Just a few weeks ago, ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban na To’ was pulled off the air by GMA 7. Obviously no one wants to tune in to a counseling and advice program hosted by Manny Pacquiao, as more people wanted to watch raunchier and more aggressive disputes in programs such as TV5’s ‘Face to Face‘ and GMA News TV‘s ‘Personalan‘. And I think it was another failed attempt by Pacquiao to gain a viewing fanbase in a profession other than boxing.
It was Pacquiao’s forays into showbiz that somehow threatened his boxing career. Since signing with GMA 7 in 2007, Pacquiao was given several shows by the network, such as ‘Show Me Da Manny‘ and ‘Manny Many Prizes‘. Unfortunately, neither of Pacquiao’s programs were able to even crack the top 10 in the ratings.
In addition to his hosting and acting stints, he is also a congressman and a preacher back in his hometown of Sarangani. Playing multiple roles at the same time affected his mental focus, concentration and punching accuracy, which led to his defeats against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in his last two bouts. Is it good to read out the laws of the government while thinking about the opponent? I don’t think so.
If I were Manny Pacquiao, I would rather focus only on punching opponents, and nothing else. Just ask Nonito Donaire, who has found success knocking out his opponents without any distraction. Although Donaire lost in his recent bout to Jorge Arce, he did not take the showbiz route seriously like Pacquiao (his only minor role is on a McDonalds commercial). Instead he is resting his wounds, awaiting the right time to return to the ring soon.
Manny Pacquiao is a Hall of Famer, no doubt. He is an eight-division world champion, no doubt. He typifies the rags-to-riches type, carrying its burden to inspire future Filipino success stories. But his success in boxing was overshadowed by his willingness to accept new roles in an effort to gain greater fame and recognition, most of which did not earn the desired results. And even as he tries to regain the in-ring success heading into a November bout with Brandon Rios, the damage has been done, because Manny Pacquiao the entertainer, politician and preacher had virtually ‘wounded’ the ego of Manny Pacquiao the in-ring competitor.