(Except for Floyd photo and KFC/Floyd artwork, all images in this ports are the property of the blog owner)
I MUST have put in a lot of work into the previous post because as soon as I hit the sack, which was a quick shower after signing off WordPress, my id or neocortex or whatever part of the brain is responsible for pot-sleep neural processes started kicking my subconscious into hyperdrive.
And all of a sudden, I was Floyd Mayweather Jr., standing on a podium and saying sorry to the boxing fans of the world and no longer blaming Manny Pacquiao for the collapse of this year’s megafight.
This isn’t a word-for-word recollection because you have to understand that when you wake up, you only recall a few snatches of your dream. But this is how it went:
“I’m sorry for running away from the Manny Pacquiao fight,” Floyd/I said. “You have to understand two things about me. First, I’m all about legacy. And as far as legacy goes, the only thing I have to tell my grandchildren in the future is my undefeated record. Second, Manny Pacquiao has seven division titles. Seven.
“Nothing about Manny Pacquiao scares me,” Floyd/I added. “The reason why I insisted on tighter drug testing protocols has nothing to do with the fear of facing the greatest fighter of our era at all. It is merely insuring that if I put my legacy on the line, it will be in a fight where if I should lose–and there’s a strong possibility I will–I can tell myself I lost in a fair fight.
“Understand that losing to me will do no harm to Pacquiao’s legacy. He will still be the only boxer to have won titles in seven weight classes. Sure, he’ll no longer be pound-for-pound champ but down the line, people will still remember him as one. Just as people still recognize the fact that I was a pound-for-pound champ. That Roy Jones Jr. was a pound-for-pound champ.
“If I lost? What will my legacy be? Aside from a former holder of boxing’s mythical and highly subjective title? Nothing. So please, understand me. Thank you.”
And all of a sudden, I was in Dallas.
And this time, I’m pretty sure I was Manny Pacquiao, looking at the electronic screen of dot matrix figures changing every second. It was the electronic scoreboard of a booking house, flashing the latest odds of The Event.
One line had Pacquiao/Me a -800 favorite. That means people will need to wager $800 on Pacquiao/Me to eran $100 (the base value of casino bets). If Pacquiao/I win, you get $900. If you bet $400, you will net $450.
Joshua Clottey, on the other hand, is a +500 underdog. That means if you bet $100 on the Ghanaian, you get $500 extra if he wins. Or, as Pacquiao/I begin to realize, a $20 million bet fetches $100 million more of unreported income. (More than what Pacquiao/I would’ve earned if not for the fight against Mayweather, the Pacquiao’s/My mind whispers devilishly)
All of a sudden I am on the ring. Still as Pacquiao, staring at an uppercut in slow motion, smiling as it rockets to my chin and not budging an inch. It connects. My head snaps. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m surprised at how I allow myself into a free fall also in slow motion until I hit the canvas. I’m down for the count. Pacquiao is down for the count.
And yet, somehow, Pacquiao/I feel victorious, too. The legacy is intact. Seven world titles, seven weight classes. Because of the $20 million bet, the odds on a Clottey upset faltered, but it doesn’t matter. Even if the odds fell to basically even, as long as you bet on the +500 line, your winnings will still be based on the +500 line.
* * *
I woke up.
I calmed myself saying that was me as Pacquiao. Pacquiao as Pacquiao wouldn’t be as stupid.
Sure, he loves to gamble. But not only does he worship his sport with nearly cult-like fervor, he also gets the best advice from all the members of his entourage.
Question how Manny Pacquiao throws money away in casino tables and derby houses. Question those alleged liaisons with movie stars.
But never, ever, ever question Manny’s boxing integrity.