There comes a time when an athlete reaches the ultimate peak of his career. In that moment, whether it lasts a day, an hour or even a second, that athlete is the best that he will ever be for the rest of his life to come.
It is even more evident in the sport of boxing. A sport that relies heavily on ones physical nature. A nature that is so overwhelmingly important, it can not only determine their own personal success, but also the perception of invincibility to spectators.
Being invincible in the sport of boxing is a notion that lies buried in the inner thoughts of those who see a fighter that is unbeatable at that very moment in their career.
When that special type of fighter comes along, and exceeds all expectations to a degree which can only be seen in fairy tales; that embedded thought of invincibility rises above it's grave deep inside our brains and it stays there, rambling through our minds every time we witness him honing his craft in the ring.
That very moment we forget that the fighter is human.
That this perceived invincibility has a clock ticking in its background. Waiting for that moment to come that will spell doom for his physical talent.
A loss can take it all away and a new ticking clock appears at the boundary of that fighters career.
But in Manny Pacquiao's case, no one has beaten him in the ring of late. He is believed to be one of the greatest fighters of his generation. His perceived invincibility has stayed intact in the ring.
But out of the ring, the substance that potentially lies in his bloodstream, can raise questions in the minds of his dearest supporters.
The dedication and hard work that was once believed to be the pedigree to his success, is replaced by accusations from "sources" who believe that his accomplishments have been aided by a force that has notoriously been the cause of so many great athletes downfall.
A respected figure in boxing, Teddy Atlas, gave viewers on a telecast of Friday Night Fights , a reason to believe that Pacquiao has cheated his way into our mental state and buried lies of hard work and earned success.
"From sources that told me, they said that people in the Pacquiao camp sent a couple of e-mails to the Mayweather camp a few weeks ago, about 2-3 weeks ago," Atlas said.
"And the first e-mail was 'What would the penalty be if our guy tested positive?' And the second e-mail was 'If he did test positive, could we keep this a secret for the benefit of boxing? Now, if that's true, again, that doesn't prove anything definitively, but you have to wonder why those questions were being asked."
This statement doesn't actually prove anything.
But just as the Filipino star has flooded our minds with images of his unbeatable nature due to his rising "accomplishments," Atlas places a dam to stop the overflow of potential lies and deceit.
One doesn't have to believe Atlas or any other accusations, but just as he was once perceived unstoppable, this entire blood test debacle will continue to lie buried in the back of our heads, even if he passes the test with flying colors. Then we are still left wondering if his previous accolades were accomplished with the aid of a steroid.
And wondering if his current actions of reluctance to take a few blood tests, even though it may make him one of the richest fighters in history, are in fact a sign that he is hiding something.
And his legacy that he may have built up with hard work in the gym, may be torn down by a steroid cloud, storming in the depths of peoples minds.
"If you ask those people, they're going to say one thing: 'Why would you walk away from $30 million on the table just not to take some blood, just not to take a test. If you're clean, what do you have to hide?'...the regular man—the common man—has a right to think that and say that." -Teddy Atlas
Bryant Maxwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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