Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Fear and Will

Looking at both fighters, each are worthy of admiration and respect. The demeanor of the two men couldn’t be more dissonant, but lets focus on the actual fighters. Manny is a freestyle fighter who overwhelms his opponents with relentless speed and sting. With freestyle comes some risk, which is why Manny has been knocked out more than once. Floyd has evolved into a  precision fighter, who has gotten into the habit of solving his opponents like riddles, and defeating them with great defense and amazing accuracy. Manny’s style excites, and so is more pleasing to the crowd. Floyd’s style is admired and respected by boxing aficionados, but frustratingly boring to the bloodthirsty. So, who will win this fight? I believe it will be determined by fear vs will.

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The hype and momentum that has swelled leading up to this fight has become so powerful and infectious, it could be categorized as a modern-day phenomena. It has to have infected the fighters as well as the masses. How it infects them will be critical. Manny has nothing to lose. Despite his boxing greatness, his career does not seem to define him. He seems to have an identity outside of boxing. He will therefore walk into the ring on May 2nd, with less pressure or weight on his shoulders, knowing in the back of his mind that a good portion of the world wants to see Mayweather lose. He will merely be the instrument of their desire. If he loses, no one will blame him, and he will have a purposeful life to return to. He has nothing to fear. Floyd has everything to lose. Boxing is his entire life; the very foundation of his identity. Also, he knows as well as anyone that most of his countrymen want to see him lose. So much for patriotism. If he loses, the music he will face will be a never-ending chorus of jubilant detraction from peers, frenemies, and the press. So he has the most to lose and a lot to fear. But what about will? What about the human spirit?

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Manny is a tenacious warrior with a Ghandiesque demeanor. In the ring he goes all out – full tilt – damn the consequences. I believe to him it is just boxing after all; a fun, exhilarating, ride, that can win you much glory. However, along the way, you will lose a few; so what. Floyd is not the same kind of animal. The last time he lost he was a kid in the Olympic games, and anyone who knows anything about boxing, knows that although Floyd received a bronze medal, he in fact earned a gold one.  Since that day he has refused to lose to anyone in any fashion. A great part of the reason for his success is that he is probably the most self motivated boxer alive, and his own greatest cheerleader; He’s had to be. To Floyd – whose identity lies in the hallowed halls of boxing history – neither glory or greatness will ever be his until he proves to everyone, once and for all, that he is the greatest boxer of his time. The world has spoken; he will not accomplish this until he defeats Manny. For Floyd, winning is the only option. He has the most to lose, as he has been backed into the proverbial corner by a mob of detractors: Fight your way out to greatness, or sit finally and  forever in the place we have been telling you you belong in. You have seen it in your worst nightmares. Now it is time you got to know it. This is what Floyd has been fighting for and against his entire life. He hasn’t fought his way to 47 – 0 as much as willed his way to it. Out of the two men, Floyd’s will in the ring is greater. Floyd Mayweather will his way to 48 – 0.

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~ by rimofheaven on May 2, 2015.

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