Category Archives: Bout

at-Tajnīn (Jinn-Influence/Possession) vs. Mental-Illness By Gareth Bryant

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Author’s-Note:

The Following-Article is based upon Personal-Research: my Role as a Chaplain/Counselor lead me to author this Research, as per my Professional-Expertise via Chaplaincy. I’ve submitted my Research, for review, to the Dept. of Psychiatry, Michigan State University. Michigan State University not only approved my Research, but also invited me to attend the annual Global Muslim Mental Health Conference, hosted by Clare College/Cambridge University, United Kingdom, where I in turn was also invited to orate/defend my Research.

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Gareth Bryant

1439, A.H./2018, C.E.

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`Ulūm-ur-Ruqyah/Ruqyah-Science

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Question:

What is ar-Ruqyah in the 1st-Place?!!!

Answer:

ar-Ruqyah means “Protection”…it’s from the Verb “Raqā”, meaning “To protect, treat/cure,”. ar-Ruqyah, while most commonly associated with Exorcism (Jinn/Demon-Extraction), it very generally means treating Things which ail People. Ailments come in the following 3 Various-Forms: Spiritual-Ailments, Psycho-Emotional Ailments, Anatomical/Physiological-Ailments.

Question:

Who’s Islāmically-Qualified to be a Rāqī?!!!

Answer:

It exclusively depends upon which Kind/Type of ar-Ruqyah which is required. Each respective Category of ar-Ruqyah must be treated with Respect, taken seriously, and must be done at All-Times within an Islāmically-Dignified/Professional Manner.

The Categories of ar-Ruqyah:

Spiritual-Ruqyah

Any Muslim whom possesses Positive-Character/Behavior, Sufficient-Knowledge of the Realm of the Jinn (Fire-Beings created from Smokeless-Fire [Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.55, V.15; Chpt.114; Qasas-ul-Anbiyā’/Stories Of The Prophets, ibn-Kathīr; al-Jinn/The Jinn, Mustafā Ashūr), can qualify as a Rāqī.

Psycho-Emotional Ruqyah

Any Muslim of Sound-Character/Behavior whom is Knowledgeable within the Fields of Psychology/Behavioral-Science: Psychologists/Psychiatrists, Chaplains, Therapists, Counselors, etc.

Anatomical/Physiological-Ruqyah

Any Muslim of Good-Character/Behavior whom is Knowledgeable concerning the Human-Anatomy: Doctors, Acupuncturists, Nutritionists, Herbalists, Holistic-Professionals, Nurses, etc.

Easy-Ways to perform Self-Ruqyah*:

Learning/memorizing The Qur’ān, which includes but not limited to the following: Ayat-ul-Kursī/Verse of the Footstool (Chpt.2, V.255), Sūrat-ul-Fātihah/Chapter of the Opening (Chpt.1), Sūrat-ul-Ikhlās/Chapter of Sincerity (Chpt.112), Sūrat-ul-Falaq/Chapter of the Dawn (Chpt.113) & Sūrat-un-Nās/Chpt.114) and reciting them often.

Learning/memorizing al-Adhkār (Verbal-Acts of Remembrance of Allah) and saying them often.(Husn-ul-Muslim/Fortress Of The Muslim)

Observing at-Tahārah/Islāmic-Hygiene often, which includes but not limited to the following: clipping/trimming Nails, shaving/trimming Pubic-Hair, shaving/trimming the Moustache, keeping Clothing clean, etc.(Bulūgh-ul-Marām/Attaining The Objective, ibn-Hajr al-`Asqalānī; Minhāj-ul-Muslim/Methodology Of The Muslim, Abū-Bakr Jābir al-Jazā’irī; Fiqh-us-Sunnah, as-Sayyid Sābiq)

Avoid Spaces/Places known for harboring an-Najāsah/Filth as well as Jinn-Activity, including but not limited to the following: Camel-Dens, Bathrooms, Cemeteries/Graveyards, etc.(Bulūgh-ul-Marām, Minhāj-ul-Muslim, Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

Avoid al-Hasd/Envy (al-`Ayn/an-Nazhr [Evil-Eye]), as-Sihr/Sorcery (Spells/Incantations, Astrology, Zodiacs/Horoscopes, Psychic/Fortune-Reading [Palm/Tarot-Card Reading], Numerology, etc.), as well as those whom implement/practice both al-Hasd & as-Sihr.(al-Haythamī, ibn-Hajr, al-Kabā’ir/The Major-Sins, adh-Dhahabī)

