Mainly now, money is what makes Pacquiao fight
By Al S. Mendoza
IT is a given that every boxer fights mainly for money.
Only a hypocrite will deny that.
Why would a boxer not endure pain in exchange for money?
No pain, no gain.
In fact, with some luck, a boxer can amass a fortune beyond his wildest dreams.
On this, Manny Pacquiao is the best example.
Endowed with a natural boxing ability, Pacquiao got the luck of attracting the attention of world-caliber handlers/managers.
That has always been the key to a successful boxer: A combination of sound skills, trainer and a promoter/manager.
You are a good boxer but without a good trainer/promoter, you are nothing.
Your skills will just go to waste.
You have a good trainer/promoter but are lacking in sound skills and deadly punches, you are nothing.
You are not cut out for boxing.
In the beginning, Pacquiao had only unpolished skills and brute power.
And then Freddie Roach, the eagle-eyed trainer, saw him.
Thus began a chemistry that was soon augmented by events leading to the formation of a perfect trio: a good trainer (Roach), talented boxer (Pacquiao) and a manager/promoter (Bob Arum) of unquestioned cunning.
Before Pacquiao shacked up with Roach in 2001, Pacquiao’s career was on a roller-coaster.
In only their first team-up, Pacquiao knocked out Ledwaba to capture one of his eight world crowns in eight different divisions.
Five years later, Pacquiao signed up Arum as his promoter.
I was right there in Las Vegas when the historic document was inked, just hours after Pacquiao knocked Eric Morales out in the third round of their concluding trilogy.
The triumvirate has since dominated world boxing, leading to Pacquiao’s accumulation of 11 unprecedented world titles to date.
Now a billionaire, Pacquiao has even become a senator—the only boxer worldwide to have achieved that gigantic political feat.
At 38, Pacquiao could easily retire from boxing and possibly devote his time to crafting laws for the good of our athletes—mainly his fellow boxers.
But no. In fact, he is fighting again shortly.
On July 2, Pacquiao will face Jeff Horn, a virtual unknown from Brisbane, Australia.
A former schoolteacher, Horn holds an unbeaten record of 16-0-1, with 11 knockouts.
Intimidating? Not really. His victims are all unranked; if some were apple-pickers, waiters, I won’t be surprised.
So, why is Pacquiao fighting a nondescript?
Money. From this admittedly non-blockbuster bout, our Fighting Senator will stash away $7.5 million. Not bad.
But caution must be thrown to the wind.
As always, boxing is capable of producing upsets of monstrous proportions.
No one, not even Pacquiao, is exempt from life’s tragedies.
Pray, he survives.