Monday, May 09, 2011

Fair Play: You don't have to fight to sell a fight

SOMETIMES it seems the only way boxers know how to sell a fight is to, well, fight the other guy whenever they have the chance.

Threaten you’d eat the other guy’s children? Cue in Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis.

Say something really catchy, like how you’ll get the Gorilla in the Thrilla in Manila? Cue in Muhammad Ali.

How about a brawl during the weigh-in? Well, you have Pauli Malignaggi and Amir Khan.

But Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley? Damn, I think they had a contest as to who can say the nicer things about each other.

And every time they’d do that face-off, that traditional let’s-see-who-blinks-first that almost seems to get way out of hand when promoters want extra publicity, the two broke out in giggles and boyish grins.

Makes you wonder, how the hell were they going to beat each other to a pulp?
One fan wondered, too.

In one of the numerous YouTube videos, there was one that showed the two boxers fielding questions from fans, (I wondered if the reporters thought it was just one press con too many). Pacquiao, who was asked if he idolized Justin Bieber because of his hair cut, was also asked what would motivate him to knock out Mosley since there is no clear “bad guy” in the promotion.

Manny said he wasn’t really looking for a knockout when Shane interrupted him, “It’s OK Manny, you can tell them you’re going to knock me out because I’m going to knock you out!”

Classic. Bravo!

If it was you-know-who who got asked, he’d be screaming, “(bleep) That cheating (bleep), (bleep) (bleep) (racist remark) will go down like a sack of (bleep) after I (bleep) (bleep) (bleep) (bleep) (bleep). And yeah I’m the greatest ever (bleep) (bleep).”

Manny himself praised the promotions for the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight because of the lack of trash talk, saying they have proven that you can promote a fight without resorting to insults.

Yep, pre-fight fighting is sooo yesterday, it’s time for promoters and boxers to clean up their act, learn a new thing or two. As to you-know-who? Well, I believe he’s got a few dates with the judges (those wearing robes, not the ringside ones) before he’ll get a chance to fight Manny.

MORE VIDEOS. I really like these documentaries on the fighters that get shown weeks before the fight, and get streamed online. Aside from getting a peek at their training, you also learn a few stuffs or two.

Like Buboy Fernandez telling Manny to ham it up for the camera. “Ipakita to imong isog nga pose ba, kato gud itago nimo imo mata...Kana, kana..tapos lingi dayun.”

Then there’s Manny’s funny Scottish accent imitation. “I’m from ScoLAND. Our hero is William Wallace…”

He would do that again when his stablemate Amir Khan joined him in training, asking the British fighter where he was from and then answering back.

“I’m from Scotland…we’re fighting the Englishman…”

You have to see it.

But for me, one of the most revealing that I’ve learned from these shows was one that showed Freddie Roach talking about a flight delay. I remember a few years ago there was a ruckus when an international flight got delayed, allegedly because Pacquiao was late. The airline also issued a statement denying they delayed the flight to accommodate Pacquiao.

Roach dropped the word allegedly.

According to Roach, during one flight, the delay was explained by the airline by saying they were waiting for an important equipment.

“Funny thing is,” Roach said, while stifling a laugh. “That ‘missing equipment’ and Manny arrived together.”

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