Written by Jonathan Barker. Media by Wes O’Dell.
The long awaited boxing matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally became a reality on Saturday May 2nd. The fight was even labeled “the fight of the century.” A unanimous decision ended the 12-round match with Floyd Mayweather on top. Mayweather remains at an undefeated 48-0 and kept the WBA, WBC, and The Ring Welterweight title belts, although Pacquiao claims that he won the fight. Many fans that were hoping for an exciting knockout were underwhelmed by the outcome of the fight.
The fight had been hyped as a conflict of good and evil. Floyd Mayweather has a less-than flattering background with several cases of domestic violence and a proud attitude towards his misogynistic lifestyle. On the other hand, Manny Pacquiao is an unashamed born-again Christian. Pacquiao was reportedly joyful during the fight’s official weight-in. As a matter of fact, Pacquiao has been calling out Mayweather for a while now. So why would a Christian be so eager to fight?
My pacifist friends may see some conflict with a man who lives to share the story of Jesus while involved in an occupation in which the goal is to inflict as much pain as possible on the opponent. However, I would disagree. I think there is a lot more to the issue than what is on the surface. Pacquiao was already a professional when he became a Christian.
In today’s sports-driven culture, we place professional athletes on a pedestal, as if they have the responsibility to be better people because they are famous. Of course since humans are imperfect, those in the spotlight will constantly let down their fans and make headline news. Whether that news is a DUI or a domestic violence case, the news never seems to be very positive.
I believe that it is important to have godly role models at any level of competition, regardless of how violent the sport is. I think it would be too easy for any spectator to focus on what happens in the boxing ring and ignore what happens behind closed doors. However, Pacquiao’s behavior reflects his beliefs. He is not afraid to voice his faith through his social media use or to thank God during an interview. He has a history of donating large sums of money to those in need and even pledged to donate half of the revenue earned from the Floyd Mayweather fight. http://sports.inquirer.net/140591/pacquiao-to-mayweather-lets-fight-for-charity
In conclusion, it is not our judgment that decides who is a good person and who is a bad person. This world is not always black and white so we should keep this in mind when assessing situations we truly know little about. We should be careful before we encourage stigma’s that may not be true. Does someone’s Christian faith make him or her a hero? On the other hand, does someone’s criminal history make him or her a bad person, or is there still hope for a fellow human? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!