Except you were born recently, you probably know when schoolboys used to wear a particular haircut known as “Tyson.” And for those who were born recently, young enough not to know the great boxing legend, Mike Tyson, I do not know whether to sympathise with you or empathise. I enjoyed the excitements of seeing Tyson take the “jabs” and the “knocks” against his victims in the boxing ring.
You heard me right “victim”. You must be so unfortunate if you are in the ring with the tiger, Tyson. If you want to know if you are cursed as a boxer, just let your manager arrange for a challenge for you with Mike Tyson. How better can you start a career? I stopped following boxing passionately in 1996 after the fight between Tyson and Evander Holyfield turned bloody with a piece of Holyfield’s ear bitten off by Tyson. This nonetheless did not prevent me from seeing the “Match of the Century” boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather deep into the morning of Sunday, May 3, 2015.
I particularly admired Pacquiao for his humility and calmness. The opposite is the case with Mayweather. Irrespective of your attitude, in sport little does your attitude matter. This explains why impulsive players are sometimes the best. Pacquiao’s defeat was his own undoing for several reasons.
First, activity is not productivity. Some people have accused Mayweather (May) of packing the bus. For me, what matters is the results not your activity. Pacquiao (Pac) was busy going after May, throwing punches, but not hitting the mark. Ultimately, what counts for points are those punches that hits the opponents not just those that were thrown! At the end of the fight, Pac in his interview said “I thought I won the fight. I got more than he got me.” Pac may think that throwing punches that were parried by May got him. In boxing what counts are those that hit, not those parried.
Secondly, emotions don’t always win. If it is love, affections and adulations, Pac would have won. If the fans were allowed to vote during or after the fight, Pac wouldn’t have even thrown a punch for him to win. A lot of hearts were broken on Sunday when the judges in a unanimous verdict, announced May as the winner of the “Fight of the Century”. Many had to rename it “Scam of the Century” since the popular candidate did not win. If there is anything, the popular candidate ends up losing, and sometimes badly!
Thirdly, fairness is very relative. Like other virtues, fairness is a relative concept. For May’s fans, the fight wasn’t a stage-managed affair. But to Pac’s fans, it was a big scam. Though Pac thought he won the fight, his thoughts on the final result matter less.
I know Pac is a good, practising Christian but I doubt if God will ever support the activities of gamblers in Las Vegas, many of whom took several bets on Pac. The God I know is the God of the living and the dead; the saints and sinners; of the heavens and the earth. God is not partisan, least of all in a boxing match!
I enjoyed myself watching the fight anyway, even if I had to go out late in the night to a public viewing centre to watch the fight because there was no electricity supply. I struggled through to concentrate on the sermon in church that morning as my eyes were showing signs of lack of sleep during the night.
May God help us.