Crazy sports fans are nothing new.
We’ve witnessed everything from Philadelphia fans booing Santa Claus to Philadelphia fans booing their own hometown quarterback to Philadelphia fans booing their mothers.
Outside of “The City of Brotherly Love” we’ve witnessed Utah fans mock the sick daughter of a former player, and Denver fans mock a sexual assault trial.
Manny Pacquiao fans don’t fall into the above category of being complete lunatics. Still, they’re a somewhat strange group.
Firstly, they’re loyal to a fault. They will defend their hero to no end, regardless of the situation. Further, they’re not afraid to go against what some may call “political correctness.” They’ll defend their star regardless of what racial, cultural or generally accepted decency lines they may cross. Finally, they’re not particularly concerned with facts. Rather, they’ll take any story, true or false, and run with it like it’s a proven law.
And, of course, all this is magnified now because of Pacquiao’s potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. God only knows what they were like back when nobody paid any attention to them.
A few months ago, after a series of dominating match-ups, both men (Pacquiao and Mayweather) said they needed to face off and determine the world's best pound-for-pound boxer. However, despite both sides seemingly being enthused about the potential for a big fight (and even bigger pay day), the discussions quickly broke off.
The biggest issue preventing the fight was Mayweather's request that Pacquiao submit to Olympic-style drug testing prior to the fight. This particular type of drug testing allows for either blood or urine to be taken all the way up to the eve of the fight.
Reasonable people would question why Pacquiao initially refused to submit to testing up to 14 days before the fight but was alright with testing 24 days prior to the fight. Pacquiao fans didn’t care.
Later, it was reported that Pacquiao agreed to the 14-day request, but Mayweather had apparently grown weary of Pacquaio’s games and wanted testing up until the day of the fight. Pacquiao fans, however, saw nothing unreasonable about their superstar changing his stance for seemingly no reason.
Some folks may wonder what Pacquiao has to hide by refusing to take the same testing Mayweather will subject himself to, but not Pacquiao fans.
Pacquiao’s promoter and personal mascot, Bob Arum, has said on numerous occasions that he didn’t like Mayweather or his stable. He has repeatedly diminished Mayweather’s accomplishments and his talent. However, Pacquiao fans never even began to question his poor -- and extremely unprofessional -- attitude as one of the root causes for this fight not happening.
Nope, blame for this fight not happening belongs squarely on the shoulders of one, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ Mayweather.
Never mind that Mayweather came out of retirement -- even though Pacquiao was atop the boxing world at the time. If you believe Pacquiao’s fans, you would have to assume that Mayweather, who retired because he felt there was no one his level in boxing, came back to fight a few bums, and then evade the Philipino superstar.
But hey, that’s just common sense. Forget common sense, let’s look at the facts.
While Pacquiao sat back and cried about potentially having his blood taken the night of the fight, Mayweather made the following sacrifices: agreeing to split the revenue evenly with Pacquiao, agreeing to a substantial penalty for coming in overweight and agreeing to Pacquiao’s desired glove size.
Of course, none of that matters to Pacquiao fans.
They conveniently forget about him ducking Shane Mosley -- despite Mosley's willingness to give everything but his kidney up for a shot.
That wasn’t ducking, though. Ducking can only be done against Pacquiao, not by him.
Finally, Pacquiao fans conveniently ignore the fact that other boxers are backing Mayweather on his blood-testing stance.
Recently, Ricky Hatton had this to say on the matter:
“I could have had those rules, but I wasn’t bothered,” said Hatton, who has not fought again since losing to Pacquiao 13 months ago. “Maybe in hindsight, I should have done.”
Another boxer saying that if he had the chance to do it over, he would have forced Pacquiao to submit to Olympic-style drug testing? Impossible.
“I must admit, I fancied my chances against Manny. A few years ago he was getting knocked down by little men like [Juan Manuel] Marquez, then all of a sudden he is knocking out Oscar de la Hoya, myself and [Miguel] Cotto, who are powerhouses in comparison," Hatton said. “It is a little bit strange. He could be on what Floyd is accusing him of [performance-enhancing substances], or it could be that he is just a great fighter who has improved. We will never know.”
Of course the one ace in the hole that Pacquiao fans have always had, is their firm belief that Pacquiao would destroy Mayweather.
Unfortunately, Hatton doesn’t seem to share that sentiment.
“I think Floyd is too good defensively. He is so hard to hit, and I think he might ultimately just have a few too many tricks up his sleeves for Manny.”
For anyone who thinks Hatton may be biased due to his history with Pacquiao, Vegas odds also favor Mayweather.
But hey, what does Vegas know? It loves losing money.
One thing is for certain, though. Regardless of what ends up happening between Mayweather and Pacquiao, for now at the very least, we can sit back and be entertained by the captivating group that calls itself Team Pacquiao.