When one thinks of a world boxing champion, one pictures this swaggering cocky half-bully, throwing his hate around.
Like Muhammad Ali trumpeting, “I am the greatest.” Or insulting an opponent to a high degree of art form,” George Chuavalo was the “washerwoman.”
Floyd Patterson was the “thud at the end of the third round,” and Sonny Liston was the “Big Ol’ Ugly Bear.”
Or Liston himself glowering,” If he runs, I’ll cripple ‘im. If he comes to me, I’ll kill ‘im.”
Even Joe Louis once said of the man facing him atop the ring, “He can run, but he can’t hide.”
Then there’s the now the only man in the history of sweet science to win world championships in eight weight classes and Future Hall of Famer, Filipino Manny Pacquiao.
“He’s never raised his voice in his life,” his wife, former Sarangani Province Vice Gov. Jinkee Pacquiao swore. “I’ve never even heard him say bad words.”
As one sports columnist often wrote, “Manny Pacquiao is too good to be true. He’s more priest than boxer, more altar boy than home boy.”
Look at Manny. You never see a prizefighter like him? Why, even Jack Dempsey bragged a little sometime. Sugar Ray Robinson, too.
Not our Manny. He barely talks louder than whisper. He always says the right things. Mostly verses from the scripture. He says things so softly as if he were in confession.
If Ali claimed he was pretty, boxing fans say Manny, too. Not a hair out of place. Smooth skin. Ears not swollen, lips not busted and nose not broken.
Decently dressed as his position in government dictates. Pacquiao is a former Congressman now Senator.
Pugs aren’t supposed to be like this. Pacquiao even has good words to the guys he sent to the seats of their pants.
A fortnight ago, he fought the bad-mouthing, erstwhile undefeated American Keith Thurman, the WBA welterweight super champion, who, during build up had thrown not quiet a few invectives and insults along his co-titlist’s path.
“I’ll retire Pacquiao and retire him. I’ll do to him what he did to Oscar De La Hoya,” Thurman vowed. Instead of throwing back, Pacquiao merely advised the talkative Thurman to train hard because he would so both of them could give boxing fans the fight they deserved.
Pacquiao proved all and sundry, including his opponent that Sunday night that he is still capable of holding his own in the ring despite being on the wrong side of 40.
Pacquiao took to Twitter the following day to thank Thurman, his fans, family, and all of the others who helped put the fight together.
“To the fans I fight for, the media who cover me, the friends and family who support me, and to @KeithFThurmanJr, who accepted my challenge, Saturday night was an honor and privilege, “ he said.
The gesture proved contagious. Thurman in return sent a perfect tweet of his own, which had nothing but good things to say about Pacquiao after the fight, as clear sign of a great mutual respect between the two of them.
The win improved the Philippine Senator’s record to 62-7-2 with 39 KOs. Thurman fell to 29-1 with 22 KOs.