[Top Story] Where are those who said Mosley is garbage and Berto is the man for Pacquiao?
Among the many traits Manny Pacquiao is credited for in his road to becoming the best fighter in the world — his speed, power, work ethic, faith, pride, etc. — the one that people tend to forget is his extraordinary ability to block off any form of distraction (and he has a lot) and perform at the highest level come fight night.
Pacquiao seems oblivious to the term ‘butterflies in your stomach,’ and appears to have ice water running through his veins as he smiles at the hint of pressure, no matter how big the stage is.
<– CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS OF PACQUIAO WORKING OUT AT GRIFFITH PARK
Remember back 2001, during his first big break stepping in as a substitute fighter against Lehlo Ledwaba in Las Vegas? The young boy basked in the bright Vegas lights, instead of being intimidated by it. Several fighters adjust through the years, but every time you see Pacquiao in the ring, it’s almost as if he’s a kid waiting to open a present on Christmas morning. You will rarely see a boxer who exudes the kind of genuine joyfulness Pacquiao has on his face every time he fights. In the words of HBO boxing commentator Emmanuel Steward, “Pacquiao was born to be a prizefighter.”
And what about the many distractions Pacquiao has had (both self-imposed and outside forces) throughout his career? He had that contractual controversy with Murad Muhammad. That controversy when he signed with GBP, while still under contract with Top Rank. That controversy with alleged mistresses on top of his political responsibilities, among several other things. Pacquiao has the uncanny ability to shut everything out and train, perform and focus when he needs to. Think Larry Bird and Michael Jordan during clutch time.
This is what separates the great, from the absolutely legendary. LeBron James is a great basketball player, but he chokes too often to be considered a truly elite winner. The only time you’ll see someone like Pacquiao choke is when he’s swallowing his food and Onyok Velasco cracks a joke.
Take for example Oscar De la Hoya. De la Hoya was a great fighter, but almost every time he fought in a big fight, he somehow found a way to fall short. In the words of one of our time’s great lyricists, RA The Rugged Man, we all saw De la Hoya get rich. He almost outpointed Felix Trinidad, but he ran like a … [expletive/rhymes with rich].
It’s amazing how Pacquiao can balance his career with his many extra-curricular activities. You name it, Pac does it. Acting, singing, politics, business, and back in the day he even used to spend a lot of late nights with his entourage shooting pool, gambling and whatever vices and pastimes that usually are reserved for and typical among Pinoy ‘tambays’ (bums). Pac is far from a bum though, as he did everything yet smiled and made legends in the ring look like bums.
On May 7, the world of boxing will all bear witness once again to his brilliance. Surprisingly though, this version of his camp has been the most quiet and free from distractions. Will it make a difference? The entourage keeps growing. The extra-curricular activities keep adding up together with his accomplishments in the ring. Pacquiao is an exceptional athlete, for all his physical gifts and talents, but what truly makes the man legendary is how he can tune it all out and make achieving greatness seem so easy.
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