Muhammad Ali, the charismatic three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, who declared himself “the greatest” and proved it with his fists, the force of his personality and his magnetic charisma, and who transcended the world of sports to become a symbol of the antiwar movement of the 1960s and a global ambassador for cross-cultural understanding, died June 3 at a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was living. He was 74.
His family released a statement confirming his death. The boxer had been hospitalized with respiratory problems related to Parkinson’s disease, which had been diagnosed in the 1980s.
On Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will finally face off in what’s been dubbed, “The Fight of the Century.”
It will be a record-breaking fight in terms of its purse, Pay-Per-View costs and, presumably, viewership. However, its also generated intense criticism of Mayweather due to his atrocious and horrifying record of violence against women, which stands without any punishment or suspension from the sport.
Make no mistake, it is a despicable record, filled with convictions, court appearances and jail time, which has led some to support Pacquiao, who has been lifted up as something of the “good guy” in the fight. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said he sees the fight as “good against evil,” noting that the boxer’s hatred for domestic violence is serving as a driving force.
Watching the weigh in yesterday, I noted that while Mayweather stared and glared at Pacquiao during the “stare down” Pacquiao, on the other hand, had a knowing smile, a smile that to me said a lot. It said the Manny WANTS this fight, and would fight to free, while Mayweather, who has been ducking this clash for years, is all about the massive pay day the fight will bring. It also tells me Pacquiao has no respect for Mayweather BECAUSE of Mayweathers’ abuse of women. So, it ought to be easy to pull for Pacquiao right? NAW! Not for the Liberals
But even after considering all that, to root for team Pac-Man for any sort of pro-woman reasons wouldn’t be justified either.
Most of the commentary leading up to the fight has been about boycotts and distastesurrounding Mayweather’s actions, rather than full-throated support for Pacquiao. But if we’re going to question whether someone can dislike Mayweather because of his treatment of women, should we not also do the same of Pacquiao and his politics?
“Manny is really against domestic violence,” Roach has said. “It is a big issue maybe in the Philippines for him and being a congressman he can control some of that stuff.”
He is right about one thing: Pacquiao does have a role in Philippine legislation, but many of his past stances are worth a second look.
For one, after Pacquiao was elected to the Philippine congress in 2010, he opposed a bill that would increase the government funding for contraception and family planning services, according to USA Today in 2011. The boxer is also adamantly against abortion, which is illegal in the Philippine Constitution:
Ah, yes men beating women is bad, really bad, BUT being pro-life? Just as bad!
I might as well, make a pick for the fight. It would seem to me that these are two great fighters, dominant fighters. But, again, Manny WANTS this fight, you could tell how badly he wants this on his face yesterday. To me, no boxing expert, that spells trouble for the woman beater!