Friday, January 29, 2010
Pac Man's Real Power Pellets: Pacquiao's remarkable dedication to boxing and his country
I'm sure most of us here are young or old enough -- whichever is the case -- to be familiar with the video game character Manny Pacquiao's moniker is taken after.
Take the first syllables of his first and last name, flip its order and there you have it- a nickname that was once synonymous to video gaming is now one of the most recognizable aliases in boxing.
And just like his video game counterpart, Pacquiao is relentless and does not stop working. He's been a hard worker from day one either doing construction work or hustling some items like garlic and donuts to re-sell.
See that's the difference. Poverty is never a good thing but Pacquiao managed to turn it into motivation to write one of the all-time great success stories.
You have fighters who grew up in boxing gyms. You have poor kids who came from ghetto housing looking for a way out. But you got to understand, America's ghetto, in the Philippines, is called living comfortable. And that's no exaggeration. To be poor in the Philippines means eating one meal a day. Living under makeshift carton houses built by hand. There's no YMCA, welfare, Boys and Girls club or soup kitchens you can run to just like that. Yea, there are humanitarian efforts, but believe me, Americans got it made. Any American who's been to the rough parts of the Philippines can attest to that.
It's that same struggle- real struggle- that toughened up Pacquiao. That he has a kind enough heart to realize that millions are out there still left behind is also a blessing in its own rite. Yes, there are plenty of great athletes out there, but Pacquiao truly has a great heart. And that's what keeps him hungry and motivated- his people. The same people who are living the struggles he hurdled. They live their dreams through his success. And with his success, he is provided means to give back, help out, bring honor and put a sparkle in their weary eyes.
Pacquiao's drug, like the yellow Pac Man's power pellets, is his commitment to his craft which allows him to carry his nation on his back. Checks and cash can be spent. Legacies can be tarnished and characters can be assassinated. But one thing that nobody can take away from him, is his love for his country and boxing- that's why his fans love him that much back. Just take a look around you, not even the biggest names can sway Pacquiao's loyal followers and plant doubts in their heads. You can not manufacture that kind of respect. No amount of press releases, PR moves and ESPN coverage can overcome the truth.
It's not steroids man. It's called commitment. It's called dedication. It's called love. Pacquiao loves the sport of boxing and continues to try to improve despite being the best. A lot of these other athletes, they reach the top, and the fame and fortune gets to their heads.
Think about it. Wasn't it just a couple of months ago when Pacquiao went to war with Cotto? Pac could've rested. Pac could've chilled. He could've very well cherry-picked an easy opponent or focused on enjoying his money or his ambitions in politics. But where is Pac now? He is up there at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood training his heart out while these other big named fighters focus on running their mouths. NOBODY OUT THERE WORKS HARDER THAN MANNY PACQUIAO. Believe it! I've seen it. And everyone else who has, will agree with that statement.
What's scary, Pacquiao really just keeps on upgrading. Did you see him doing mitts with Roach while in an orthodox stance in a video from a local Philippine TV station? I don't care what steroids a person takes, and the Mayweathers said it themselves, you can't take anything to gain skills and intellect in the ring. Just ask Fernando Vargas. Pacquiao has improved dramatically through the years under Roach. He always had speed, power and all of these physical attributes these doubters keep on wanting to point out. Since fighting in America, Pacquiao has never been knocked down (Well, there was that slip against Barrera and that low blow from Sanchez, but you get my point) and has been knocking people out left and right. Roach has done a fine job putting everything together and turning Pacquiao into the ultimate boxing machine.
None of that is possible if it weren't for Pacquiao's dedication to the sport of boxing. Gone were the days where he was staying late shooting pool and drinking beer. How come people forget about that? This is the focused and upgraded version of what was already a sensation. Give the man his due respect instead of spitting ridiculous baseless stories talking about he's on some ancient 'bulletproofing' stuff. As long as Pacquiao has that desire in him to be the best and make his country proud, he will continue to astonish and defy logic just like Pac Man will continue to chomp on his villains.
And just like the game, make sure you enjoy it while you can because no matter how great something is, nothing lasts forever.
Author: Dennis "dSource" Guillermo