If you watched the May 2nd fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, you
probably feel slighted for spending your hard-earned money on watching two men in their mid-
thirties hug for twelve rounds. You may have also felt that the world is more than a little unfair
when the monetary results of the fight became public yesterday. Despite the fact that two men
generated nearly $600 million dollars in one day according to the Business Insider1, I’m here to
tell you why, at least through my experience, the fight wasn’t the monumental waste of time that
most of the general population thinks it was.
I go to a small liberal-arts college (monastery adjacent) and have fit in well with other
young people there who share my view that religion is a necessary ingredient to living a good
life. On the second night of May 2015, I was returning to my dorm from studying for finals when
I spotted a group of a hundred-or-so of my fellow students crammed into the front lobby of one
of the dorm buildings. My interest peaked, I stopped by to see what it was all about. As I forgot
that Las Vegas is in a different time zone than the one in which I live, I assumed that the
Pacquiao fight was already over. At any rate, I didn’t have the money to spend on the Pay-Per-
View event. However, the school had found it in their heart to purchase the fight for their
students’ enjoyment. Once the punches started to land, I realized that the room was
overwhelmingly in favor of the Pac-Man. I myself was rooting for the Filipino congressman in
the week leading up to the fight more because of what the man does in his personal life than
what he has done in the ring. That was also the reason why pretty much everyone else in the
room was rooting for him.
People filtered in and out of the building continuously during the fight. At one point, a
girl I’m friends with was making her way to the stairs. She looked around and dubiously asked,
“Why are you all so excited about nothing?” We weren’t excited over notthing. This fight, for us,
was about more than just watching the two best boxers in the world fight for an obscene amount
of money. It was about a contrast of morals clashing head-to-head in the ring. Manny Pacquiao
represented one of two things to us. He was either who were already spiritually or who we
wanted to be. When it was revealed that Manny lost at the end of the fight, a gloom was cast over
every single person in the room. Leaving the lobby for my own building, I heard two spectators
who had exited before me converse about the result of the match. The first young man said
something inaudible to which his companion replied, “I know, right? Satan rules the world and
the bad guy wins again!” We want those who we identify with to win because it means that it is
possible for us to win as well.
Want to know who you really are inside? Research a celebrity or athlete that you
gravitate to and then research their life. Look at yourself in someone else’s mirror and you will
truly see who you are. As for me, I gravitated towards Manny Pacquiao because he is a family
man, a devout Christian, a Congressman, and a man who gives back to his community. I
personally want to be just like Manny Pacquiao. It’s the same reason that I root for Tim Tebow.
It’s the same reason that I am more likely to root for the underdog when I myself feel like an
underdog among underdogs. I hope that they win because one day I want to be able to win too.
I wasn’t aware of the dynamics of the student population at my college when I applied.
When I moved in, I didn’t know that I was attending a school full of young conservative
Christians. I fell backwards into my dream school because it felt right. My experience watching
the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight confirmed that my college was perfect for me during a time
when I wasn’t so sure that it was. That’s why the “Fight of the Century” wasn’t a monumental
waste of time for me. If you saw the fight, I want you to think back to what you felt while you
were watching it and how you felt when you walked away from the viewing party. If you have
the same retrospection of the fight as I do, and you don’t think that the match was worth your
time, reconsider it. In the right context, you might just be surprised at how much of a “waste” it
- Gaines, Cork. “The Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Numbers are in — They Shattered Expectations by Tens of Millions of Dollars”. In Business Insider. Accessed: 5/12/15.