Just because you are not shy about professing your faith in a higher power doesn’t mean dark urges can’t stir in you, and get summoned when you are pushed to a breaking point, or moved to act forcefully, even violently, in allegiance to a compatriot. Manny Pacquiao wears his faith outwardly pretty much 24/7…but anyone expecting the Congressman to flash a darker side, and go into a snarly mode, and leave behind the kinder, gentler Manny we’ve seen since his out-of-the-ring hijinks, including dalliances outside his marriage culminated in a seeing-of-the light, and a conversion into a born-again personality…well, sorry.
No, Pacquiao (seen with foe Brandon Rios in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) didn’t go into ballistic mode, and constrict into a ball of seething fury, and curse Team Rios to the heavens, while promising a decapitation fueled by a lust for vengeance for beloved Coach Freddie hours after the Macau meltdown.
Post that mini-melee, in which Roach sullied himself by using inappropriately loaded epithets and Team Rios’ Alex Ariza furthered his reputation as a loose cannon with anger management issues, Pacman was asked if he’d use the incident to light his fire higher and wreak havoc on Brandon Rios to avenge the sneaky attack on his coach. Manny called the event a “misunderstanding,” and said “it doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t affect me.” He said on Saturday night it will be “business as usual.” In fact, as opposed to allowing the incident to move him off his mental path, Pacman said that “outside the ring, we should always love each other.” He has a way of lecturing without coming off as accusatory, which is quite a talent.
He told Top Rank’s Crystyna Poncher that he would “forgive” the transgressors, and it was unclear, actually, whether that would include Roach, who provoked the fracas by walking up onto Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia and calling him a “piece of s—t” because he felt Garcia wasn’t vacating the gym facility in a timely manner.
Poncher gently pushed Pacman in the direction of the “vengeance theme” and he batted it down, saying that he and Rios will be “doing our job”on Saturday.
“After that, nothing personal,” said Pacquiao, again proving himself to be probably the best overall role model in the sport today.