By Sid Ventura
Special to Yahoo! Southeast Asia
You really have to hand it to Floyd Mayweather Sr., the outspoken father of Pretty Boy Floyd. He’s always been mouthing off against his opponents, or against his son’s opponents, whenever he gets the chance. Sometimes you just dismiss it as his contribution to pre-fight hype, other times you just scratch your head and think that maybe the old man is just attracting attention to himself.
Take the time he trained his guns at Freddie Roach in the build-up to the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton (mis)match in May of last year. Mayweather Sr., who was training Hatton (pretty badly, as it would turn out), initially called his opponent the “Joke Coach Roach,” and belittled Roach’s training capabilities. Roach shot back, pretty admirably, I might add, by inviting Mayweather Sr., to be the one to award him his Trainer of the Year trophy for an upcoming awards night.
“I want you to present that to me this year because that’s as close as you’ll get to it,” Roach said, adding that for that fight their biggest advantage was having Mayweather Sr. in the other corner. Turned out to be pretty prophetic.
Of course, Mayweather Sr. wasn’t done. He called Roach a bum, and made fun of his short-lived boxing career. As a final parting shot, he even challenged Roach to get into the ring with him. Much of this you could easily dismiss as playful trash talking, but listening to Mayweather Sr. speak, you get the feeling that sometimes he’s also trying to convince himself of what he’s saying.
Then last month, the Mouth was at it again. In this article, Mayweather called Pacquiao’s Boxer of the Decade award from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) bullsh*t, among other things, and predictably said his son should have won it. What a surprise.
A couple of days ago, though, Mayweather topped his remarkable self. A few days after his son’s camp denied that talks for a fight with Pacquiao ever took place, despite Manny already agreeing to virtually all of Floyd Jr.’s demands, Floyd Sr. accused Pacquiao of being the one who doesn’t want to fight. Then he also found time to call Manny a “little Filipino midget,” a coward, a f*ggot, a b*tch and, just to make sure he got his point across, a sissy.
For what it’s worth, you can read the complete transcript of Mayweather Sr.’s tirade against not only Pacquiao but a few other boxing figures here.
I really don’t know what this guy’s been smoking. He’s obviously got major issues. It’s one thing to talk smack and belittle an opponent’s skills; there’s always a place for that in sports. It’s another thing to insult his race and question his masculinity, especially in this era of political correctness. That’s so 1975, Floyd.
Pacquiao’s reaction, on the other hand, was pure class. Made me proud to be Pinoy, or a “little Filipino midget” in Floyd Sr.’s words. He actually laughed when told about it, and simply said he would rather not comment. The perfect response. Loved it. It was a picture of someone who is so sure of himself and has no insecurities. Way to go, Manny.
It’s also a pretty humble reaction from a guy who recently ranked fifth among non-US athletes in terms of total earnings over the past 12 months, behind only Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Pacquiao was the only boxer to make it to the top 20. He finished ahead of the likes of Ichiro Suzuki, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, and Dirk Nowitzki.
Amongst the best athletes in the world, our very own “little midget” stood pretty tall.
Reposted From Sid Ventura of Yahoo! Southeast Asia