Pacquiao/Mayweather Battle For Pride | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pacquiao/Mayweather Battle For Pride

Posted: May 2, 2015 at 2:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emiko Bake


He was 12 years when he left home in protest over his farmhand father’s killing and eating of his pet dog; his unrepentantly religious mother wished he was a priest; he left his home city, General Santos City, Cotabato Del Surl, Philippines stowing away on a ship to Manila, where he spent about four of his infant years on the streets, sleeping on cardboard sheets and planks and worked on constructions sites as a laborer and Gardener; so skinny and tiny was he, that he had to stock pebbles in his pockets to add to his weight as he was always being brushed aside as “too smallish for boxing”; he now fathers five children – three boys and two girls who include; Emmanuel Junior, Mike Stephen, Mary Divine Grace, Queen Elizabeth and Israel Imuel.

Tonight, at the MGN Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the City of Sin, USA, Manny Pacquiao, driven by anger, pained by hunger, thirst for fame, urged by honor, incensed by pride and psyched by “the underdog tag“ takes the ring to face his once-upon-a-time hero, who has remained unbeaten in all his 47 professional fights Michigan, American-born, Flolyd Mayweather jr.  The champion if you ask me, has all going for him – the air of Las Vegas where he has fought thirteen times, the crowd who will be substantially Americans, weight which is vital in the self defense game, Reach which is another important ingredient in boxing, strength, though not easily measurable and even the Filipino challenger, Manny doubts his ability to floor Floyd.

When both boxers climb up into the roped square tonight, it would be a battle for pride, rather than the money at stake; a fight for a more fanned fame for a Filipino who is more popular than his home country’s president and a more beefed-up pride and fame for an American, who has remained unbeaten and widely regarded in his home as “The Best Ever.”  For Mayweather, it would be a push from Grace to Rate.

Their stories remind me of the hey days of Nigeria’s Hogan Kid Bassey and Dick Ihaetu Tiger, I remember the gone days of Rafiu King Joe; I want to think and remember Bash Alli … it leaves a nostalgic feeling deep inside of me to know that most of our boxers, who brawled their ways into global prominence and recognition in the days when the color of a man or woman is of greater significance than his or her ability in global achievements.

Champion Mayweather’s favorite meal is hot dog and barbeque, while challenger Pacquiao relishes taking milk. I want to ask as I hate to remember that, our dear Obisia Nwakpa had to jog round the entire National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria to shed excess weight on the morning of his world title bout against and Argentine challenger Soule Mamby.  It was a show of shame and a betrayal of the hopelessness of our sports; a disgusting display of ignorance of the inestimable role played by nutrition in sports. Too sad, the situation and condition of our sportsmen and women remain same decades after.

At the end of tonight’s fight, if Mayweather wins, he would be worth $200m (Two Hundred Million US Dollars). This is aside other material and financial attractions.  It makes me want to weep for fellow Nigerians, who toil and sweat out their asses at the National Stadium and other boxing gymnasium across the country shadow boxing for what is simply not feasible and visible and in some cases loosing their lives in the ring fighting for a miserable N20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira)  which is about One Hundred US dollars purse due to selfishness, ignorance and corruption.  Our boxers are hungry, but no food to eat in the land where there much to eat; our boxers are thirsty, but there is no water to drink in the midst of milk; our boxing fighters have the raw strength, but no push for them; they,(our boxing heroes past), had to gate-crash their ways through to the pinnacle of global boxing excellence by dint of robust personal efforts, but that is no longer in place.  A stomach-filled Nigerian of today can not be compared to a half-stomach-filled compatriot of yester-years … the reason is in the quality of our diet.

When Manny dancies  around the ring tonight in Las Vegas, against an Orthodox, strong-armed, broad-shouldered and slim-waist and rock-confident Floyd, the Jerry Okorodudus, Peter Konyegwachies,  Obisia Nwakpas, Joe Lasisis, etal will be rooted in their seats and glued to their television sets to follow the rhythm


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