He tells us he just wants people to be happy to watch him fight. He tells us he feels like an ordinary fighter.
But no ordinary fighter laughs and smiles as he walks into the ring to face the toughest opponent of his career in Miguel Cotto.
We know the risks of boxing, one punch could, God forbid, end a fighter’s life. One punch could do permanent damage and ruin a good fighter’s career. But Manny Pacquiao smiles and laughs in the face of danger. Nothing seems to bother Manny Pacquiao.
This is a superhuman fighting machine, a modern marvel, a magician, a wizard, a devastating wrecking machine, a lightning bolt puncher who can take the world’s best fighters and make them look almost mediocre, as he physically destroys them.
Miguel Cotto looked like he had a chance in the first few rounds – but suddenly, some adjustments were made and it became a domination.
For most of the fight, the powerful Cotto looked like a bulldog being overwhelmed and shredded by a swarm of piranhas.
Every decade or so there is an awe-inspring force which takes over the sport with his breathtaking skills and powers to excite. Tyson and Ali did it. Leonard and Duran did too. So did Jack Dempsey, Ray Robinson, Joe Louis. Now it’s Manny Pacquiao’s time to carry the sport on his shoulders.
These all time superstars are not manufactured by handpicking opponents, making smart business decision, or ducking and dodging, they become what they are by fearlessly fighting and conquering the best. There is no organized process to create a boxing superstar like these great champions, it just happens naturally. Manny Pacquiao is the personification of the latest, greatest natural superstar…while his arch-nemisis Floyd Mayweather is the perfect example of a manufactured, corporate created pseudo-star.
They are supposed to clash next in 2010 but don’t expect to see that fight. Mayweather knows Pacquiao is everything he is not, everything he wishes he could be. The real vs. the fake. The hero vs. the fraud. The modest vs. the arrogant. The fearless vs. the bully. The superstar vs. the wanna be. The idol of millions vs. the freak show. Mayweather is a known dodger who never fights anyone who can knock his head off. He isn’t about to start now, not with the most formidable threat of his career standing before him. Look for Mayweather to excuse himself out of the fight everyone wants to see, one way or another.
But that’s okay. Manny Pacquiao has gone as high as any man can in the sport of boxing. Seven world titles in seven different weight classes. He reached the top of the mountain on Saturday night in Las Vegas. He has reached the ultimate echelon in boxing history, as Emanuel Steward says he ranks Super Manny Pacquiao right there “with Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali.”
In other words, Manny Pacquiao is among the greatest.