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Pacquiao: A Global Icon

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Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Miguel Cotto has been dubbed as the coronation of the new Pound-for-Pound King.  Assuredly, a title befitting a man who has won a championship in seven different weight classes, but one that fails to encapsulate the significance of Pacquiao’s achievements.  Pacquiao has established himself as the most influential figure in a country with a population of 98 million; furthermore, with his popularity increasing throughout Southeast Asia, Pacquiao is poised to become the most culturally important athlete since Muhammad Ali.  Not to disparage Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, but they are commercially created entities.  Pacquiao’s celebrity, like Ali’s, developed organically.  Pacquiao has come to represent more than athletic prowess, he embodies the hopes and dreams of millions seeking refuge in his athletic achievement.    

Pacquiao’s devoted following is attributable to the kinship he has established with his fans.  His meager upbringing, his small stature and the sincere gratitude which he expresses at every opportunity, humanizes his performance to millions worldwide.  The ferocity with which he fights leads his followers to exalt him as a warrior, while his karaoke skills reminds them he is still a kid from the sloughs of General Santos City.  Similar to Ali, Pacquiao understands that his importance extends beyond the boxing ring, whereas Jordan and Woods have attempted to insulate themselves within the boundaries of competition.  Pacquiao embraces his celebrity status, and understands the responsibility associated with such a status.  A win over Floyd Mayweather Jr. will enable Pacquiao to transcend sports, and cast his brand globally.  There are no limitations for Pacquiao in the future.  We should all recognize that we are bearing witness to a career with historic ramifications.

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Written by Peter Amador

November 18, 2009 at 4:05 AM

Posted in Boxing

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