So the fight of the millennium is going to happen tomorrow night. I enjoy boxing, mostly because I'm a misanthrope who sees nothing wrong with two people beating the shit out of each other in the name of more money than I'd see if I lived 46 lifetimes. But I admit that it's not something I follow closely, which means that I couldn't tell you what Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao's records are without the help of articles like the one our illustrious editor Ben Cohen published at The Daily Banter yesterday. (He's not only an accomplished boxing journalist but also a damn talented MMA fighter, which is how he keeps us rabble in line around here.) Because I don't have a dog in this fight, so to speak, it means that like a lot of you neophytes I'll have to resort to other metrics to carefully evaluate the two contenders and figure out who I'm going to root for tomorrow.
And that's what brings us to just who Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are as human beings. Maybe we can look at their behavior outside the ring and figure out who to give our support to inside it.
Floyd Mayweather is an unapologetic serial domestic abuser. His record of beating up women goes back almost 15 years and includes attacks on five different women, hence the word "serial." He smashed one girlfriend's face with a car door then later asked a friend to hold the child he had with her so that he could better punch her repeatedly. He went on to be charged with battery for beating up the mother of his other three kids and even threatened to beat the children if they ever called the police on him. He eventually spent two months in jail for the series of abuses. If that's not enough, Mayweather was accused of psychologically torturing an ex-girlfriend by posting unflattering pictures of her on Instagram that included sonograms of twin fetuses he said she aborted. Ask him about all of this and even to this day he'll give you everyone's favorite tired Tupac cliché: "Only God can judge me."
So, yeah, Mayweather is a raging prick.
As for Manny Pacquiao, his wife Jinkee may be his rock these days but for years it was pretty well known that he cheated on her to the point where he almost blew the marriage sky high. His promoter also revealed to the New York Times that Pacquiao used to be a "degenerate gambler." He famously turned his life over to Christ eventually, but that created quite a bit of controversy when, during an interview with the conservative Examiner, he was wrongly quoted as having said that gays should be put to death as it says in Leviticus. He apologized for being misunderstood and made it clear that he has nothing against gay people -- except for the part about not wanting to see them get married. Nothing in Pacquiao's history is completely unforgivable, except for maybe believing in superstition and allowing it to influence his position on gay equality, but it's not like the guy's a fucking saint.
Still, there's one more thing to consider here: Mayweather's history with Pacquiao. In 2010, during a really ill-advised Ustream video he created while surrounded by his entourage -- after negotiations to get a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight off the ground had again broken down -- Mayweather opened his mouth and said this:
"We're going to cook that little yellow chump. We ain't worried about that. So they ain't gotta worry about me fighting the midget. Once I kick the midget ass, I don't want you all to jump on my dick. So you all better get on the bandwagon now. ... Once I stomp the midget, I'll make that motherfucker make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice."
He went on to apologize for the racism in his remark, although both his implied homophobia and unfortunate use of the royal "we" he apparently stands by to this day.
So there you have it. Those are the two guys who will step into the ring tomorrow night in Vegas. One of them's going to walk away having won the biggest bout in the known universe and will receive giant heaping piles of money and acclaim for most of the foreseeable future. Maybe you admire their athleticism and strategy in the ring, but neither is exactly role model material. Still, in the end I think it's safe to say Mayweather wins by a KO in the fight over who's the bigger reprehensible dick. Not saying I'd put money against him tomorrow, but if I were a woman I'd damn sure steer clear of him at the after party.