When the fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather was first announced as official, it didn’t take long for people to start touting it as a battle of ideals. A Filipino hero – devout Christian, philanthropist, politician – was going to battle an American boxing icon – moneymaker, wife-beater, trash–talker. And I’ll admit that with all the excitement and with all the hype, I started seeing the match this way too. It was, supposedly, going to be a colossal battle of right versus wrong – and I wanted right to win so badly, preferably in the form of a legendary knockout. When the scores came out and the decision was announced, I was sorely disappointed.
But we made a mistake in forgetting that Pacquiao vs. Mayweather was just a boxing match. When we started talking about this as a battle between good and evil – between a national hero and a moneymaking businessman, between a Congressman and a wife-beater – we started forgetting that sports are never about good vs. evil. They’re about who’s better at the sport, – nothing else.
Does national pride or philanthropy make Pacquiao’s punches stronger? Does an alleged criminal record or a lack of love for boxing somehow debilitate Mayweather’s jabs? Nope.
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