Manny Pacquiao is a living legend.
And to his credit, his legacy just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Sometime within the last few years, "The Fighting Pride of General Santos City in the Philippines" has won over the hearts and minds of former U.S. President George W. Bush, oil conglomerate and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and legions upon legions of passionate boxing fans in Mexico.
Pacquiao can't seem to help himself, he continues to inspire the masses to shower him with love and support.
When Top Rank Promotions' Bob Arum took in the Dallas Cowboys playoff game last month at Cowboys Stadium—prior to finalizing the deal to stage Pacquiao's March 13 showdown with Joshua Clottey there—he had the chance to speak with President Bush in Jones's luxury suite and found out first-hand that he was "a huge Pacquiao fan."
With that knowledge in his back pocket, Arum now has his sights firmly set on President Bush presenting Pacquiao with his prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America awards at a ceremony in New York City on June 11, eve of the Philippine Independence Day.
Pacquiao of course, earlier this week, was declared Fighter of the Decade and the Fighter of the Year and guaranteed that he would be in attendance at the awards ceremony. It is the second year straight, and the third year in the last four, that he has won the annual accolade.
Jones meanwhile has been in Mexico City, Mex., and is now headed to Monterrey, Mex., as he continues to promote the upcoming fight between Pacquiao and Clottey. After attending the Mexico City press conference where the hosts rolled out the red carpet, he had this to say with distinct happiness and regard about the iconic fighter's status in Mexico:
"Manny Pacquiao is an enigma. The reception is unbelievable, Manny is well-respected, well-liked, and beloved by Mexico, whose men he had beaten up."
And Arum, who is accompanying Jones on the press tour, had words of his own to summarize the proceedings, stating "we are mesmerized with the reception given to us."
It really should not be a surprise that millions of Mexico's passionate fans have taken such a liking to Pacquiao. He epitomizes the same characteristics that many of Mexico's great boxing legends from the past were blessed with: fearlessness, aggressiveness, humility, and the glorification of God in everything he does.
I actually think that a lot of Mexican boxing fans look at Pacquiao as one of their own in a way.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the other hand has been up to his usual shenanigans. The 40-0 legend in his own mind has continued to come up small in his responsibilities as a boxer and proves the only thing he is truly good at is making people curse his name.
We were told last Friday that Mayweather had agreed to fight Shane Mosley on May 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mosley, as it turns out, went ahead and signed the contract on Friday.
But Mayweather must have had really important plans for the next five days because he didn't sign the contract until yesterday.
It might not seem like much of a travesty until you realize one minor thing. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions who is representing both fighters, had big plans to go down to the Super Bowl in Miami, Fla., this week to promote the mega-fight. And at last word, he had decided to scrap those plans.
"He still hasn't signed. I am so frustrated," Schaefer said on Tuesday. "I wanted both guys to go down to the Super Bowl in Miami to do some promotional stuff. I don't know what Floyd is waiting for. I have no clue. I have a signed contract from Shane on my desk. I have nothing from Floyd.
"We want to do some big PR, so this is frustrating. I read Ellerbe's (Leonard Ellerbe is Mayweather's adviser) quotes that it was agreed to and that it was just a matter of time to get it signed, but if it's all done, why isn't it signed?"
Besides those comments from Schaefer, Mosley's attorney Judd Burstein also chimed in with some threatening words to Mayweather before he finally felt compelled to sign the contract he had agreed to:
"It's either one of two things that has happened. Either he's rethought the wisdom of risking his undefeated record against Shane or he chooses to act like a 7-year-old. Hopefully, it's the latter and he will mature very quickly. But either of these possibilities is completely unacceptable to us. He's going to end up in a fight with Mosley. The only question is whether it will be in the ring or in court."
I guess Mayweather decided to be a big boy after all, congratulations to him.
Note: This story was initially titled "Manny Pacquiao Continues To Exceed Expectations Mayweather...Not So Much," and was altered to increase visibility.
Photo: Manny Pacquiao