Bruce Lee was the first Asian superstar (if you don't count Charlie Chan, whom I'm not even sure was Asian).
Bruce brought the Asian culture to the American audience in a series of awesome martial arts movies in the early 1970s. He also founded Jeet Kune Do and, by some, is considered the Godfather of MMA. Although he died of mysterious circumstances at 32, his legacy lives on to this day.
Manny Pacquiao is the first superstar Asian boxer. He's taken the boxing world by storm and is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Before Pacquiao, 88 percent of Americans didn't even know that the Philippines were a country. He's done an amazing job of putting his country on the map and in the national conscience.
But, the age old question remains.
Who would win in a fight between these Asian superstars?
It's like asking who would win between Godzilla and King Kong (I go with the lizard because he had that radioactive breath).
Or, Spiderman vs Batman (I've got to go with Spidey, although Batman had the cooler alter ego).
Before we can answer that question, we have to judiciously analyze the merits of both men.
Pacquiao beat Ricky Hatton. Bruce beat Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Hmmm, beating the crap out of a small English guy or beating the crap out of a 7'2" Muslim.
Pacquiao took apart Oscar De La Hoya. Bruce beat a hairy, young Chuck Norris.
Tough one. Beating the crap out of a tough Latino from east Los Angeles or a moderately athletic right wing nut job and a horrific actor.
Pacquiao dismantled Miguel Cotto. Bruce beat up 60 black belts in Enter The Dragon.
At first, this is an easy win for Bruce. But, after watching the film closer, most of those black belts looked more like short-order cooks in a bad Chinese restaurant. No muscle tone. No hand speed. Bad haircuts.
Pacquiao can sing like a Filipino Don Ho. Bruce has mad num chuck skills.
If you could choose between singing like Don Ho or having mad num chuck skills, what would you choose?
Manny looks like Gumby on Acid. Bruce looks like an Asian Steve McQueen.
Bruce was famous for playing a pissed off Shaolin monk, infiltrates an island fortress, captures a cobra with his bare hands, beats up on 60 black belts, avenges the murder of his sister, and then kicks the crap out of Han. And, he doesn't even sleep with any of those hot concubines/sex slaves because he's religious.
Manny looks like Gumby on Acid in his latest movie. He's flying through shopping malls as some kind of super hero dressed like a condom. What the hell? Who is his agent?
Advantage: Bruce by a long way.
Manny has a moustache. Bruce wears a tight yellow and black jump suit in Game of Death.
Manny is accused of doing steroids. Bruce is accused of smoking massive amounts of marijuana.
Advantage: Definitely Bruce.
I also took several other factors into consideration.
Do I prefer Chinese food or Filipino food? Although I'm a huge fan of chicken adobo, I've got to go with Chinese because of mu shu pork and the spicy mustard sauce.
Which is better? Chinese music or Filipino music?
I have no idea.
Which country has hotter women?
I probably have to go with the Philippines because my Filipino friend has a really hot sister. But, China did have that really smoking girl in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
In the end, I think Bruce takes Manny. It's a tough one. Bruce also played "Kato" in the Green Hornet and was the brain trust behind Kung Fu. That puts him over the edge.