More evidence of Manny Pacquiao’s rise to the level of an iconic global sports superstar: He ranks third on Yahoo’s Most Searched Athletes List for 2011. The top ten: Danica Patrick, Tiger Woods, Manny Pacquiao, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Kris Humprhies, Hope Solo, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and Caroline Wozniacki. Read the full list here.
Pondering this, I’m struck by the fact that the “Against the odds” quality of this is really twofold — one, because 8 of the top 10 are Americans and for Manny, a Filipino who is based in the Philippines and who in fact embodies the Philippines to make it, is very gratifying. (The second non-American was Wozniacki, who just slipped in at number 10). Secondly, he’s a boxer and no other boxers even came close to making the top 10 — including Floyd Mayweather, Jr. This is impressive for Manny, and sad for boxing, which has lost fans consistently over the last two decades. But the results show that boxing still has the capacity to propel someone to iconic stature — and Manny is that guy.
Congrats to Manny and the Philippnes…;-)