Pacquiao larger than life for Broner
Adrien Broner will face someone larger than life when he boxes with Manny Pacquiao for the vacant WBA welterweight title at MGM Grand on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Broner, better known for his legal problems than his craft as a fighter, is promising to humiliate Pacquiao (60-7-2 39 KOs)—boxing’s only incumbent senator and the only fighter to win title in eight different weight divisions.
A more compelling reason for the Cincinnati, Ohio, scrapper (33-3-1, 24 KOs) to psyche himself is the fact that he
will tangle with a foe who could be the next president of the Philippines.
President Duterte has openly endorsed Pacquiao, his fellow Mindanaoan, to be next chief executive.
Meantime, some polls are projecting Pacquiao as the winner in 2022, to the delight of the masses and the chagrin of the power elite.
The Filipino ring icon has delved into the baby-kissing, hand-shaking business like no other since he won as a congressman in 2010.
But is he proving that sports and politics do mix?
“The ever-wise Freddie Roach, who might have been Socrates before reincarnation as a boxing trainer, scrunches his nose at the question,” wrote Bill Dwyre, the sports editor emeritus of Los Angeles Times.
Dwyre said the Hall of Fame trainer still treats politics and sports “as oil and water, nuns and tattoos” as proven by Pacquiao’s unexpected loss to Australian ex-school teacher Jeff Horn in 2017.
Roach, fired by the Pacman’s camp for the Horn defeat, still maintains that “punching and politicking do not go hand in glove,” according to Dwyre.
Roach ironically was rehired recently by Pacquiao, who trained at Freddie’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood for the tiff with Broner.
Pacquiao is definitely not the first professional boxer to delve into politics.
The closest to live the Filipino fighter’s dream of roaming the corridors of power was the late Alexis Arguello.
After his retirement from boxing, Arguello, a three-time world champion, became active in the politics of his native Nicaragua.
In November 2008, Arguello was elected mayor of Managua, the nation’s capital city. But barely seven months later, he was found dead at home from multiple bullet wounds.
Arguello gave Rolando Navarette, the “Bad Boy” of Dadiangas, now General Santos City, Pacquiao’s hometown, the hardest beating in his career when they squared off for the WBC super featherweight belt on April 27, 1980.
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