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List of Articles by Reni M. Valenzuela



SPORTSMANSHIP IN BOXING AND BASKETBALL

By Reni M. Valenzuela
PhilBoxing.com
25 Feb 2015




Champions are not paranoid.

An athlete is declared a winner by winning. But a winner is adjudged a champion by bouncing back from his losses. Nothing excites the fans better than watching losers win and win again, and again. This is why the old Sugar Ray Robinson is Sugar Ray Robinson forever and why the old Muhammad Ali is Muhammad Ali today.

History is good to men and women who are simply good and did the extraordinary. No book or “historian” can distort stories of the heart. Robinson and Ali are adored by the fans for their tested skills and courage as pugilists, not for being “unbeaten.”

Certainly it’s the same reason why people brand Manny Pacquiao as an exciting boxer (not as a PBA player) while, on the other hand, they describe Floyd Mayweather Jr. as dull and boring. Too bad for Floyd, he’s likely not aware of the real situation. Otherwise, he could have fought Pacquiao a long time ago, he could have not developed the habit of “cherry picking,” and he could have maximized his potential as a talented boxer years ago.

Why legends are legends? Why heroes are heroes?

Mayweather pronounced a profound truth about Pacquiao in a recent interview and no one could have arranged the words sweeter: “A true champion knows how to take a loss and bounce back and overcome, and that’s what Pacquiao has done.” And that’s what Floyd is missing in his boxing career.

But who equates Pacquiao to Rizal, Bonifacio, Gandhi or Martin Luther King?

It was a bad, bigger joke. Poor PBA import and former NBA player Daniel Orton who was fined P250,000 and sent home for pissing the Sanhedrin. Call it hard foul or cry “below the belt.” Pity the humble Orton. Since when has truth or “light jest” become mockery or insulting? Where is justice? Or where is the wooden hammer?

“Everyone is angry at him… it is like he went to the United States and insulted the name of Martin Luther King,” says the plaintiff. But who else is angry? And who else believes the comparison?

I’m not angry at Orton. And I find nothing wrong in the issue except the intolerance of some in the league. Here’s Daniel’s comment and crime: “Professional boxer, yeah, okay… professional basketball, no. It’s a joke.” Alas, which one is the joke? And to who are we supposed to direct our indignation?
Pacquiao is a boxing champion, but why kick out Horton for airing his opinion about Pacquiao as a professional basketball player? Freedom is not absolute, yes, but freedom to air an opinion is. And it is no respecter of place. Why exaggerate the “worship” of Pacquiao as a Filipino icon and why punish Horton as if he committed an abominable act? The accusers have no right to get mad at the man, unless they’ve exalted Pacquiao as a god.

Floyd acts like he acts because he is extremely and ironically an insecure champion. The same can be said of dwarfs who mingle in the game.

Be sport.

renimvalenzuela@yahoo.com


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