Why is boxing again with Manny Pacquiao?
It's to smile and keep on being Manny Pacquiao.
He is a legendary boxer who will fight in his 82nd game. He is one of only twelve Philippine senators. And if this is not sufficient, on 9 May 2022 he's almost a certain presidential candidate.
His cup has passed. His life is chaos without interruption. He pulled his socks every day in nine different directions. One of the most important Olympic stories of the last weeks was that athletes succumb to expectations and demands. If Pacquiao had the same thing, he should now be a water puddle.
He will step into another boxing ring on Saturday at the 20,000-seat T-Mobil Arena in Las Vegas. This part should be at least straightforward. One place, one adversary, let your puffs fly. But as in boxing, in the life of Pacquiao, the insecure prevails.
Tuesday, his camp was told that Errol Spence Jr., the fighter it was to meet, had to pull out, highly regarded and unbeat. Spence's left eye had a loose retina that could not only have upset Pacquiao's big payday but also his career. Pacquiao issued a politically correct and sympathetic statement with the veteran equilibrium of an air traffic controller immediately: "I thank God that the tear in Erol's eye was uncovered before further damages were caused."
He then went on to work with his team on a reconstruction project. The battle. Another would be, there'd be a story, and people will still have the chance to go to Vegas and buy tickets or sit at home for a payroll. Boxing has a way to get on its feet in the cash flow arena.
Now Yordenis Ugas will be battled by Pacquiao for the WBA title of 147 pounds. The Pacquiao-Spence undercard is scheduled for Ugas, therefore he was ready and primed. The story that fell into the lap is that Ugas was granted the title of WBA as World Boxing Assn. people decided Pacquiao didn't struggle sufficiently to retain the title he won in the July 2019 battle against Keith Thurman. Now Ugas is going to have to pick up the belt in the ring and not over the phone.
It's Cuba's Ugas. At the 2008 Olympics, he won a bronze medal. He has 26-4 records, 21 knockouts. Just over a week after the hype machine was recalibrated, the new mantra became: The stolen title must now be requested as real in the ring.
Spence's youthfulness and unbeaten record were the hallmarks for Pacquiao's wagers, especially as Pacquiao is 42 years old and should be worn out and vulnerable at this time. But then, it's that that drove Thurman's bet, who's been put on the lens twice, a body shot once. Now Spence's replacement is only seven years younger than Pacquiao, with a default title and a resume that seems less than ready for prime time.
The other story is that Pacquiao was preparing to be left, and the right hand is Ugas, so Pacquiao might not be prepared. The other story is that Spence is left. Go on. Go on. Take it to the window of betting.
Pacquiao fights again, the only true story.
All of this started at the age of 16 and began to fight and win at Pfund 108. He had no difficulty gaining weight since he rarely had enough to eat. He left home long before the first pro fight, because he had only become one mouth to feed again. He scratched like a street urchin, took what he could and boxed a couple of pesos wherever they would.
Now he's going to stick to his talk of top boxers in the best time after winning 12 Titles in an unprecedented eight Divisions. What raises the apparent question: why?
"Boxing is my passion," he said for the 14,296th time answering the same question while smiling around the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood and looking around. Everywhere there are pictures of him with a number of famous people and a number of trophies and titles. The west wall is surrounded by three giant flags — Mexico, the US and the Philippines. Younger boxers around him are slugging the heavy bag and exhale it with a noise at each contact that sends your pet to hide below the couch. Sparring to stop the bells clang. More to begin it then. The smell of sweat, which is from photographers, is overwhelming.
It's home to Pacquiao, a lifelong boxer and full-time philanthropist.
Freddie Roach, the owner of Wild Card, is his soulmate, adviser and strategist for 21 years and has survived dozens of other counselors, physics coaches, hustlers, schemers and sycophants. He has a long history with Wild Card. Roach's 61-year-old had 53 pro fighting — 'Ten more than I should' — and is still suffering the Parkinson's disease.
To become Pacquiao's main cornerman, you must do the mitts, i.e. put the pads on each hand and move them for a sequence. If the sequence is wrong with Pacquiao or the mitt doesn't go right, Roach gets struck. Roach spends his hands on ice occasionally at night. His head sometimes. Despite Parkinson, that he can still do this is outstanding.
Roach, whose gymnastics business prosper without the help of Pacquiao, says that Pacquiao is "my best thing ever." His first meeting is remembered.
"Muhammad Ali just came into the fitness center to visit it." "I was excited to say something like that one day I hoped Ali would go in next. He did it two weeks later. This dumb little kid from the Philippines wanted someone to do witches."
It was 2000, and very quickly they were thrown into a title fight as a replacement against a champion of bantamweight (123 pounds), who defended his title. They said they didn't have a chance. They've been told mistakenly. Pacquiao won and never looked back with a technical knockout.
He didn't stop going out either. Long before he decided to run for his office, Pacquiao wanted to "help the people" but not the usual start-to-set-to-write-checking roles developed through philanthropy. He made millions of people in his fighting in Las Vegas and would go back to the Philippines, stay in the Philippines a few days and then welcome gathering people in the south of the country outside his home. It took help to people. His days on the street he remembered. Outside, they lined up. He gave food and money. He gave them.
Soon, he heard about the fisherman's regional problems. They couldn't row far enough to reach the fish that they had to catch. So, he purchased outboard engines for them. Hundreds of them. Hundreds of them. He decided more recently to focus on the housing crisis in his vicinity. He purchased land and built a thousand houses, and then he left them.
"I just went to tell them that they had a new house," he told them. "At first, they were unable to believe it. It was theirs, I told them the house was not owing money. They wept and then I wept."
Now this magnanimity has faced a much greater challenge, one with international consequences. The big-hearted boxer whose second frequent saying after "My passion is boxing" is "I want to help the people," can become the president of the Philippines.
Naturally, this is fraught with anything like anything in Philippine politics – or perhaps politics anywhere.
Sen. Pacquiao is one of a few people that will take part in the elections in May 2022. Currently Polls have a middle or below prospect of winning. The current chairman, Rodrigo Duterte, whose term expires, is a long-standing ally from the same political party as Pacquiao. That ended recently, when Duterte's health services department and COVID-19 response called Pacquiao out for his soft stance about China and perceived corruption in the field. Pacquiao says some $10.4 billion has disappeared from public funding for virus relief.
Duterte reacted by calling Pacquiao "punch-drunk" and now has the idea that, alongside his daughter Sara, the presidential candidate, he would run for vice president. Politically Nepotism? Who was aware? Who was aware?
Pacquiao tried to take care not to directly point his finger to Duterte. Duterte, for his part, is not least careful to rip Pacquiao.
"The only way my country can move forward is to end corruption," says Pacquiao. "I hate corruption."
In a bulletproof vest, Pacquiao is a Boxing Senator. He keeps on, on his face, the ever-present little grin. His axiom is on the wall at Wild Card: "If you stop and cast stones at every dog that boards," he says. His worked axiom is Winston Churchill.
In the Philippines, they speculate that, for financial and image reasons, Pacquiao struggles again to promote his presidential campaign. Two years ago, when he struck the boxing world with the bigger, stronger, younger Thurman, his stature rose. his political stature. A similar reaction was invoked by the Beating Spence. Not so much to beat Ugas. But there are those in the Philippines who don't think of the adversary even. You are just wondering how much damage boxing should risk one of your leaders.
All of this is seen by Roach. He's drawn it out.
"Two more I want," he says. He says. "I want one where the Philippine president defended his boxing title." "I want that.