Am I the only one noticing the vast gulf of class between eminent 3rd world emissaries Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey, as opposed to the general thuggery and juvenile inclinations of boxing’s unsavory Western emissaries, Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley?
Both Manny and Josh have been nothing but gentlemen boxers in the leadup to the big Cowboy dance in Dallas. It goes further, however. Both seem to be genuinely buoyed by the presence of each other and are happy to be part of the historical inauguration of Cowboy Stadium’s boxing venue.
One could easily see each return for a joyous joint appearance 25 years hence shaking hands and signing autographs in a big anniversary celebration of The Event.
Now compare to the unseemly immature thug mentality of the ‘Who R U Picking’ promotion with the tawdry pulling, pushing and posing session that kicked off the Mayweather/Mosley match. Was this choreographed by some 7th grade class as part of their yearly class play, or was this the actual representational mental ages of the protagonists?
But wait, there’s more.
Mayweather is part of a team with long rap felony sheets to rival any team in boxing history, and was last seen being part of the promotional team served a civil lawsuit for “allegedly” slandering the career of Pacquiao with Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) accusations.
Shane Mosley has a more sympathetic reputation, but is also a key member of that promotional group and was investigated by a federal grand jury for his role in the notorious Balco Laboratories scandal that resulted in several criminal investigations, convictions, and prison sentences of other involved parties.
Oh, I have no illusions that Pacquiao and Clottey are the sainted reincarnations of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Any of us may have kicked the odd dog or proffered the odd obscenity, or otherwise behaved rudely or even dangerously in the maturation process, but most people grow into to the larger social responsibilities of citizenship.
And, doubtless both Mayweather and Mosley have hugged children and otherwise engaged in charitable causes, so it’s not as if they are without some measure of redemption.
A key difference is that Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey are motivated by seeing themselves as representatives for their countries, diplomatic ambassadors if you will. They wish to honor their country and peoples to enhance their reputations and improve their impoverished lot.
There was a book written about Americans by Americans, Eugene Burdick and William Lederer over 50 years ago named ‘The Ugly American’ that has come to be emblematic of far too many American athletes these days.
I guess if there is a positive spin to be put on this minor rant, perhaps it would be that all of the aforementioned parties are free to chose their behaviors, so what you see is who they infact are.
Well, we will see who brings the most bottle to the battle soon enough, which is what these promotions are supposed to be about, right?
We shall perhaps have to see, but I already know which one fans will but popping up for review years from now.
How about you?