Muhammad Ali is “The Greatest” not because of what he has done inside the ring, but because of his accomplishments outside the boxing arena. He could have easily won a seat in the US Senate had he wanted to. His articulateness was impeccable. His charm was the envy of every politician, his wit as fast as his hands. But Ali did not join politics. You know why? Because despite his abundant traits, he knew his limits.
In other words, above all his success in life he still retains a respectable degree of humility. Manny Pacquiao is one of the best boxers, or perhaps the best, in our time. However, the fame, wealth and honor (all of which he truly deserves) he earned as a boxer were utilized to consume his selfish desire of being elected to Congress. It is selfish because every rational being knows that he does not have what it takes to be there.
This is perhaps the reason why there are people who cannot hide their frustration over Pacquiao’s abuse of his stature. Like me, perhaps they thought that we had found an “Ali” in him.
In hindsight, it can be said that Pacquiao did not sustain his first bruising defeat on that fateful evening of Dec. 8, 2012. Pacquiao’s first “shocking upset” occurred when he decided to run for politics and literally bought a seat in Congress. And since then, he remains down on the floor and seems out cold.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao could still be the greatest. I don’t want to lose my faith in him. I believe Pacquiao, with the right amount of humility and genuine self-respect, can still beat the count and rise again as a true champion of the people, if not of the world.