Boxer Manny Pacquiao proves sports and social justice do mix.
I have been defeated 30 minutes into my career as a boxer. I’m flat on my back, exhausted from uphill sprints—OK, a sustained jog—and from trying to learn to jab and uppercut while constantly moving, counting rhythmic punches on a speedbag. As Roberto Duran famously begged the referee during a match with Sugar Ray Leonard: No más. Yet my coach—OK, my box-ercise instructor—knows how to motivate me for what’s next.
"Come on," he says, "this is Manny Pacquiao’s ab workout."
Done. I may be comfortable letting myself down. I will not let Manny Pacquiao down. Not because Pacquiao, probably the greatest welterweight of his generation, is beautifully cut and sculpted. It’s because Pacquiao is the only athlete alive who could credibly say this: "The biggest fight in my life is how to end poverty in my country."