By Scoop Malinowski
He wasn’t supposed to be, but by sheer force of will, extraordinary talent and divine miracle, Manny Pacquiao rose to the heights of sport and fame, in a foreign land, establishing himself as the most popular and beloved Filipino and Asian ambassador in the world.
Why did it happen? We will never understand the will of our higher power, but the phenomena of Manny Pacquiao happened and it’s still happening. The unprecedented eight division world champion will fight for the 69th time next month against Lucas Matthyse in Malaysia for the WBA welter title.
I will never forget the first time I saw Pacquiao fight – it was on the undercard of the Lewis vs Tyson 2002 superfight. Pacquiao was a dynamo like a young Duran and Tyson, stealing the show and stunning the boxing world.
You never know how a foreign lighter weight boxer’s career will turn out as they are always treated as second and third class citizens to the favored American boxers who get all the political perks and protection from the establishment. I have seen so many young non-American super talents get shafted and denied of their earned superfights and eventually fade away, but Pacquiao defied the system. Pacquiao broke down the door and conquered the planet with his two fists and fighting acumen.
After he dazzled and awed the world for years with so many sensational, breathtaking wins, the system indeed did gang up against him and tried to destroy his reputation and image with organized smear and slander campaigns, enlisting famous boxing figures to make repeated false accusations and allegations against Pacquiao. Repeat the lies over and over and many will come to believe it as truth.
Even his own trainer and promoter betrayed him at the end, but still the great Manny Pacquiao holds his head high and humble and still inspires the world with his miraculous example, boxing talent, and remarkable humility.
Make no mistake about it, despite all the deceptions and smoke and mirrors created to confuse you, Manny Pacquiao was the Muhammad Ali of his era. Simple, always with a smile and graceful humility, everybody adores this miracle of a man, who rose from the lowest poverty to become one of the greatest champions in the history of sport. So enjoy this living legend while his magical career still evolves into the final chapters. There has never been anything like Manny Pacquiao and there never will be again.