Multi-millionaire boxer who wouldn’t quit
By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
April 19, 2011
Amid call for his
retirement, Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38
KOs), at 32 and a
multi-millionaire, continues to bedazzle the boxing world with his
impressive winning streak and unrestrained collection of world crowns
in different weight divisions.
With his vast wealth
and reputation, Pacquiao, a father of three and a sports celebrity,
could enjoy the so-called “fruits of his labor” by retiring
comfortably and preserving his legacy as the greatest and most popular
prizefighter in his generation.
But he wouldn’t. He
As long as Bob Arum
wants him to fight, it doesn’t matter whether he is 18 or 64 years
old. It doesn’t matter whether the opponent is Jack The Ripper or
Hercules. Beholden to the Top Rank, Pacquiao is.
Their “marriage of
convenience” is a source of envy and speculations in the world of
sports and entertainment in glittering
For Arum, dear is
boxing but dearer is Manny Pacquiao whom he calls “the greatest
Even his mother,
Dionisia, a laundry woman-turn-actress, couldn’t stop the son-promoter
tandem from further engaging in brutal but sanctioned dogfights
against multi-national foes Pacquiao met only for the first time in
“Dili na ko! Dili na
gyud ko! Tama na! (I can’t bear it anymore! That’s enough),” Dionisia,
who once “fainted” at ringside while watching her son either pummeling
an opponent or was the one being bamboozled from pillar to post, would
Pacquiao’s temerity to
flirt with disaster and ignore a motherly concern is elaborate.
“My job is to train
and fight whoever my promoter picks to fight against me,” the five
feet and six inches southpaw has repeatedly declared.
Arum is the top guy in the Las Vegas-based Top Rank, which charted the
Filipino’s fistic career into amazing heights ever since he left the
Oriental Pacific region after losing his WBC 112-lb jewels on a shock
3rd round TKO loss to an unheralded Medgoen 3-K Battery in Pakpanag
Metropolitan Stadium, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand on Sept. 19, 1999,
to invade the Land of Opportunity.
After grabbing the
fighter’s management rights from the Golden Boy in a legal tug-of-war,
Arum now holds the imprimatur for both of Pacquiao’s title defenses
and non-title engagements in the
Because of his
marketing value and confidence in Arum, the scuttlebutt is that
Pacquiao is willing to face even a wrestler armed with a revolver in a
no-holds barred rumble.
And when it rains, it
After fighting the
aging but still dangerous Sugar Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) on May 7
in Las Vegas, Arum, et al (the wily old man’s associates that include
TV behemoth HBO of the “pay-per-view” fame) will continue to negotiate
and pit the battle-scarred Filipino congressman cum fighter against
potentially destructive opponents that include Floyd Mayweather Jr.
and possibly Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto.
With his propensity to
break records and establish mind-boggling precedents, Pacquiao could
end up fighting a middleweight ribcracker and risk his life and limbs.
reminds us of Barney Ross, a former world lightweight champion who was
known in the 1930’s as “the fighter who wouldn’t quit”.
As a world champion in
1932, Ross (72-4-3, 22 KOs) won fight after fight. “The money rolled
in and Ross spent it as fast it came,” recalled historian Ken Lane in
Then in 1934, Ross
decided to fight welterweight terror Jimmy McLarnin (Filipino
flyweight champion Pancho Villa’s conqueror).
McLarnin (54-11-3, 21
KOs) weighed 20 pounds more than Ross, but Ross beat him anyway. He
became the first professional fighter to hold two championship titles
at the same time.
Still unbeaten in
1938, Ross challenged the younger Henry Armstrong (149- 21-10, 101
KOs), who was faster and stronger. By the 10th round, Ross was losing.
The referee and Ross’ manager wanted to stop the fight. But Ross
refused. He wanted to lose like a champion. It was the worst beating
he had ever taken.
It was after his
humiliation from Armstrong when he decided to quit as prizefighter and
go into business.
Pacquiao could avert
experiencing a worst beating in his life by hanging up his gloves –
win or lose against Mosley – and focus on his job as lawmaker or
engage into business like Ross.
Whether Bob Arum and
the boxer’s bloodthirsty fans like it or don’t, preserving Pacquiao’s
main faculties and enjoying the millions of dollars he earned in the
ring with his family is the call of Pacquiao alone.
After all, something
brilliant could come out from his brains as lawmaker if they were not