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Avoiding the Fate of John Lennon: Manny Pacquiao’s Precautions

By Geno McGahee

There is a dangerous trend going on in the world of boxing at this moment. Manny Pacquiao, the biggest star ever to come out of the Philippines has become one of the biggest attractions in boxing. His destructions of notable foes have made him a household name and his fan base is large and growing. Unfortunately, all is not good. Some of the hateful ramblings from the obsessed Pacquiao fans and the “fanboy/groupie” journalists have got to make Team Pacquiao rethink security as he heads into his biggest fight of his career.

As RSR reported, the fight is basically a done deal for November 13th. Everything seems to be agreed to and the announcement should be coming relatively soon, but there are some alarming things that are concerning some near Pacquiao as well as those in the boxing community.

In America, we have our “idols,” but we are not as die-hard as those in other countries. Ricky “Hitman” Hatton had swarms of fans follow him over from the UK to watch him fight in the states. Acelino Freitas was the same thing when I attended a fight in Connecticut. Manny Pacquiao has one of the most loyal and sometimes crazy fans out of any fighter that I have ever seen.

John Lennon was one of the biggest stars in the history of music. Had he shook the hand of a fan, they would often feint from the mere touch of the rock star. To many, he was more than that. He represented more than that. Mark David Chapman believed that he could achieve the same level of popularity by killing Lennon and he did just that. He shot the star four times in the back in 1980, sending shockwaves through the world and changing music history.

Rebecca Schaeffer was the star of “MY SISTER SAM,” a comedic sitcom that was gaining popularity. In fact, Schaeffer was gaining worldwide recognition, when she got the attention of Robert John Bardo, an insane fan that stalked her for three years. Fueling his obsession was the fact that one of his letters were answered by Schaeffer’s people. It prompted him to visit her at home and the two met. Schaeffer was polite and asked him to leave, shaking his hand before he walked away. Later that day, he would shoot her point blank in the chest, killing her.

Selena, a talented musician with a bright future became the obsession of Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club. After some disputes, Saldivar would murder Selena, forever removing any chance of superstardom and taking away a talent from the people.

The list goes on and on, and with the amount of hanger-ons that Pacquiao deals with, it’s time to heed the warning.


There is a difference between a fan of Manny Pacquiao and a Pac-Fanatic. I consider myself a fan of Pacquiao. I admire what he has accomplished in the ring. I will make my case on his fights, and say without bias if I think he will win or not. I rent his bouts on PPV…that’s a fan.

A Pac-Fanatic blindly follows Manny, viciously attacking anyone that should say anything remotely negative about him. You see this now more than ever. With the upcoming Floyd Mayweather showdown looming, the public opinion as to who will win is split down the middle…which is causing more of these nuts to come out of the woodwork. It becomes something other than flattering when the fans threaten death on journalists that don’t call Manny the best fighter to ever live, that worship another human and live vicariously through his victories.

There is a song by Eminem called Stan. Here are some of the lyrics:

I hope you know I ripped ALL of your pictures off the wall
I love you Slim, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can’t sleep and you SCREAM about it
I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can’t BREATHE without me
See Slim; {*screaming*
Shut up bitch! I’m trying to talk!
Hey Slim, that’s my girlfriend screamin in the trunk
but I didn’t slit her throat, I just tied her up, see I ain’t like you
cause if she suffocates she’ll suffer more, and then she’ll die too
Well, gotta go, I’m almost at the bridge now
Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out?

I’m not a fan of rap, but this song by the artist shows exactly what Pacquiao should be aware of. There are crazies out there that get offended when there is no response from their idol and their love can turn into hatred and anger. Let’s hope that the fanatic will not attempt to go so far as to try to harm the fighter, but anyone that lives vicariously through another person and threatens death on those that write something that they disagree with should be kept at a distance.

The Fanboy/Groupie Journalist

I read an article recently talking about the “fanboy/groupie” journalist and although it was a light article, I really think that this is potentially another danger for Pacquiao. Nobody gets closer to Team Pacquiao as a “writer,” and in this day and age, anyone with a computer can create a blog and call themselves a writer, even if they cannot write and even if they know nothing of the sport. They just want to be in the mix and that’s OK, but if there is a fixation…admiration that goes too far and the wanting to become part of the team turns into a need, it could get dangerous.

Celebrities are targets. How many mothers’ groups began to stop heavy metal and horror movies because they were ruining their children? Irrational people are everywhere and when you reach a certain status as Pacquiao has, you have to be extra careful.

I recently caught up with an old friend and he asked to remain nameless but what he said was so accurate that I wanted to share it. “Never underestimate the need of the nobody to become a somebody. They will never be happy just meeting their idol and posing with them. They will want more and some may take it that extra step and that’s when it gets scary.”

This situation applies to all celebrities and Floyd Mayweather, JR., but the concern that I have as many other do is about Pacquiao and the legions of fans he has and some of the violent and hateful things that they often say. I would like to see any further harm to those that reach the limelight prevented. The only injuries Manny should suffer are those at the fists of Floyd Mayweather, JR.

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