T is becoming increasingly evident that some elements in the US media have, with the persistent prodding by Golden Boy Promotions and former Swiss banker Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, launched an insidious campaign to undermine the incredible achievements of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and create doubts in the minds of fight fans about whether he is clean of performance-enhancing drugs.
They keep harping on the falsehood that Manny refused to take the random drug tests when, in fact, the only dispute was over how close such tests should be to his planned fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao initially said he was prepared to let them test all they want one day before the kickoff media conference, 30 days before the fight and immediately after the fight.
He then offered to bring the date closer to 24 days before the fight, while Mayweather insisted on 14. Any qualified doctor with no loyalties to either side will tell you that if indeed Pacquiao is on any illegal substance, it would be detected 24 days before and certainly right after the fight. In short, the 10-day gap wouldn’t make a difference. But Mayweather refused and walked away.
Now that he has agreed to fight Shane Mosley – a confessed user of performance-enhancing drugs -- Mayweather is being extolled, while Manny is being damned by some. In fact, Lou Block of Now Boxing and who cautions those who make comments in response to his article to refrain from vulgar or racist remarks, claims that Mayweather will fight “the real welterweight champion” in Shane Mosley.
This, to us, is in itself vulgar because it refuses to accept the truth that Pacquiao, the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, who hammered Miguel Cotto into submission in 12 rounds, is Ring Magazine’s champion and the pound-for-pound king and was named Boxer of the Year by the World Boxing Council, is the best. Block, by his statement that any blockhead will understand, implies that Manny is not the real welterweight champion. If he’s not the real champion, the implied conclusion is, he’s fake. And for all his protestations about racist remarks, we feel that this in itself showed underlying racist tendencies of refusing to accept the fact that a poor boy from a little town in Southern Philippines could fight his way to the top of the world and into the hearts and homes of millions both at home and abroad.
Has Block conveniently forgotten that Cotto beat Mosley some two years before Pacquiao pulverized Cotto to win the WBO welterweight title? In short, Pacquiao beat the man, who beat the man, yet in the jaundiced view of Block, Mosley is the real welterweight champion.
With the absence of any genuine American champions in the mould of a Muhammad Ali or a Sugar Ray Leonard, or even an Oscar De La Hoya, it is understandable perhaps that our friends from across the Pacific feel bad and wish to put the “Hero of Asia” in his proper place, just like the mighty US tries to do to any nation that stands up to its self-appointed role as policeman and guardian of the world’s morals.
Indeed, an article by the respected boxingscene.com writer TK Stewart gave us an insight into this aspect of the Pacquiao put down when he wrote “Like baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet -- Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. and “Sugar” Shane Mosley are red, white and blue through and through.”
Pained by the domination of fighters from former Soviet states and even Britain’s ex-cruiserweight David Haye of the heavyweight ranks, which was America’s unchallenged territory for decades, there is no way they could much longer stand the fact that a fighter from a developing country and former colony – the Philippines – could dominate every single fighter thrown into the ring with him – including The Golden Boy. Yet at the same time, Pacquiao emerged as a humble, charismatic individual, who thanks God for all his blessings.
Remember how he stooped down to give David Diaz a helping hand? Remember how much concern he showed when Ricky Hatton went down and was separated from his senses? Remember how he embraced De La Hoya after Oscar quit on his stool and told him “you are still my hero?”
That is a fighter and a gentleman of the finest order. He is our hero and will remain so forever, no matter what anybody says because, even though Lou Block may not agree, Manny Pacquiao is not just the real welterweight champion, he is the only pound-for-pound king, the only fighter to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions and perhaps the greatest fighter of all time, whether you gentlemen like it not.
Perhaps, the most telling indictment of those who try desperately and in the meanest possible manner belittle the Filipino superstar, was handed down Monday by the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America. They not only voted Pacquiao as The Fighter of the Year, they also named him Fighter of the Decade, following the Fighter of the Year awards by Ring Magazine and ESPN. What better proof of the man’s qualities as a fighter and a gentleman?