Manny (Pacquiao) himself has always seemed generous and open-hearted, just happy to be where he is. It’s a long way from living on the streets after your drunken father ate your dog. During the stare-off with his opponent he could not stop smiling. Addressing his fans, he told them not to worry because he was doing the fighting, not them. Very considerate of him. I wonder if he was aware that he was speaking epic hero language: I will carry this burden for you. Maybe he is aware of it, having written and sung that song (covered on TV by Jimmy Kimmell, who has always treated Pacquiao with great respect, never mocking his English the way we do).
But the “Fight of the Century” wasn’t about being a good human being, it was all about money and hype. I like the boxing scholar who said a “fight of the century” must have a social dimension: Lewis vs Schmeling, in which a black man was fighting for the free world against Nazism; Ali vs Frazier, after Ali had taken a stand against the Vietnam War. There was no social import here: Mayweather was not making a statement on the riots in Baltimore or the death of black men in police custody. This fight was purely about money.
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