Manny Pacquiao: The Cultural Phenomenon
Manny Pacquiao is more than just a boxer who will put his title on the line Saturday night against Shane Mosley.
Yes, you know all about the eight titles, including the WBO welterweight crown he will defend against Mosley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. You know about the budding singing career. You know he has a new cologne. You know about the Nike deal, among other endorsements. And you know he is a Congressman in his native Philippines.
But Pacquiao is more than that. He's a cultural phenomenon, a true crossover star in boxing. Think about that for a moment -- how many boxers have we had in the last generation or so who truly could be called "appointment viewing?" That is, you didn't want to miss their fight at any cost.
There was Mike Tyson, of course, but his star flamed out after losing to Buster Douglas in 1991 and, frankly, there's been nobody since except for Pacquiao -- unless you count, very briefly, Oscar De La Hoya. Before Iron Mike there was Sugar Ray Leonard, and you could probably argue that Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler belong in that group.
But Pacquiao is a different beast, which is why I thought a second viewing -- or maybe even a first, for some of you -- of this 60 Minutes profile from last fall, before Pacquiao fought and beat Antonio Margarito, would give you a good sense of who this guy really is.
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