eyes (yes, we love him that much). I am just lucky to have someone as fond as me when it comes to being a Pacquiao fan. My husband had a grandpa who was also an avid Pac-fan. Whenever Lolo Paeng would put on play his favorite CD of compiled videos of Pacman’s fights, people would huddle outside their house and watch all day. One too many times he would play the CD over and over again. Some think it was excessive, I thought otherwise. Really think it was rather cool. Too bad, Lolo Paeng passed away too soon before the fight of the century.
Vulnerable yet resilient. As far as I know, Pacquiao always fought clean and always was a good sport. Inside the ring he was no dirty player. But then came the time when his “issues” on gaming, booze and infidelity spread to the media. Yes, it had us kind of upset, but then come to think of it, “Who are we to judge the champ?” I mean, he’s also just a man. He may be vulnerable like the rest of us, but he sure has been resilient like no other. Little did we know that his imperfections were about to become candidate for God’s glory. He then became a totally changed man.
A stronger man on His knees. His turning point in life when he became a Christian was what had me so much fonder of him. He wasn’t just a renowned boxer anymore; he was a disciple of Jesus Christ, preaching God’s good news to people. He was not ashamed of his faith. It mattered to him more than anything else that even before his big fight he was still sharing his faith in Jesus. Many of us think of a strong person as someone who is never down. In my case, Pacman is so much more than that – He knows that a man is stronger on His knees, in prayer.
A paradigm of Hope. I bet God really chose Pacquiao for a great reason. Yes, he had his downs, but you see, he never loses hope. Hope never ends for Pacman. The way he manages to put on that Pinoy smile in the face of loss (and God know what else of conspiracies he had to deal during the game) is what makes him unbreakable. It’s something that really gives the rest of us a sense of hope.
My view on the last fight. I am neither a boxing analyst nor have I tried the actual sport itself (though, I would really love to). However, it’s just rather disheartening that his evident courage and prowess as an offensive boxer was technically disregarded in the point system during the fight. I don’t know, maybe they were technically right as far as accuracy of punch landing is concerned (still, I really doubt it), but maybe through a tally via a boxer’s caliber required in the sport, the scores way were too ridiculous.
Perhaps, you might say that I’m just one of the viewers siding to Pacman. Perhaps the so-called judges are too pro for anyone to question their familiarity with the game. Perhaps, I, along with other people, just really don’t know that well how the game goes. Perhaps, I am just as bewildered as Manny was after having announced who the new champ was. Perhaps. No one would really know what is for sure.
All I know is that Manny gave his best; never gave up, never backed out nor backed down. He did that entirely not just for him but most especially for the ones who believe in him – like the ordinary fan that I am.
Finale: God’s Favor is with him. Before the fight, he told his pastor that God will bless him with favor. At some point, like me, maybe, for a second, Manny felt it sort of difficult to believe that the favor of God was with Him after the decision. But then I realized that Jesus really never failed him. And as surely as a faithful man of God that Manny is today, he will have already come to realize that by now. God did give his favor to Pacquiao but not as straightforward as the human mind can simply assume, but through what God thought was way cooler of a favor. He was blessed with favor, not by the three judges, but by a greater number of people not only in the PH but all over the world. He was the truer champion – in and out of the ring.