Looking back at where they Started


At the height of all the Manny Pacquaio controversery, I can’t help but to take advantage of its popularity to prove a point.

Just like what everyone else said, after Pacquaio stopped Cotto in the 12th round of their historic fight the spotlight in the Philippines wasn’t on our new record-breaking, history-making, seven-title holding champion and his big win. No, it wasn’t. Instead, papers and websites were all filled with pictures and stories of Pacquaio’s recent mischief. Apparently, the boxing icon is rumoured to have an affair with another woman. Something very different from the God-fearing, good-guy image he shows before and after every match.

Career defining. Pacquaio shuts up England.

A sudden change of heart? Maybe. There have been a lot of cases like this that has happened in man’s history. And it always is the same story, a poor humble man rises to fame and suddenly becomes arrogant and spoiled. Usually, this is the point of which their fame starts to decline and they end up as nobodies and completely forgotten in the future. There was George Best who, although may be forever renowned in Manchester United and English football folklore, spent his life after football in pubs. He died following an alcoholism-related illness. Another boxing icon, Mike Tyson, could also be put into example. His usual match purse was at least $30 million, yet after his retirement he filed for bankruptcy, got involved in several crimes and committed adultery. These guys are just two examples of wasted legacies. Clearly, pride fuels the person to act so irresponsibly and so carelessly to a point when he/she forgets their limitations.

Looking back, Pacquaio’s journey started at fifteen when he was playing matches to earn a living at $1 a win. He is an offspring of a poor family, at an early age he experienced what it was like to live without a father. Now, he has risen to superstardom and earns a guaranteed purse of  at least $15 million each game and earns even more from PPV rights and other add-ons. And his salaries rocketed at a span of only five years, has all these wealth and fame made Pacquaio, uh, let’s say a little more confident?

With all due respect to our country’s best-known athelete, I am not dismissing him as a straight-out bad person. Of course, who could overlook all the generosity and goodwill he has done to help our countrymen? Just ask anyone from General Santos City, his hometown, about his generosity and they’ll tell you how they simply visit his house and come out Php100-1,000 richer! Not to mention, all of his contributions to various sports program. He manages a local basketball team and has a darts club. But the right things you’ve done can’t cover up for the wrong things that you do. And Pacquaio is learning that nowadays.

Sure, Pacquaio gives back to the people who tirelessly watch his every fight and chant his name all the time. But Manny also messes up at times, and the recent scandals – whether its for real or not – just proves that he does. And even if his own coach, Freddie Roach, is a witness to the mistakes he’s doing. Roach previously spoke of Pacquaio’s generosity, saying that the youngster has too much of it, and fears for his future. 

Today, Manny holds an amazing legacy, becoming the first boxer ever to hold seven titles in as many weight divisions. And his future in the sport, although nearing retirement, is bright. Pacquaio just needs to keep both of his feet on the ground and to look back and remember where he started.

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