Manny Pacquiao has been complimented by various members of the media for the subdued manner in which he reacted to his controversial split decision loss to Timothy Bradley last Saturday.
Deemed as classy and gentlemanly by some, applauded for his sportsmanship by others, the 8-division world champ didn't raise a fuss or even raise his voice after the horrible call against him at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"That's how we love this boxing," Pacquiao said in the post-fight press conference. "But, you know, I respect the decision, but 100% I believe I won the fight. But anyway, we have to respect my opponent also...we have to respect, give credit to him."
One could see the hurt and betrayal in Pacquiao's eyes as he talked to the gathered media. It was a moment that, unfortunately, is representative of Pacquiao in so many ways and of the way he has allowed himself to be treated.
The Filipino pop culture icon is a true crossover star and carries with him all of the power and influence that goes along with a true mass following of fans. The fact is that Manny has the power to get a lot of things done on his own behalf and, frankly, should be doing some of these things. Plenty of people have made good sums of money off his name and good will, many more have benefited from the fighter's blind eye when it comes to abusing the privilege of working with him. Simply put, there is a long line of people who hungrily push to take advantage of him and Pacquiao, in the guise of being a "good" guy and, now, a good Christian, let's them walk all over him.
Pacquiao wields enough power to get a lot of things done. At the very least, he should use that power to prevent himself from being taken advantage of. There's no honor in being the patsy or fall guy for everyone who wants to push him around to their own economic benefit. Remember, all money lost and all career momentum suffered is at the expense of Manny and his family.
Pacquiao could put his foot down and demand to be treated with respect and demand that the people around him play fairly. Instead, he just goes along with the ride, manipulated by all those around him and, like a cow that falls into a piranha-infested lake, has chunks of flesh ripped off his body while still alive. Soon, he may find that there's just no more flesh to give and he will then be pushed to the side, left to his own devices without 99% of those who now claim to be his friends and close business allies.
There's nothing wrong with defending yourself or protecting your good name from being abused for the financial benefit of others. It's time for Manny to step up and fight for his career and good name with the same bravery he shows in the ring.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Ben Thompson, MANNY PACQUIAO: "100% I BELIEVE I WON...FANS, IN YOUR HEART, YOU KNOW", Fighthype