Manny Pacquiao: Is Larry Holmes On Point About Him and Mayweather?
Manny Pacquiao has a big fan in Larry Holmes.
The former heavyweight champion did an interview with Examiner.com, and sounded off about boxing's current pound-for-pound champ, as well as Floyd Mayweather Jr. Holmes said he's proud of Pacquiao and that he "brings a lot of excitement to the ring and makes people want to see his fights." He also blasted Mayweather, calling him a "little a------" and criticizing him for his behavior.
People have always criticized each generation and harped about the changes in culture. But is this just brutal honesty, or the ramblings of a former champ who is out of touch with reality?
Here are five reasons why Holmes is dead on, and five reasons why he's not:
Reason No. 5 He Is: Same Song and Verse
When discussing Mayweather, Holmes mentioned his father Floyd Sr. and uncle Roger, who were also boxers. "He's a good fighter, but he got his ability in boxing from them, from his family," Holmes told Examiner.com. "But you don't ever hear him speak on that." There have been rare moments when "Money" Mayweather has spoke fondly about his family, but Holmes is accurate for the most part: It's usually about family feuds and trash-talking.
Reason No. 5 He's Not: Floyd Still Put in the Work
Coming from a boxing family didn't guarantee Mayweather automatic success. He still had to put in the hard work and develop his talent to become one of the bext boxers of this generation. Sports have plenty of other examples of athletes who had to make their own names, from the Mannings in football, to the Williams sisters in tennis and Alomars in baseball.
Reason No. 4 He Is: It Is a Great Tandem
Holmes is dead on when he said, "Best thing Manny ever did was getting connected with Freddie Roach as his teacher, his trainer." Since then, success has followed, and before it's over, the two could be mentioned right with Muhammad Ali and Angelo Dundee, as well as Dundee and Sugar Ray Leonard to name just a couple.
Reason No. 4 He's Not: Floyd's Not the First
Holmes is a little off base to criticize Mayweather for his behavior. He certainly isn't the first boxer whose cockiness and classless behavior has rubbed fans the wrong way. Mike Tyson was way worse with how he acted (hard to top biting someone's ear, then saying you want to eat another man's children), and "Prince" Naseem Hamed was overboard with his cockiness.
Reason No. 3 He Is: It Certainly Doesn't Help
Holmes said in the Examiner story that Mayweather "comes off as a bad guy."
"The way he talks, all that bitch this and bitch that, I don't go for that, either," Holmes said. "No one's going to call my sister a bitch, call her out of her name, at least not in front of me."
That's tame compared to some stuff Mayweather has said. He may get huge paydays, but Mayweather's attitude and behavior outside the ring is just the kind of thing that turns off many fight fans and has them rooting for Pacquiao to beat him if they do fight.
Reason No. 3 He's Not: Nowhere Close To Sugar Ray
Holmes got a little off track when he discussed Mayweather and how popular he could be. "Could he as popular like Sugar Ray Leonard was? Yeah, if he didn't come as such an an assh---," Holmes said.
Mayweather may be charismatic like Leonard, but the two fought in completely different eras. Leonard's image began to develop in the Olympics, when boxing was still popular. Now it's an afterthought. Leonard also was always very likeable. Mayweather does charity work on the side and has tried to give back, but has also admitted he embraces the role of being a bad guy.
Reason No. 2 He Is: Fans Love Humble Fighters
When talking about Mayweather, Holmes said, "You've got to be humble. You've got to be someone who people can like, who they can admire." Quite true. Fighters like Pacquiao and Arturo Gatti will always be embraced for their humility, and hard-working approach to the sport.
Reason No. 2 He's Not: Floyd's Following the Script
Mayweather isn't the first fighter to come across as brash, arrogant and cocky. Back in his prime, Muhammad Ali invented trash-talking and even recited poetry about how he would beat opponents. His comments about Joe Frazier were also borderline inappropriate, and both his religious and political beliefs drew heavy criticism from many Americans.
Reason No.1 He Is: All About Entertainment
Pacquiao definitely is one of boxing's most entertaining fighters. The sport thrives off fighters like him, the late Arturo Gatti, Marco Antonio Barrera, Miguel Cotto and Roy Jones Jr. Quality boxing is appreciated, but fans come in droves to see fighters who will trade and slug it out.
Reason No.1 He's Not: Part of the Culture
"I don't know what his problem is really but Mayweather has got a big chip on his shoulder," Holmes said. "He conducts himself like an ass in public, flashing money and all that. These are hard economic times, lot of people can't find jobs and he's flashing all that cash?"
Holmes comes across out of touch, and naive. "Flashing money" is something you'll see plenty of in today's hip-hop culture, which values money, bling and devalues women. That doesn't make his behavior appropriate, but it's nothing abnormal either.
Larry Holmes does have many valid points about both Pacquiao and Mayweather, but he does seem to get carried away by his emotions when talking about Mayweather. His behavior is inappropriate, but Mayweather also isn't the first athlete, and boxer, to act like this.
It's just too bad he couldn't do more for the sport.