It had been two years since Antonio Margarito had been in the boxing ring. Accused of cheating, he has been serving a suspension and had basically disappeared off of the boxing horizon…being shunned by fans and being the target of main stream media cheap shots and headlines. It seemed that he only had his fellow countrymen behind him…the faithful few in Mexico who still believed and still chanted the name of Margarito…the Tiajuana Tornado. After two years of silence, Margarito emerged this past Saturday night in Dallas. He would headline a boxing pay per view and fight against the Phillipine Congressman, Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is small in stature but is among one of the boxing greats as he has held eight world titles in eight different weight classes. While some boxers have used the boxing ring as a place to punish their opponents, Pacquiao has taken a different route and has used his fame and his career as a platform to make political change in the climate of his country and hopefully the world. Saturday night was billed as a true David vs. Goliath match….both in stature and in attitude. While Pacquiao prepared quietly….the larger, louder former cheater…Margarito would use this as an opportunity to boast and brag about who he was and what he was capable of doing to the tiny warrior.
Margarito’s training camp took every opportunity to tell the public that Pacquiao wasn’t focused, wasn’t fit, and wasn’t ready for a fight such as this. They bragged of early knock outs and stated that they would prove to the world that they didn’t need to cheat to win. The insults went further….and deeper. They posted videos on Youtube making fun of Pacquio’s trainer who suffers with Parkinson’s disease… and while they apologized for the videos… many believed it showed the true nature of their heart. While I am not a boxing fan….this story leading up to Saturday night’s main event fight for the WBC Super Welterweight title drew me in…and drew me in hard. I couldn’t wait to see the outcome. I couldn’t wait to see one man’s hand lifted in victory. I couldn’t wait to see which man was “THE” man…and as I read and viewed the transcripts of the fight… I saw something totally unexpected. I saw God.
You see….Margarito was quite outmatched by the tiny Pacquiao. While Pacquiao was smaller and weaker, he basically spent the entire match on the offense. He fought such a hard fight that he was unable to sign autographs at the end of the match….his hands were shaking too much due to over abuse from the many punches they had made to Margarito’s head. Though Margarito was a beaten man…he refused to fall. In the eleventh round….Pacquiao did something that few fighters would have done. He asked the referee to stop the fight. He states “I told the referee….look at this cuts….look at his eyes.” The referee refused to stop the fight. As Pacquiao entered the twelth and final round…that is the point where I saw God. Instead of coming out and destroying the now blind Margarito due to swelling and cuts…..he chose to show grace and mercy and allow Margarito to finish the fight. He barely hit him. He danced around the ring and even at times almost held Margarito up. He didn’t want to do any more damage to his eyes or face. Out of respect to Margarito’s will to fight and will to stand….he let him finish the fight with dignity instead of a knock out.
Don’t miss this….in a moment where he had every right to embarrass, defeat, and prove that he was the better man…..he showed mercy by stopping the punishment. In a moment where he had every right to knock Margarito down in honor of his trainer and all of the horrible things that had been said….he showed grace by letting him finish the match. At the end of the day…Pacquiao walked away world champion and proved to be the better boxer…but in my estimation Round 12 was the true win….for it was there that he proved to be the better man.
May you look for opportunities to show grace and mercy this week. May you be the face of God to someone even during a difficult situation. May you lay down your mantles of revenge and right and may you pick up your cross of forgiveness and reconciliation. May you pray for your enemies. May you ask God to change their hearts…and may you ask Him even louder to change yours. May you worry more about God being seen as Almighty instead of you being seen as right. May you not be afraid of the enemy. May you recognize that with God all things are possible. May you fight the good fight. May you win…..but even in failure….may you give God the glory. May you dig deep within your heart and find words that have wounded you….and may you release those to God. May you not be a grudge holder or seeker of revenge. May you use whatever you’ve been given in life as a platform for change…and a platform for truth. May you make God famous.
Discipleshipt thought created 11/17/10Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.1 Timothy 1:15-17