“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.”- 1 Corinthians 9:26 (The Holy Bible)
The much hyped fight between the Filipino eight division world champion, Manny Pacquiao and the undefeated American five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr finally took place as scheduled on the 2nd of May. At the end of the twelfth and final round, the Money man Mayweather was adjudged the winner in a unanimous decision by all three judges. A lot of people felt that the boxing bout didn’t exactly live up to its billing as the “Fight of the Century” as dubbed by its promoters. Those who were expecting to see a technical knock out ended up disappointed, but at the end of the day, the man tagged the best pound-for-pound fighter by many sporting news and boxing websites took the day.
In similar fashion, Chelsea Football Club literally wrapped up the race for the English Premier League title by winning their match against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with three matches still to play before the season eventually winds up. Boxing and Football are two entirely different sports, but the two winners in this scenario became champions in pretty much the same way – doing the needful to achieve the desired result! Many have criticized Mayweather’s fighting style on Sunday, saying that he clearly avoided really getting into the bout with the much more offensive Pacquaio who appeared to be fearless and brazen regardless of his underdog status, just like Chelsea, under the irrepressible Jose Mourinho have been taunted and tagged as boring despite putting up the most consistent performance this season having spent 253 days so far at the top of the Premier League. However, all that matters is that they emerged champions at the end of the day irrespective of what anyone thinks!
For the sake of argument, had Manny Pacquiao done his homework well he would have realized that his opponent has always been more of a defensive fighter who blocks and deflects most of his opponent’s punches while waiting for his opportunity to land accurate punches, (which explains why he always had relatively few scars and was nicknamed “Pretty Boy” by his amateur team mates) and would have found a way to circumvent his technique rather than fight “blindly.” Mayweather has always been known for his defensive techniques, he was taught to be that way by his boxer father and uncle and that is not likely to change soon.
Champions play to their strength regardless of how conservative or negative it may appear to others, as their goal is to win and not merely participate. This was evident in the result which showed that Pacquaio threw far more power punches – 236 in all, but could only land 63, while Mayweather with a more conservative 168 punches was able to land 81 of them! While the total punches for the two fighters also proved that the Money man was able to connect 34% of his punches as opposed to the Pacman’s 19%. Hence, the reason why Mayweather clearly won.
Champions don’t expend energy needlessly… you don’t have to like Chelsea to admit that they have been by far the best team in England this season. In the earlier part of the season when they needed to be more attack minded, they were. Towards the latter part of the season when they needed to be more defensive in their approach to games, they pulled it off perfectly. They may have been slightly boring as many have said, but I choose to see it as being pragmatic and ruthlessly efficient. One thing mattered to Chelsea – winning the league. And that they did it in their own style. This reminds me of how they won the 2011/2012 Uefa Champions League which pundits never predicted they would win by using the same defensive strategy.
Champions don’t play to the gallery, they play for themselves; a look at the track record of Floyd Mayweather who now has 48 wins and no losses in his professional career reveals a man who is all about results. So also is the philosophy of Chelsea Football Club under Jose Mourinho who has now won 2 titles in 2 years. Love them or loathe them, it is obvious that these ones have found the right formula when it comes to winning and cannot be bothered about changing it and risking the possibility of losing just to please the fans.
At the end of the day, everybody wants to win. Results are all that matter. It’s like having a baby – whether a woman decides to go through the rigorous and painful process of labour or opts for a Caesarean section, what matters is that a healthy baby is born. Ten years down the line, no one is going to remember how the baby was born! Ambitious people don’t go through life wanting to be remembered for just passing through and achieving nothing substantial in the process. What Floyd Mayweather and Chelsea have taught us is to channel our energies in the right direction in order to achieve the desired result.