Curse the day that birthed the bastard
Who caused your church mass
Reverse the crash
Reverse the blast
And reverse the car
Reverse the day, and there you are
—Jay-Z, from “Lucifer” on The Black Album
A sun of the morning indeed MLK was, chased away by shadowy figures who howl at the moon.
We'll go out on a limb and say they considered the man – and anyone else who aspires to inspire – a black sheep. To that end, some of us prefer better never than late, and I'd be hard pressed to disagree… but look around. Too many people of today's generation or the one that preceded it, never knew the late civil rights great enough to be influenced by him, an unfortunate fact that resonated on the heels of his special day last week in Las Vegas.
You are missed now and always will be.
Thus, last year we began this themed anthology with “Spence V Peterson: The MLK Edition”, a brutally classy affair at Barclays Center in Brooklyn that was somewhere in between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
This past Saturday night at the MGM Grand, 40 year-old Senator Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39KOs) provided more of the same; third world marching and picketing all over the hooded streets of Adrien Broner (33-4-1, 24KOs) without gaining solidarity. Pacquiao, probably the closest thing the Philippines will ever have to MLK, was very much seen– just not heard. As for Broner… oh we heard him, we just never want to see him again.
I've always believed that if you can just be yourself, you'll be at home everywhere you go. But when applied to Broner, this has often meant being the most uninviting guest upon invitation imaginable. His decision to label Al Bernstein (boxing's resident Mr. Rogers over generations as a Hall of Fame broadcaster) a “Bitch ass nigga” on the cusp of the only major national holiday that should matter to blacks of non-ignorance, is something we black folks of decency would label trifling.
That is an expression which not only denigrates women, but it sprays noble blacks with a firehose while justifying signs reading “No Colored People Allowed”.
AB has never been “About Billions”, a moniker more motif than apropos. No. “The Problem” is, AB has always been about bullshit, with SHOWTIME and Premier Boxing Champions all too willing to placate the “Hood” angle tied to the promotion, as if black people in general are represented by the boorish behavior of a man attached to perennial adolescence.
We are not.
Even if Broner had unknown cause to go after Bernstein, he had time to quantify himself in lieu of that debacle before attacking Jim Gray like a savage.
I had a nightmare– that portions of the $75 PPV dream revenue Broner received with the help of MLK, was designed, ostensibly, to be flushed down the toilet on camera. It can be noted that a piece of shit can sometimes be remarkably resilient, but is no different in a port-a-potty on the street or in the bathroom of a mansion devoid of class.
What he probably learned about fighting Pacquiao, is that experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. Witnessing the fight was adjacent to Pacquiao V Mosley from April 2011. What's really bad about that comparison if you're AB (who was eleven years younger than Manny), is that it was Mosley who was considered the old man against Pacquiao, and faced no shame for running away and avoiding the then best fighter in the world inside of the squared circle. Ironically enough, Pacquiao V Broner ended with fans from the hood leaving Las Vegas referring to him with the same three words he applied to Al Bernstein. If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
“You can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will.” MLK_________________________________I don't believe Manny is brave enough to stop. He can, and he should, its just a matter of a teary eyed Jinkee asking, “Will you?” One of the great wonders of this world, Pacquiao has nothing left to prove beyond demonstrating another lesson in athletic insanity for pathetic vanity.
On the phone with Keith Thurman today, the WBA welterweight “Super” champion placed “Pac-Man” in the same breath as Tom Brady..
.. in terms of redefining impossible. This, before revealing that he was so inspired by the WBA “Regular” champion's performance that he ran 3 miles in the rain immediately thereafter. It was said that those big black sunglasses worn at the post fight presser was to veil an eye scratched at the cornea. But that unusual mouse under his eye looked eerily similar to the one Sugar Ray Leonard wore as a result of Thomas Hearns in September 1981. Turns out Sugar Ray had a detached retina, which sent him into retirement at age 25.
Even the possibility of having one at 40, is cause enough to close this with advice from a man who would greatly admire him today.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”