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Good vs Evil

IN his international conference call the other day, unbeaten pound- for-pound No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. said that his multi-million dollar showdown with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will ultimately be decided by the fighters themselves and not by God, who he believes doesn’t take sides.

Mayweather was obviously seeking to counter the born again Christian Manny Pacquiao, who has repeatedly said he is banking on his faith in God to see him through the biggest fight of what has been to millions of Filipinos and supporters around the world a truly remarkable career.

Pacquiao was quoted by ABS-CBN reporter Dyan Castilljo, herself a member of the similar faith, that he believes God delivered Mayweather into his hands.

That may well mean that God, after five or six years of acrimonious negotiations between the camps of both fighters, eventually found a way to make the fight happen. It may not necessarily mean that he delivered Mayweather so Pacquiao could beat him up and win the “Battle of the Greatest.”

While we largely agree with Mayweather’s contention  that “God loves us all. I’m a fighter. I’m a professional prizefighter, that’s what I do. I believe in God, I love God. I’ve been blessed all my life. I don’t think God takes sides. Whether you’re American, Filipino, African, Dominican, Asian, we’re all God’s children. I don’t think he roots for which of us he wants to win.”

Incredibly, Pacquiao’s celebrated trainer Freddie Roach, who has on occasions suggested to Pacquiao that he is the one who needs to get the job done in the ring, not God, provided the succinct explanation for God to take sides, categorizing the fight as a battle of “good versus evil.”

Given the background of both men and the manner in which they have lived their lives, at least in recent years in the case of Pacquiao, it makes it easy to define, who represents good and who represents evil.

Mayweather’s claim that the fight is all about the best fighting the best rings terribly hollow in the face of what he and his father Floyd Mayweather Sr. have said about Pacquiao and what Floyd and his handlers have done in recent weeks, beginning with the harassment over the ticket allocations and the measly 500 available to the public, which would surely keep Filipino and Fil-American supporters of Pacquiao away from the MGM Grand Garden Arena where their voices, cheering for Manny and the flags and banners displaying their unbridled support,  could drown out any perceived support for Mayweather by his minions, including the twerp Justin Beiber.

In a charade at the joint red carpet press conference officially announcing the fight Mayweather tried desperately to project a statesman-like image in an effort to try and win over a large segment of fight fans and the general public, who had turned against him because of his ostentatious displays of wealth, his foul mouth and the racist insults hurled at Pacquiao, who was clearly winning the battle for the hearts and minds of millions, many of them Americans.

Recall the video in which Mayweather ranted in which he referred to Pacquiao as “that little yellow chump,” and vowed to have Manny make him a sushi roll and cook him some rice. More recently his father, who we recall was imprisoned for five years for pushing cocaine, yet had the audacity to accuse Pacquiao of taking performance-enhancing drugs, referred to Manny as “a midget,”  ignorant of the fact that some of the greatest men in history were short in stature, but tall in achievements.

They include Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, German composer and pianist Ludwig Van Beethoven, Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, Indian statesman and the advocate of non-violence Mahatma Gandhi, comedian Charlie Chaplin and the Philippines’ national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

But for Mayweather, who likes to display his private jet, a collection of  high-priced super  cars, exquisite watches and gawdy gold jewelry that puts Mr. T to shame, he cannot find meaningful connection with men who matter.

As Oliver Brown, chief Sports Feature Writer of the Daily Telegraph aptly penned, “from Pacquiao’s perspective, the memory of Floyd’s outburst is nothing but a  motivation, casting this confrontation as a straightforward case of good versus evil, of a model of humanity versus a wearisome braggart, who has also been involved in several instances of physical assault against different women,” for which he once served a laughably short prison term.

For sure, we can never expect Mayweather to appreciate the courage of Gagarin in being rocketed into space, the exquisite touch of the master Pablo Picasso, the musical genius of Beethoven, the virtue of non-violence preached and practiced by Gandhi, the heroism of Dr. Rizal, our national hero and even the subtle comedy of Charlie Chaplin.

He is lost in this world of symbols of courage, creativity, compassion and greatness. To Floyd, “The Money Man,” it is who he is – someone obsessed with money, fast cars, even faster women and a perverse and abrasive arrogance.

An oft-quoted line is “in God’s good time.”

Perhaps, the time is now for good symbolized so justly by a humble Manny Pacquiao to prevail over evil, mirrored by a scheming, materialistic Floyd Mayweather Jr. It’s something devoutly to be wished.

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