Floyd Mayweather has expertly cultivated an image in the last seven, eight years, one which sees him as the only boxer who is known in the US outside of the cultists that are boxing fans. No, he's not as “known” as Ali was, or Tyson, but for boxing circa 2015, Mayweather is quite the public figure.
Now, the percentage of people who have a rooting interest for him, or against him, I can't know. But by an informal poll, I think I'm confident in saying that there will be just as many, or maybe more, folks who will let loose to the heavens with an exultant shout if Manny Pacquiao were able to channel a divine intervention of strength and speed and nail Mayweather and put him down for the count.
Heck, in my own house-hold, that will be the case. No, I'm not talking me, I am not that invested emotionally in how a prize fight turns out. But my wife, she's real, real keen on seeing Manny get the better of Floyd. She doesn't care for the bragging, the fixation on Manny, and she is well aware of his criminal history, and the fact that he did time for assault on a woman who bore him children. Nope, not a fan, not even close. Floyd, I dare say, is OK with that. He knows that whether you tune in to root him on, or to see him get walloped, either way, you pay. And that's the name of his game, by and large. Heck, man's nickname which he answers to is “Money.” He digs it, chases it, lives for it. I think there's another side, though, and I also see a guy who seems to be present for his kids a good deal, and brags about them, and shows them off. In short, I see a complex person who struggles, like all of us, to do the right thing. But in some places, my outlook is a minority opinion. In many places, Pacman is the good guy, and Floyd is the bad guy, and when people tune in on May 2 to watch this 2015 Super Fight, sides will be taken, and you will hear the roar of haters if Manny pulls off the upset KO victory on Mars. Wait…is Mars wired for PPV? Have we checked? LOL, I digress…
Freddie Roach told me that everywhere he goes, people come up to him, and basically beg him to have his man Pacquiao knock out Floyd. “Everywhere I go, people tell me congratulations for the fight,” said Roach, in China to see his flyweight contender Zou Shiming try to win an IBF crown on Saturday, on HBO2. “He's not the best guy in the world. He's a great fighter, but I don't think he's a good person. He throws money around, and there's so many poor people out there. He's a bad example. If I had a kid and he idolized him, I'd be pissed off. He's not a good role model. Manny Pacquiao is the best role model.”
Part of me would like to see Mayweather lose, because I'd be curious to see how he handled it. Indeed, I will go out on a limb and say this. If and when he loses, if he handles it the right way, he will see his popularity, and his legacy enlarge. Yep…we can all, every damn one of us, identify with the loser. We can all feel what he's feeling, if he admits to being disappointed. Only a tiny sliver of us, the .01% of the world, really, can identify with the Mayweather who flies on the jets, and buys the Bentleys and stuff. “Losing would not be the worst thing for Floyd,” Roach told me. “I think he needs to be humbled, and I think Manny Pacquiao is the one to do it.”
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