It's never exactly gone under the radar that former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is 7-foot-6, which is quite tall for a human, but the degree to which we recognize and are awestruck by his height has increased significantly following his retirement from the NBA after the 2010-11 season.
Since Yao hung up his size 18s, Internet users have marveled at photographic evidence that he is taller/bigger than a wide variety of people and things, including (but not limited to) figure skater Michelle Kwan, a rhinoceros, a baby elephant, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, politicians at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, a waitress and all of the other great big men in Rockets history. We really enjoy remembering that every photo of Yao looks fake, yet somehow isn't, even if we already know it.
So, in the interest of furthering that remembrance so that we might never forget, here is Yao Ming meeting boxers Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, who, it seems are not as tall as he is:
For the record, Pacquiao is listed at 5-foot-7, while Rios — whose two fights against Mike Alvarado, while I'd never claim to be a boxing expert, are two of the best things I have watched in the past year — is listed at 5-foot-8. Yao is nearly two feet taller than both of them.
Pacquiao and Rios met Yao in China during a promotional trip to drum up interest in their Nov. 24 pay-per-view fight. It is good that they will be punching an opponent of roughly even size, rather than one of Yao's stature, because that would be a real "Little Mac" type of situation. No word yet as to whether Yao will be in attendance at the fight, which will be held in Macau, but I'm pretty sure we'll be able to spot him if he's in the house.
Hat-tip to BoxingScene.com.
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