Manny Pacquiao is one of boxing's finest characters. He proved that much by his gracious handling of one of the more egregious decisions in recent boxing history.
Pacquiao was robbed of a victory in his fight against Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley, but you wouldn't know it by the was he carried himself through his post-fight interviews.
This was the worst Pacquiao said after the fight, as per BoxingNews.com:
I respect the decision, but 100% I believe that I won the fight…the fans in their heart know who won the fight…he hit me with a couple of jabs, but I don’t even remember him hitting me a solid punch in my face and — amazing what the result is.
Not too dicey for a guy that just had his 16th straight victory snatched out from under his nose.
That just serves as more evidence that Pacquiao is one of the classiest fighters in the sport. He respects the decision, even though it is clear who should have won that fight.
What would Floyd Mayweather have said if he was deprived of a victory in a fight like this? The wrath of "Money May" would have came crashing down on the boxing world. He would have had to be dragged kicking and screaming back to his dressing room by his corner. He likely would have gone on a Twitter rant, defaming the sport and cursing the ringside judges that made the decision.
But not Pac-Man. All he did was pat Bradley on the back, clasp his hands in prayer and calmly walk out of the ring with his entourage behind him.
His wife was stunned, his children were too, but Pacquiao could only bring himself to say this, according to the Associated Press (via FoxSports.com): ''I did my best. I guess my best wasn't good enough.''
No profanity-laced tirade, no denouncing of the two judges who were so clearly in the wrong, just a self-deprecating remark about how he "wasn't good enough" to win the fight.
We already knew Pacquiao was a man of moral fiber—through his political career, religious beliefs and humanitarian work—but the way he handled this loss brought him to another level.
I don't know about you, but I lose it when I get eliminated from a game of Monopoly, so I can't even imagine the fury raging inside of Pacquiao once he heard Michael Buffer say, "Winner by split decision, and new WBO Welterweight champion of the world..."
But he kept his cool even as he heard Bradley blow some cockamamie, insincere smoke up his own rear end.
We could all learn a lesson from Pacquiao, because, like he said in the above video, "It's all part of the game."