By Hector Echevarria
HBO aired a television series that depicted the life of a superstar actor that took his childhood friends with him to Hollywood, with tales of women, money, and fun. In boxing, it’s sort of the same script but it mostly ends tragically.
Fighters such as Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Tommy Hearns, and a bunch of others know first hand of the downside of this tale. Today Manny Pacquiao is accustomed to surrounding himself with no less than about 20 people. As we watch the HBO 24/7reality series, watching the buildup to a fight, we can always see Manny with guys getting tattoos or jogging with him. He also brings them along to outings and they are usually with him training in the gym.
Ask yourself why are there so many people around him? Freddie said when Manny first got there, it was only him and Buboy, now it’s over 25 people. Most are along for the ride just to get what they can while he’s on top, and it’s sad. It’s a sad subject not just to the fighters I’ve named but plenty in the boxing circle.
Look at some of the fighters today walking in the ring with about 30 people. A lot of fighters deal with the shady side of this business; promoters, bad managers, and that’s comes with the territory. This is an ongoing thing in all sports but more so in boxing.
The problem is boxers are very insecure. They live in a sport where they need to be confident in any, and everything they do. The people who surround them create reassurance and comfort to them. They show their love mostly to see what they can benefit from the fighters generosity. Most are yes men. Some are gophers. The others are street security which leads to most fighters paying out lawsuits because of some of there so called thuggish street ways of thinking.
Sometimes a boxers need to ask themselves, is there really a need for all these people? Jealousy is a reality amongst what goes in to a fighter’s down fall. Some of your so called home boys are usually the ones setting you up. There is no loyalty to you because they are in it for the money first and foremost.
Family is the biggest people in your life you have to say no to. They hear all the excuses for handouts. We need for this or my bills are that, more excuses for a boxer to act as an enabler. It’s hard to say no but is money going to solve everyone problems?
A fighter needs to know he’s taking the punch and he is the only one getting in that ring, so why should you just hand over everything so easily that you worked so hard to get? Your entourage may walk you to a ring but no one is getting in there taking the risk. The thing that needs to be understood is when the money and fame are gone, how many will be there after getting what they wanted? Only thing a fighter is left with is bad credit and a string of lawsuits. Well the Entourage on HBO ended with a good story but in boxing, a fighter ends up alone and broke.