Sunday, February 14, 2010

Manny Pacquiao: You've Got the Love

Manny PacquiaoI'm going to hold my hands up striaght away and admit that I've had more than a few Guinness to drink this evening.

The unheralded heroes of Bleacher Report, the editorial team, might have their hands full with this effort of mine. It will be even more incoherent than anything in my "archive." And that's saying something.

I was listening to the song "You've Got the Love" by Florence and the Machine on my way home from the bar, or pub if you are a fellow Irishman, tonight. And it finally hit me.

Manny Pacquiao is awesome. He is just so damn good. Simple as that.

I joined this website a few months ago as a strong Floyd Mayweather fan. I have continued my support for the American throughout my, for want of a more appropriate turn of phrase, Bleacher Report "career." As I absent-mindedly type out these words, I would still class myself as a huge fan of Mayweather's. More and more these days, it seems like such a being is a rarity.

But I am writing now about Manny Pacquiao. I will hold my hands up again and say that this 'article' is a contradiction to what I have I have said in the past. I could not understand why so many people were worshipping this guy. Literally.

At this point, if I was more sober, I would attempt to provide a link to an article that was published here comparing Pacquiao to an angel of God. If the author of that piece is reading this, do not hesitate to post a link to it in the comments section. In it, I think you'll find a rather crass response from myself. I'm sorry about that.

For whatever reason, as I was listening to my ipod, I started to think about Manny Pacquiao. I started to smile to myself.

I thought about his victories over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. I thought about how he beat those two guys up. And not just any guys either. These were fighters that have commanded serious respect in the sport of boxing over the past decade. Fighters that have won belts in multiple weight classes, and have squared off against the very best in the business.

Manny Pacquiao destroyed both of these two fighters. I recalled both the fights to my memory. I smiled.

And then I remembered his fight against Miguel Cotto. I had to say it to myself twice. Miguel. Cotto.

Two years ago, I thought this Puerto Rican pugilist was unbeatable. Only Floyd Mayweather would be able to mix it with him. Overlooking his now dubious defeat to Antonio Margarito, how wrong was I?

Pacquiao, combining speed and power, defied my expectations and taught him a boxing lesson. It was a joy to behold. On reflection, it is a fight that I will never forget.

The opening three rounds of the bout were some of the best I have ever seen. The remaining nine were memorable for a different reason. It marked the dawn of a new era in boxing.

The era of Manny Pacquiao.

It made me smile.

I have condemned people on this website for glorifying Pacquiao. Article after article has been written about the man. The fiasco with Mayweather has only added to the blog traffic dedicated to him.

I have finally given in to my steadfast Pacquiao-worship virginity. We all give it up at some stage.

Not dissimilar to my actual virginity, I will probably forget this in this morning. But Manny Pacquiao will continue to make people smile.

And that is testament to what a great man he is, both inside and outside the ring.

He's got my love.


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