I know there's a corny definition that will read entirely differently, but I think of redemption as something that is seized when you accept the future consequences for your past mistakes.
It is atonement dreamed and realized.
For Manny Pacquaio, he's still dreaming of a realization he fully expects, and it is the reason why I for one can fully understand the notion of him as a hero in his native country.
Last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Pacquiao reminded us all again why its easy to take him for granted, and harder still to appreciate all that he is.
Even if he's not what he was, he was not what was lost. In fact, how he won opposite Timothy Bradley, was a representation of all that he's gained since the collective "loss" of 2012.
And I found myself proud of him.
One of the things I said about Bradley going into the rematch Pacquiao dominated in a comprehensive way, is that he's a fighter that's willing to die in the ring - but ready to survive.
It is difficult to make him resort to this, which is why it underscores a testament to Pacquiao's true greatness. Had Bradley not relented in his desire to win, his defeat would have been of the KO variety, which for Pacquiao is a knockout of sorts over the iron-willed Bradley.
HBO will replay Pacquiao's dazzling display of technical dexterity and offensive wizardry over the same world-class fighter he was robbed against in 2012.
The fight last week seemed as if a long overdue collection of insurance due to theft, and the Filipino icon's coronation as world champion anew in recollecting the WBO crown seems somewhat anti-climatic.
The stage is clearly set for Juan Manuel Marquez pt.V, and I would be shocked if Marquez did not beat the tough - but so very flawed - Mike Alvarado in a few weeks. Well prior to last week, I've already stated that Pacquiao would stop Marquez should they meet again in the fall.
The only thing that will stop it is if Marquez somehow losses to Alvarado (which I doubt), or, if Floyd Mayweather decides to really grow a pair and face the man who will forever haunt him if he doesn't.
I expect Floyd to find himself in a pitched battle with Marcos Maidana, and it would not shock me at all if Maidana actually wins. I think Floyd will find a way to overcome adversity and stop Maidana, then perhaps stop bullsh**ing in his posturing against a man we all want to see him fight.
Then again, maybe he won't. After-all, he is still the same guy who resorted to actually leaving the same network Pacquiao belongs to so as to avoid him when all of his other gimmicks failed.
Mayweather's ducking of Pacquiao is as obvious as a forecast of rain.
As for how that fight would go...
Roach and Pacquiao are the Belichick and Brady of the game, and they would fight Mayweather with no regard whatsover.
Its not lost on me what Mayweather looked like in his fights with Demarcus Corley (a C- fighter) and Zab Judah (a B fighter). I thought Victor Ortiz, a mentally fragile enigma, looked good in his aborted farce with Floyd. Upstart Errol Spence took Floyd to the edge of a cliff behind closed doors, and Pacquiao would push him over it.
To see how Pacquiao would fight Mayweather, you would only need to review his fight with Joshua Clottey - who was a fill in for Floyd that day in March 2010.
He would win the opening rounds by outworking Floyd and introduce him to losing consecutive rounds in the early going. This would force Floyd to fight and cause a little urgency in his corner, and that's right around the time he would start taking gradual damage.
Floyd, full of pride and now realizing he has to fight, would literally start turning into a dragon because he's behind. The problem is, Pacquiao would turn into the "Godzilla" you're about to see in theaters.
The thing that would really undo Floyd against Manny is the Holyfield in Pacquiao.
When you strike him, he has a tendency to want to strike you 3 times. Add a principle of 5 to Mayweather because of animosity. His defense is not designed to defense a fast left handed attack and he would get hit like never before.
There is not only greatness in defeat, but also valor, as Timothy Bradley can attest to tonight, because he can hold his head high in an appreciative public that is grateful for his effort.
If Floyd decides to not face Pacquiao should he get past Maidana, he will forever be defined by the art of avoidance for which he'll have no defense.
It was Howard Ward Beecher who wrote:
"There is nothing that makes more cowards and feeble men than public opinion."
Good luck Floyd, and congratulations Manny.