Written and photographed
By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Let me make it clear as of writing/press time, Congressman Manny Pacquiao has not yet accepted or signed a deal with Carlos Slim on the reported $65 million offer to fight on Mexican soil as reported by Inquirer.net (link to story). Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson however, has confirmed the offer to Inquirer.net.
Barring any unforeseen developments or unannounced detail, every red blooded Filipino knows that their hero, our hero will never back down from any worthy challenge. Especially since the offer would make Pacquiao a billionaire, three times over in Philippine pesos (adding his previous purses), P 2.73 Billion with the current exchange rate to be exact.
Less than a week ago Floyd Mayweather Jr. has rejected a $ 65 million offer from a Singaporean group to fight Pacquiao. By now, the boxing world is no longer puzzled why or how Floyd could reject such an offer. He also rejected the previous $ 50 million offer, the year before. He is more concerned with preserving his undefeated status while dodging the one man who could obviously beat him at his own game of speed and power. (I made this observation a year ago in an article) Boxing analysts have also given the power advantage to Pacquiao in a now theoretical fight that can never happen.
For the record, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Pacquiao have tried to make the deal for the fight over the past several years. And for the record Mayweather could only hurl baseless accusations of steroid abuse at Manny. All of which have been proven false not only by the National Bureau of Investigation here in the Phil but also other agencies who have tested blood and urine samples of the Fighter of the Decade awardee. Mayweather has stopped with the accusations since the libel suit filed against him. That is not however the end of his legal troubles. Floyd was charged with domestic abuse and grand larceny by his girlfriend with whom he has three kids in September 2010 (reported by The Smoking Gun and the Las Vegas Review journal). In May 2011 this year he was also arrested for “misdemeanor harassment” after threatening two security guards for ticketing two of his cars (reported by TMZ and mmamania.com).
Mayweather has turned into a bad joke, his glory days are way behind him. The descendants of Aztec warriors from Mexico are calling for a real war in the ring. From a laughing stock loser, let’s move on to the Forbes’ no.1 richest man in the world: Carlos Slim. Quoting the Forbes website report dated March 2011: “…the Mexican telecom mogul is also the year’s biggest gainer, having added $20.5 billion to his fortune and widened the gap between him and no. 2, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to $18 billion. A 19% rise in the Mexican stock market, a stronger peso, and successful mining and real estate spinoffs from conglomerate Grupo Carso all contributed to the astonishing increase…”
Slim’s portfolio and vast business interests have gone beyond his native Mexico to include telco, mining and other companies in Brazil,Argentina and the U.S. He makes the $ 65 million purse for Pacquiao look like chump change. Knowing Slim’s track record, it would be no shock if he was able to make it profitable for himself.
As impressive as the 26 knock out record of prospective opponent, WBC light middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is, Pacquiao is still favored. Slim and the Mexicans know this. But why are they so eager to fight Manny (unlike Floyd)? One can pose the same question to all the previous Hall of Fame Mexicans that were defeated: Oscar Dela Hoya, Erik Morales, Antonio Barrera and the up and coming rematch Juan Manuel Marquez (whom Manny also defeated before). And the answer is simple it is because they relish the challenge of defeating a superior opponent. That is the warrior instinct that is as old as their ancestors the Aztecs that is still very much alive in their modern day gladiators: boxers.
The whole nation cannot wait to witness that epic battle on their hallowed ground, so much so that they would think nothing of paying $65 million. There is no shame in defeat, only when you shrink in the face of adversity. The Mexicans THIRST for that challenge and in their minds there is no bigger one than Manny Pacquiao. We Filipinos are blessed and fortunate enough to call him as one of our own. And every one of us knows that he will answer the call with courage and honor, the way that he has done so many times before.