Why Manny won; more on Filipino slur on ESPN | Global News

Why Manny won; more on Filipino slur on ESPN

12:16 AM May 07, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Like many American Filipinos I sat with my accented cousins in their living room in San Francisco to watch the most distinguished overseas Filipino worker today, Manny Pacquaio.

Who else embodies the modern global Filipino who must go abroad to earn a living than the Pacman?

But the mega fight never grew as large as the big screen TV that delivered it. Instead, the fight got smaller and smaller by the round. It’s like a cake that didn’t bake.


Every time Manny took the fight to Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather seemed to say, “No thanks.” It wasn’t like Roberto Duran’s “No, mas.” Mayweather was there. He just didn’t engage.


Every time it could have been a fight, Mayweather grabbed, held, head locked. At one point, I thought I was watching tackle football. And all this talk about Mayweather jabbing Pacquaio at will? A jab is boxing’s version of patty-cake. It’s just the set up for combos and the big punches, that Mayweather rarely threw.

Mayweather is all about money. Risk-free. Best we use a tax analogy, as the money men involved, Mayweather and especially Pacquiao, do understand taxes. Your CPA will tell you, tax avoidance is fair. Tax evasion is not. The difference is slight, but there is a difference.

Back to boxing. Mayweather slipping away is fine to avoid punishment. But going totally on defense is evasion of the matter at hand. The event is called a fight for a reason. You clash. Cross swords.

Even in a debate, you declare the winner based on how both sides clash on the issues. You don’t give the victory to the B.S. artist. When there was a fight that night, it was when Pacquiao aggressively took it to Mayweather.

I had Pacman winning seven rounds (see my live blog of the fight at www.amok.com). In the ten-point must system of scoring, you give 10 points to the winner, 9 to the loser of the round. You deduct points for low blows, fouls, knockdowns, etc. But the round always goes to the aggressor, and usually ends up 10-9.

I had Manny winning rounds 2, 3, 4, 6 (especially 4 and 6). And I gave him rounds 7, 9, 10. Seven rounds total for Pacquiao. I gave Mayweather five rounds when he didn’t run or do his self-rope-a-dope.


“Self-rope-a-dope,” of course, refers to a boxer, without leaning on the ropes or not, simply puts up his guard and invites his opponent to box himself out of energy so he’s too pooped to pop.

It’s anti-boxing. I took rounds away from Mayweather for doing that. Add it all up and the score is 115-113, Pacquiao. The three American judges scored it differently: 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112. Unanimous for Mayweather.

Clearly, they defined “fight” differently. Naturally, when Pacquaio was interviewed later he thought he won the fight too. Said Paquiao on Mayweather: “He didn’t do anything.”

Mayweather didn’t. He simply retreated. That doesn’t win a war. It shouldn’t win a boxing match either.

Pacquiao would have won more respect if he had come out for the knock out in rounds 11 and 12, and left it all in the ring. But that’s if you thought he was behind. The TV commentators sure did.

But if Pacquiao thought he was ahead, he probably did the right thing not to risk a knockout from a Mayweather counterpunch.

Funny how I said before the fight that Pacquiao would have to knock out Mayweather because leaving it to the subjectivity of judges would be too risky. A knockout is a knockout. You can’t prop up a lifeless champ with stars in his eyes.

I said it could even be another Bradley fight, the first one, where the judges robbed what looked to be a Pacquiao win and awarded the victory to Timothy Bradley.

Back then, observers turned to the punch stats, the Compubox numbers, which showed that while Bradley threw more punches, Pacquiao landed 94 more punches and connected with 82 more power punches.

Manny still lost that one. In Saturday’s fight, Mayweather had both the judges and the Compubox numbers on his side.

The stats say both boxers threw the same number of punches, 430 or so, but that Mayweather landed more, 34 percent p to Pacquaio’s 19 percent. Big deal. Mayweather jabbed and ran.

No one wins a championship on jabbing and running. He didn’t hurt Pacquiao, didn’t knock him out. So who won? Like beauty, in boxing, it really is in the eye of the beholder when there’s nothing definitive.

The fight was surely not a knockout. Because of Mayweather’s failed to engage, on a scale of 1-10, ten being high, this fight was a 5, and memorable only for its flat-line dullness.


As I sat with my cousins we were looking for something to cheer as we began the night sad. It was the eve of the anniversary of the shooting death of my cousin Stephen. I’ve written about it here on Inquirer.net.

We thought we’d see Pacquiao’s fighting spirit lift up ours after a year waiting for something resembling justice on my cousin’s case. We’re still waiting for the DA to complete its investigation.

I love my cousins because they represent the new generation of Guillermos who survived the decades long immigration wait and came to America in the ‘90s. They still have their accents.

And that’s why of all the items to come out of the fight hype, the one that bothers me still is Jamie Foxx mocking Pacquiao on ESPN’s “First Take.”

ICYMI, Foxx, who did an unremarkable rendition on fight night of the “Star Spangled Banner,” had the nerve to make fun of Pacquiao’s singing. OK, great. Even I do that.

But Foxx went one racist step further. He mocked the accent. The Filipino sound that is ours alone. But there was Foxx in full accented drag on TV, mocking Pacquiao and the Filipino people.

Oh, he’s a comic. So make a joke about Pacman’s singing, but don’t go racist. It’s OK to mock Mayweather’s Ebonics if you’re black. And Foxx did that. But Foxx isn’t Filipino. The accent joke is a slur.

Didn’t stop him. And of course, the live audience laughed, and host Stephen A. Smith laughed extra hard. If you missed it, you’ll find the clip on my website at www.amok.com.

And if you’re offended, I suggest you contact ESPN and let them know:

ESPN Plaza
Bristol, CT 06010
ESPN Television

That whole accent thing was just ugly to me. Especially when you hear it every day. Maybe Foxx thinks it’s a joke, and a joke is a joke. But he’s also a Mayweather fan. And this was an outright slur.

It had me going into the fight feeling a bit angry for Manny and all Filipinos. I had a hard time with Manny’s negotiating to get the fight contracted. He gave in to every demand. He took the lowest pay.

He had Showtime and Mayweather dictate it all. But the actions were too typically Filipino from our hero. Colonial mentality at its worst. That only added to the pain of the joke/slur.

And then, the fight. To be the aggressor and not win. While I watched, one of my cousin’s turned to me and said, “Why does Manny have to smile all the time.”

Indeed, maybe that was a sign. Maybe the fight wasn’t in his heart, after all. Because of the slur I had heard, I wanted it more for him, and for all of us with Filipino blood everywhere.

But all the talk in the post-fight about his shoulder and the denial of painkillers surprised me. The old Manny never offered excuses.

Hard to imagine this was just about the paycheck. But even as I blame Mayweather, this fight from both ends lacked the heart we’ve seen in the best of boxing, and Manny, too.

Emil Guillermo is an award-winning American Filipino journalist and commentator based in Northern California.Like him at www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media ; www.twitter.com/emilamok

Contact: www.amok.com

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TAGS: Fight of the Century, Pacquiao vs. Mayweather

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