Manny Pacquiao, the sport of boxing's biggest name, has often been given love and shoutouts within the hip hop community. Rap superstars such as Jay-Z has mentioned Pacquiao in his songs.
Rick Ross is another rap star who more recently developed a bit of bromance with the No. 1 fighter in the world as reports came out that he was even going to rap and walk Manny to the ring in his fight against Shane Mosley in May.
Rick Ross of course did not end up coming out to the ring with Manny as he ended up coming out to Survivor's front man singing Eye of the Tiger that night.
There's a new hip hop song now by Eminem who features R&B singer Bruno Mars and rapper Royce Da 5'9 titled Lighters where Pacquiao is again mentioned and used as a metaphor for what seems to be utilized as always being willing to fight.
At first listen, it seems like another relevant metaphor to a top boxer where hip hop has a history of referring to past icons of the sport in rap songs such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr and of course Mike Tyson numerous times in numerous rap songs.
If you analyze the verse further, it seems the verse may be criticizing or even dissing Pacquiao by utilizing the word catch-weight as well.
Here is the exact verse by Royce Da 5'9:
"Every hour, happy hour now
Life is wacky now
Used to have to eat the cat to get the (expletive)
Now I'm just the cats meoww, ow
Classic now, always down for the catch weight like
So this rapper is acknowledging that Pacquiao has fought for title fights and big fights at a catch weight and not the actual officially sanctioned weight class weights for a few of his major fights.
Did he intend to give Pacquiao props in his verse or did he intend to say hey, I too am a smaller guy at 5'9", but I'll fight as long as there is a catch-weight and we are more on a level equal playing field? Or was it more of a diss?
Many of Pacquiao's critics have criticized Manny's record breaking accomplishments and one of the most common criticisms of his record eight world title championships is that he did fight a few of them at a catch weight.
Some have even nicknamed Pacquiao the catch-weight king even for this very reason.
For those of you who are not familiar with what a catch weight is basically it is an agreed upon weight limit that both fighters have negotiated that still falls under the official weight class limit.
So for example, welterweight class has a maximum weight of 147 lbs on the day of the weigh in. Traditionally both fighters can weigh anywhere usually from 141 lbs to 147 lbs on the day of the weigh in.
However if a smaller fighter is coming up in weight and wanted to negotiate an agreed upon catch weight of lets say 144 lbs, then both fighters would have to make the 144 lbs weight limit, and it would still be a welterweight fight and if a title is on the line then of course a welterweight title fight.
In this case usually the smaller fight would have the advantage for he is coming up in weight to make the 144 lbs, and the welterweight champion who is usually used to only making 147 lbs now has to come down to 144 lbs which may leave him weight drained, dehydrated, weak and fatigued for the actual fight night.
Catch weights usually come into play when a superstar smaller fighter is moving up in weight to challenge the champion at their heavier weight class to produce a super mega fight for all the fans.
History has shown however that many smaller fighters when coming up in weight class did sometimes fight at agreed upon catch weights and not the official standard weight class weights and still those smaller fighters often came up short and lost.
One super mega fight that comes to mind is when Oscar De La Hoya went up to middleweight and challenged then undisputed lineal middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins.
Even though middleweight is 160 lbs, they agreed upon a catch weight of 158 lbs, so the smaller De La Hoya could have a more even chance in the fight.
Oscar held his own in the beginning of the fight but ultimately lost by a highly suspicious body shot knock out. However if Oscar won that night would we criticize him for fighting Hopkins at 158 lbs and not 160 lbs?
I would argue probably not since he was the smaller man going up in weight to take on the much larger taller undisputed 160 lbs champion Hopkins who conditioned his larger framed body to make 160 lbs all those years when he should have moved up in weight himself.
For those of you who have heard the song Lighters, what is your opinion on how Pacquiao is used in the song?
Is Royce Da 5'9 giving Pacquiao props, criticizing him or even dissing him?
There are some other rap stars who are clearly dissing Pacquiao such as Manny's long-time rival Floyd Mayweather buddy rapper 50 Cent who has been making diss tweets via his Twitter accusing Manny of using steroids.
This is interesting since there is apparently rap feuding beef between 50 Cent and Rick Ross who is again a buddy of Pacquiao.
It would be interesting to see 50 Cent and Rick Ross take their supposed beef into the boxing world as well and use both Mayweather and Pacquiao as metaphors, or as rap lyrics in new rap songs.
50 Cent has already walked and performed ring entrance songs for Mayweather for a few of his fights it would get really heated should he actually rap and diss Pacquiao as he walks Mayweather to the ring in September against Victor Ortiz.
Another rapper who has been quite vocal on the Pacquiao vs Mayweather saga is Snoop Dogg. Snoop has been seen in viral videos calling Pacquiao out for not taking blood tests and getting in the ring with Mayweather.
Snoop even ends the video saying Pacquiao will be on the floor implying that Mayweather will knock him out.
Personally I think it's great that the world of hip hop is talking about the Pacquiao/Mayweather saga, for I am huge fan of both boxing and hip hop.
However Rick Ross, who is siding with Pacquiao seems to be one of the more hotter rappers still putting out hits and these more washed up, past primed rappers such as 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg do not seem to be burning up the radios as they once did years ago.
It would be interesting to see more and more which of your favorite rappers are going to side with Pacquiao or Mayweather as we are hopefully getting closer to an actual fight between these two biggest stars of our era.
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