Will Pacquiao’s Hoop Dreams Interfere With His Boxing?

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It seems these days even Manny Pacquiao is underwhelmed by the prospects of fighting Chris Algieri. Since agreeing to fight the nube of Long Island, Pacquiao has taken the job as coach of the KIA Sorrentos of the Philippine Basketball Association and then drafted himself in the first round. When the Sorrentos were playing practice games, however, Manny was too busy overseeing a billiards competition in General Santos City.

Following the twists and turns of Manny Pacquiao's myriad interests often leaves the impression that the boxer turned Congressman turned coach is playing out a series of childhood fantasies like Tom Hanks' character in Big. Now the same man who once held up his first fight against Tim Bradley to watch the conclusion of a Celtics-Heat playoff game has accepted a job coaching hoops and then, let's reiterate this whopper,  drafted himself as a player in the first round.

Apparently, being a sitting Congressman with greater political aspirations and fighting two fights a year isn't keeping him busy enough. With each morsel of news regarding Pacman's extracurriculars, boxing fans are finding themselves in similar position to Jinkee Pacquiao circa 2010: aren't we good enough for you? The mind boggles thinking of how the US cable news talking heads would treat an American congressman with such a hearty collection of pursuits. Suffice to say, the reaction wouldn't be quiet.

Pacquiao's last go-round the squared circle against Tim Bradley was a brilliant exhibition of the skill that is responsible for his fame and gave hope that the man who was once widely regarded as boxing's pound for pound king still had enough gas in the tank to go out on top. If the man is bored, you'd think he could fight more, right?

There's always a chance that after almost twenty years and 63 pro fights the Filipino Fist is worn down by the rigors of training and the constant discipline the sport demands. As we've seen, he's not so easily pinned down to one activity. First-hand accounts of Pacquiao describe him as living a routine of ADHD-like behavior, flittering from one distraction to the next with the same dexterity and infectious joy we see him bound about the ring with. In other words, he’s no Bernard Hopkins.

In reality, I suspect Pacquiao to be no different than the flamboyant characters of the sport's history like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and countless others. After all, they share a similar background of childhood trauma and poverty that made conflict within the gentleman's Queensberry rules pale in comparison to the conflict they encountered almost everywhere else. And when they made it and achieved the attention they craved so badly, they often find its powers overwhelmingly addictive and fear it fading from sight.

One of Pacquiao's most endearing and fatal traits is his innocence. It really matters to him to be loved by his people to such an extent that it may someday undo him. Look no further than one of Pacman's many singing moments on YouTube. He has a terrible voice and he knows it, but he is rewarded when people eat it up and love him for it.

To fight the bad intentions left in the wake of chronic drug abuse, Mike Tyson turned his story into a one-man show as a way to repair his relationship with the consumers of pop culture. It's a revealing act by a man raised by his own fame, and one the Pinoy puncher may be unwittingly mimicking by launching a basketball career at age 35. For better or worse, Pacquiao, like Tyson, craves public approval in a way that is discomfiting to anyone well-versed in the tabloid dramas of the rich and attention needy. Player/coaching basketball is another avenue for Pacquiao to feel the love and give back to his countrymen.

Despite the fact that the average height for the Filipino male is 5'4'' and that Coach Pacquiao is by far the most accomplished athlete in the country's history, the national sport remains basketball. Rafe Bartholomew's book Pacific Rims details the unlikely marriage of basketball and Filipinos, describing “kids playing basketball in their flip-flops, or on their bare feet, and people building their own basketball courts out of whatever materials they could get their hands on. It was this sort of passion—that they would play the sport by any means necessary.” Since launching a political career, Pacquiao has often been compared to the illustrious Pinoy baller turned statesman, Robert Jaworski.

You can’t escape the many parallels between the Pacquiao’s prodigious activities outside of the ring and his lack of determination inside it. He hasn’t ended a fight by knockout since he was elected to Congress. On the night he waited until the Celtics-Heat playoff game was finished, he seemed to let up on the gas in the late rounds in apparent confidence he had enough points in the bank to top Tim Bradley. According to two judges ringside, he had not.

Staring across the ring from Pacquiao come fight night will be a man with only one thing on his mind. Chris Algieri has a career in nutrition and health and was kicking the tires on medical school before ramping up and focusing solely on his boxing career. He still lives with his parents on Long Island, but that may change after he brings a guaranteed $1.4 million for fighting Manny in November. Algieri may not be able to hurt Pacquiao, but his fight last spring against Ruslan Provodnikov proved he has a slick, awkward style and a sturdy chin.

I’m sure Algieri is delighted to hear about Pacquiao’s burgeoning interest in basketball.

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COMMENTS

-Kid Blast :

Kind of a stupid title. Who cares?


-deepwater2 :

I am with you.Unless he rolls and ankle and tears a ligament who cares? It's good exercise. Roy Jones played a game a few hours before one of his title fights. Pac is always determined in the ring no matter what his outside interest are. At least he isn't hanging around fake weed and fake booty.


-The Commish :

Kind of a stupid title. Who cares?
Well, being Algieri is my homeboy, I care. And being Pacquiao is Radam's homeboy, he cares. Hopefully, Pacquiao gives this fight no thought whatsoever. Algieri can't punch. He gets knocked down early. He pushes his punches. Pacquiao shouldn't even waste his time training. Come on, Deepwater. Jump aboard the Long Island Express. Jump on now. We don't take frontrunners who will try to jump aboard after Algieri's victory over Pacquiao. I wonder how soon the rematch will take place? -Randy G.


