Monday, November 15, 2010

Hero of the Week: Manny Pacquiao

photo from

On Saturday, boxer Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBC Junior Middleweight Champion title in his bout against Antonio Margarito. Manny has handily snatched up championship belts in eight different weight classes--the most in boxing history. Prior to his steady, fiery entrance into the consciousness of mainstream sports fans, the boxing world was looking for a hero. The brutal, outdated sport had arguably been struggling to remain relevant: lagging ticket sales, interest, and no charismatic figure with the ability to rise above the undeniable inherent violence of boxing as previous characters have...until Manny. The Filipino fighter fights on behalf of a nation that loves their pugilist son so intensely that during his matches crime in the Philippines drops drastically...almost to nothing. The culture of Manny Pacquiao is almost as amazing as his accomplishments in the ring. He loves his country as much as they love him. Surrounded by an enormous ever fluctuating entourage he freely and happily supports his men as well as the most poverty stricken of his homeland. Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum once joked, "He gives away so much money, Pacquiao is the welfare system in the Philippines. He signs so many autographs, he sometimes switches hands."

click here for GQ's look behind the boxer from April 2010.