by Lawrence Casiraya
METRO MANILA – He may not be fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. – at least not in his next fight – but Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao remains a hot topic for people from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Less than a week before he again climbs onto the ring – this time against Joshua Clottey, a native of Ghana now based in the US – Pacquiao is the center of discussion literally almost everywhere, boxing related or otherwise.
Even The Huffington Post, a blog based in the US that’s largely politically inclined, ran an entry on Pacquiao, written by international correspondent Virginia Moncrieff. It’s not exactly about his upcoming fight, but more like a perspective on Pacquiao, his celebrity status and, of course, his political aspirations – sparking discussions about the political scenario in the Philippines itself.
Gareth Davies, sports columnist for the UK’s Daily Telegraph, also wrote about the boxer’s popularity, although a bit more toned down and direct to the point. By now, every Pacquiao fan has his infamous karaoke on The Jimmy Kimmel Show or heard about his celebrity-filled workouts.
Moreso, the story behind the aborted megabuck fight versus Mayweather, who is also stepping into the ring against Shane Mosley remains to be a hot topic. Mosley was previously pestering Pacquiao to fight him next. Intentionally or not, Mayweather is also keeping himself in the headlines with the alleged racial discrimination against Filipino boxing scribes.
Pacquiao and Mayweather have since traded jabs at each other off the ring. While there are talks his bout against Clottey would be his last given his political plans, the entire boxing world still wants see a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.
I personally believe that fight will happen, whether or not Pacquiao wins a seat in Congress this May. If their day jobs did not stop certain politicians from making movies on the side, what more a boxing champion entering another fight that would put his name – and more importantly, his country – in the record books?
Pacquiao has always been a willing entertainer and if history is at stake, he will surely step up to the plate.
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