Sunday, June 29, 2008
The Brutal Sport of Boxing - Or why I am not thrilled by Pacquiao's Victory
I watched a replay of the Pacquiao-Diaz match this evening. I only watched up to the fifth round, I found it too brutal, especially after seeing the bloodied face of Diaz. I didn't stay around and watch Manny knock Diaz down in the 9th round.
I know millions of Filipinos are filled with joy and pride after seeing Manny Pacquiao win the WBC flyweight championship. Many hail him as a national hero. Many claim that he is the only one that can unite the Filipino people. The President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo congratulated him and called his victory a masterpiece. "Once again he showed the sterling quality of excellence of a Filipino at his best," she said after watching the fight on TV while awaiting her flight back to Manila.The President said the whole country is rejoicing over the Filipino icon’s new feat.
I am probably one of the few who is not rejoicing over Pacquiao's victory. I am appalled at the sight of two boxers trying to hurt each other and knock each other down. I cannot stomach nor can I glorify violence. I am never impress by anyone who proves to be a better or more butal fighter in the ring.
Boxing is the modern day equivalent of the gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome. These fights among slaves were organized by the Emperors to entertain the masses so that they can forget their problems. Of course, boxers don't try to kill each other, but many have been maimed or have even died.
I believe that brutal sports such boxing has no place in civilized society. We should stop considering boxers as heroes. If the only thing we can be proud of is our boxers like Manny Pacquiao - shame on us. The kind of heroes we are looking for are the ones who are capable of fighting corruption, injustice, environmental destruction and poverty in our land. We do not want violent or blood-thirsty heroes, but those capable of working for peace.
There is more to national unity than Filipinos watching at the same time Manny Pacquiao fight his opponents on TV.