-deepwater2 :

Well, being Algieri is my homeboy, I care. And being Pacquiao is Radam's homeboy, he cares. Hopefully, Pacquiao gives this fight no thought whatsoever. Algieri can't punch. He gets knocked down early. He pushes his punches. Pacquiao shouldn't even waste his time training. Come on, Deepwater. Jump aboard the Long Island Express. Jump on now. We don't take frontrunners who will try to jump aboard after Algieri's victory over Pacquiao. I wonder how soon the rematch will take place? -Randy G.
I give Chris a big chance because of his movement and jab. The thing that worries me for Pac is that Chris is a nice guy and very polite to Pac. Will Pac get that chip on his shoulder to try and hurt the guy? I don't think so. Pac might just be happy to land some shots and follow him around the ring. Or Pac can savage him for a few rounds and take his foot off the gas.I am not getting on either train for this fight. I'm just going to stay at the train station and have a beer and enjoy the fight. I know Long Island will have a parade for Chris if he wins but can he get a NYC parade down 5th Av? It might be possible. It will be a really big deal.


-brownsugar :

Manny is hardly innocent ...... at least not before his conversion, he was into all kind of stuff which he freely admits. Not that I care but people seem to relate to Paq the same way the relate to the Thai action Star ....Tony Jaa (of the "Protector" fame) who is usually portrayed in the jungle working out with an elephant. As if Paq spends all day training in the jungle and climbing coconut trees for fun. Manny grew up fending for himself in the streets and he's a fighter. He will do what's necessary when fight time comes. Algieri will not pose much of a problem.


-Radam G :

Stormy Island University is giving C-Al a parade Saturday over there on the mainland USA. Wow! Those "High Hopes" C-Al. He will have 12 minute$ and a couple of seconds of fame on November 23 before going to sleep. Hehehe! My dear author of this piece, your information is outdated. The average height of the Filipino male is over 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-11, depending on what tribe. Apparently you have thrown the Filipino aborigines in the mix. Their heights range from 4-foot-10 to 5-foot-4. Holla!


-amayseng :

average height is 5'4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I should bring my near 6 foot in height point guard skills to the country.


-Kid Blast :

Randy, for a guy who knows boxing, why on earth are you getting behind this young kid? :confused::confused:He will be battered from pillar to post. This is Pac; not some slow Russian who could not cut off the ring on him. Pac is a stalk, stun and close kind of guy and Chris will be lucky if he is not sent to New York Dreamland. I see this as a slaughter and I don't miss many.


-Kid Blast :

Good


-Skibbz :

Did I just read that this nurse lives with his parents??? Come on this is just laughable now. Pacquiao will put on a worldly beating on Chris and as Kid Blast says will beat him pillar to post. Chris has been running marathons in preparation for this fight, I kid you not. I will rejoice in Manny's spectacular and beautiful display of supremacy over the deluded and big headed nurse. Don't forget the humble pie Randy!


-Kid Blast :

Skibbz has the beat


-Froggy :

[quote=kid blast;65426]skibbz has the beat

ditto !!!!


-Radam G :

Well, being Algieri is my homeboy, I care. And being Pacquiao is Radam's homeboy, he cares. Hopefully, Pacquiao gives this fight no thought whatsoever. Algieri can't punch. He gets knocked down early. He pushes his punches. Pacquiao shouldn't even waste his time training. Come on, Deepwater. Jump aboard the Long Island Express. Jump on now. We don't take frontrunners who will try to jump aboard after Algieri's victory over Pacquiao. I wonder how soon the rematch will take place? -Randy G.
Your homeboy magic man David Blaine is rolling with Da Manny/3g. DB was working his magic here in the P-Islands that week. He even got down with some Balut and Durian.
->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a13BhljFHiA.
->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOEbT2Kxn2w. Holla!


-Kid Blast :

I am nearing the saturation point of Pac and Mayweather. Enough. It has gone as stale as Marquez's ****. I don't care if they both retire tomorrow. Pac is a midget politician with an abnormally sized head who should not be a politician. Nor should his wife, brother, his brother's wife. How bizarre is that? Mayweather is a "friend of "Buffet" who should not be a friend of Buffet. He drives around and eats Big Mac's and soda pop, then gets back into shape and earns millions because we can't stop watching him stink out the place. The world has gone mad and these two prove that.


-Radam G :

I am nearing the saturation point of Pac and Mayweather. Enough. It has gone as stale as Marquez's ****. I don't care if they both retire tomorrow. Pac is a midget politician with an abnormally sized head who should not be a politician. Nor should his wife, brother, his brother's wife. How bizarre is that? Mayweather is a "friend of "Buffet" who should not be a friend of Buffet. He drives around and eats Big Mac's and soda pop, then gets back into shape and earns millions because we can't stop watching him stink out the place. The world has gone mad and these two prove that.
Something bit cha! Da Manny and fam are straight and deep and real with it. Money May's "Big Mac's and soda pop" were just as real as those big-booty dames rolling and smoking marijuana, and those pugs in dat squared jungle beating the heck outta each in marathon sparring session without a break. Optical illusions are everywhere in this game. Believe not the bulljive that you have seen on "All Access." In the words of the executive producer "Lil" Floyd Mayweather: "None of it was real. We stage it all for 'All Access.'" Money May was likely smacking on a fish of fillet black bean sandwich and "juicing" from organic fruits and veggies. In various segments of "All Access," he bragged about how "dieting and juicing." Holla!