Earlier this year, Manny Pacquiao committed to attending the Boxing Writers Association of America dinner in New York City on June 13. But the week of the event, he changed his mind and decided to not attend. It was more than understandable, Pacquiao was a grueling 20-hour flight away, back home in the Philippines, spending time with his wife and children. Who would want to leave that for a minor award from a bunch of American boxing writers? 20 hours on a plane for a token award, then 20 hours back?
It’s a long flight, one the Pac-Man has already had to make, probably too many times he’d care to remember. If he decided to skip the BWAA event, nobody could really blame him. And it’s not like his reputation would be marred in any way. Pacquiao is the king of boxing now, he is an honorable class act, well beyond any possible refute.
But Pacquiao decided to change his mind again, and decided to honor his word and attend the BWAA dinner. He arrived in New York on Thursday, the day before the dinner, and accepted the award on Friday night, signed a ton of autographs and took another ton of photos. Then he sat ringside for the Cotto-Clottey fight on Saturday. Pacquiao hopped a plane back to the Philippines on Sunday.
The BWAA leaders really appreciate this gesture from Manny Pacquiao, especially when just a decade ago, an award-winning champion was already in New York because he was fighting that weekend at Madison Square Garden. But this champ decided to take it easy and rest the night before his battle and opted not to attend the dinner (which was only a few blocks away) to accept his award. Not even an in-and-out, 20-minute appearance. Nothing.
But Manny Pacquiao kept his word. 20 hours and 20 hours on a plane all for one minor BWAA Fight of the Year award. In and out of the ring, at all times, Manny Pacquiao shows the world how a true champion is supposed to be. A natural born inspiration, Manny Pacquiao deserves all the credit that comes his way. And more.