Pacquiao Pride

1 12 2009

Manny Pacquiao just finished destroying Miguel Cotto, marking him as one of the best boxers to ever fight and marking an important point in Pilipino history. To begin with, lets briefly recap what led up to the fight, the fight itself, and the aftermath.

Pacquiao came into the fight already in his prime. Boxing enthusiasts have already proclaimed him the pound for pound fighter and one the best fighters of our generation. After dismantling de la Hoya and knocking out Hatton, Miguel Cotto seemed to be the real, true test for Pacquiao. Indeed, when the fight started, Cotto seemed to be in control and on the way for victory. But like all that Pacquiao has done, Manny overcame Cotto and proceeded to punch him in the face for the next 11 rounds. By the end, Pacquiao had beaten Cotto, restored happiness and faith in Filipinos, and lifted an entire nation.

On the horizon awaits Pretty Boy Floyd and the biggest fight in Pacquiao’s career and quite possible boxing history. Mayweather represents a lot of the things Pacquiao is not. Mayweather is cocky, outspoken, and disrespectful a lot of the time. Manny is humble, soft-spoken, and always respectful of his opponent. Their inevitable fight will be huge not only for Pacquiao, but for the entire nation that depends on him.

Every time Pacquiao fights, the Philippines stops and watches. Even here in the United States the influence of Pacquiao can be seen everywhere Filipinos are present. People get excited when he fights and swell with pride when he wins. I always come across facebook updates where people claim they’re proud to be Filipino when Pacquiao fights. This is something truly amazing, and I think Pacquiao’s greatest achievement yet. Pacquiao’s ability to make people care about who they are and proudly represent their heritage is something extraordinary. As long as he keeps boxing well and shows class, he will always be an inspiration to Filipino people. To try to replicate Pacquiao is to try improve the Filipino community. If we can have the effect Pacquiao has on our community, then we can say we have truly achieved something great. I think the reason many of us love Pacquiao is that he boxes with class and in doing so, inspires greatness in us as well. When we see him do amazing things that have not been done before, it inspires us to do the same. Pacquiao has done great things in boxing, but lets stop for a second and recognize all that he has done for his people. Yes he is a great boxer, but he is also a great man. Here’s to Pacquiao, a true Filipino!

~Ray Rebong

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