LAS VEGAS: No matter what the result of the Fight of the Century on Saturday evening (Sunday morning Manila Time) will be, our very own Manny Pacquiao will remain a better man than Floyd Mayweather, who had been convicted and jailed for beating a woman.
A victory by Mayweather (heaven forbid) won’t change the fact that he’s a certified woman-beater, for which his own son had called him a “coward.” Mayweather’s well-publicized generosity to girls in Las Vegas strip joints won’t erase this “certification.” Oh yes, this “generosity” to fun girls is nothing compared to Pacquiao’s readiness to dip into his pocket to help the poor and ordinary people in need. Mayweather sees nothing wrong in ostentatiously displaying his immense wealth and revels in having “Money” as his nickname.
A number of discerning commentators had wondered why Mayweather has remained such a big draw despite his frailties. Football and baseball players who were involved in domestic violence were justifiably punished by the public and by their own clubs. How come no such thing happened to the unrepentant Mayweather who continues to lord it over in fight negotiations and gets lionized by media?
Mayweather may be the richest athlete on Earth and Saturday’s fight will make him richer. Not all the money in the world, however, can add to his humanity. It’s no wonder that Mohammad Ali, who’s definitely a greater boxer than Mayweather, picks Pacquiao for his humanity. I also noted than an online poll by the highly respected Las Vegas Review Journal showed 74 percent of readers believe Pacquiao will win. “Maybe most of the participants were Filipinos,” my daughter Irene quipped. Ah, but Mayweather is a native of Las Vegas and the LV Review Journal is well read here so there must be a reason why an overwhelming majority of the survey participants don’t favor a win by Mayweather.
All boxing aficionados had been clamoring for this fight but when it became a certainty, odds makers immediately installed Mayweather a 3-1 favorite. Why the hubbub for Pacquiao and Mayweather to fight if it will be a one-sided affair? A lot of bettors here in Las Vegas immediately took up the 3-1 odds and bet for Pacquiao. This caused the odds maker at South Point Hotel and Casino to moan that should Pacquiao win, their losses will run to seven figures. The odds have narrowed down although still in Mayweather’s favor.
No, I’m not in Las Vegas to watch the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight at MGM Grand. The “cheapest” ticket is beyond the reach of an ordinary columnist like me. And even a number of the rich ones who could afford it weren’t able to buy one as the measly 500 tickets made available to the public last week got sold out within two minutes. Some 20 of our congressmen are extremely lucky because they have been assured, reportedly by Pacquiao, of getting tickets. Had it not been for the low availability of tickets, more Filipino legislators would surely have flown to Las Vegas.
Now, the pay-per-view might also be more expensive this time but it’s more affordable to the ordinary worker. My daughter Irene, a certified pharmacist, and her boyfriend Jerry Lopez, who works at the Clark County court, have subscribed to the PPV and they will be hosting more than 20 people at their residence this Saturday. They have already prepared quite a menu for their guests, all of whom are Pacquiao fans. A Pacquiao fight is always an occasion for reunion of family members and friends. The crowd will be boisterous this Saturday, especially if Pacquiao wins. I hope it won’t be a boring fight and that Mayweather won’t hesitate to engage Pacquiao toe-to-toe, like what Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito did when they fought our champion.
Oh yes, I saw a replay of the fight between Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya where Pacquiao made mincemeat of the Golden Boy’s boxing prowess. What I couldn’t fathom is why Ilocos Gov. Chavit Singson appeared unhappy when Pacman was declared winner by technical knockout. Look at the replay and you’ll see that this is true.