Avoid: az-Zinā/THOTery (Bestiality, Child-Molestation, Rape, Homosexuality, Adultery, Pre-Marital Sex, etc.), Substance-Abuse/Intoxication, Theft/Robbery & those who do it.(al-Kabā’ir)

Eat 7-Dates per Day: particularly/especially `Ajwah-Dates. However, if one doesn’t have Access to `Ajwah-Dates, then simply eat any Type of Dates with the Niyyah/Motive of getting the Same-Benefits from eating `Ajwah-Dates.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim, at-Tirmidhī)

*The following aforementioned is exclusively pertaining to Spiritual-Ailments. This is not at all meant/intended to Spiritually-Diagnose, nor to assume that anyone is experiencing any such Spiritual-Ailments. In any/all Cases: you must/should consult (Spiritual, Psycho-Emotional, Anatomical/Physiological) Professionals whom you both respect & trust, before proceeding in venturing into any Ruqyah-Realm. Otherwise, you run the Risk of causing Unnecessary-Harm to one’s Individual-Condition.

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

Being Black In Britain: The Casualties Of The Windrush-Policy & Brexit

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My Travels via the United Kingdom, the 1st-Time I’ve traveled externally of the United States since 2006, C.E. & my 1st-Traveling within Europe, has given me a Significant Contrasting-Lens to view how Things like: Islāmophobia, Xenophobia, etc. really play-out throughout the UK. Being Visibly-Muslim & African-Descent in the UK is still, I’m sure, is viewed as an Exotically-Foreign Commodity…being African-Descent not so much. However, Opposition to both al-Islām & Blackness may very well be of Equal-Par. Even as I explored the UK for myself, I has met with a Tense-Sense of: Xenophobia, Otherism…I saw it within People’s Faces, I felt it from their Vibes…this was just about anywhere/everywhere that I went-It was extremely: Subtle, Covert, Indirect, Clandestine, etc. But, I knew it when it came my Way, as it approached me. The British, from what I’ve observed possess very Sly-Ways of throwing Shade in the most Sophisticated-Ways, which kind of explains why there’s so much Sarcasm wirhin British-Humor/Comedy.

The UK particularly, not only fully expresses Disdain towards the Other, but even amongst their own Ethno-Continental/European Counterparts, there’s this seemingly British-Style Posture of Superiority, Exclusivity, Anti-Inclusion/Acceptance, etc. One of the Things which proved this to me is the Fact that, to my Surprise there were lots of Interethnic/Interracial Couples: Afro-Euro Couples most commonly, within London particularly/especially. However, I constantly observed Euro-Brits stare, glance, scowl, at these Non-Euro Brit Couples and/or Non-Euro Couples period, as if they were plagued with Jungle-Fever. I mean, I literally saw this every Day I was in the UK. One of the most prominent Displays of Exclusivity I observed was when I went to Stonehenge. Stonehenge was/is actually much more significant than I ever really took it for, in Terms of its Purpose: I learned that the Druids who built Stonehenge used that Stone-Complex to commemorate the Celebration of People transitioning from Life to Death: kind of like a Afterlife-Gateway/Portal if you will. So, as one of the Tour-Guides was telling me Extensive-Details regarding Stonehenge, I had asked whether there were older Stone-Complexes than Stonhenge…her resoonse, “Yes, there’s Stone-Structures all over the World.”; then, however, instead of actually mentioning Stone-Structures across the Planet, they only mentioned the Stone-Structures within the UK. By itself, the Statenent is apparently quite innocent. But, as per Context, it’s extremely telling as to how they view themselves as the Center of the Universe & this is also just as evident pertaining to how they’ve historically conquered & governed Others.

Even as per the Brexit-Fiasco unfolded, pertaining to the UK being politically turmoiled as to whether remain with or depart from the European Union, the Discourse concerning Anti-Blackness is very much apparent, in spite of the Macrocosmic-Narrative surrounding Immigration into the UK, which was the Genesis of the Friction between the UK & EU initially. Anti-Blackness, in lieu of Brexit, comes into play directly, resulting from Mass-Deportation of African-Peoples whom were allowed to immigrate to the UK via Post WWII, when most of the West-Indies, the Caribbean, as welk as Places within Africa, etc. were British-Colonies & even today are still (politically/economically) shackled to the UK via the British-Commonwealth. Many/most of these African-Peoples being forcibly deported are People who’ve made their Families, Careers, Lives within the UK: so much so that they basically have no Life external of the UK. As a Result, these Deportees are literally forced to start-over in Nations which they’ve probably haven’t been to in Decades.

Now, let’s explore how/why the UK possesses this Entitled-Posture to treat those whom were once welcomed to contribute to British-Society, yet are now being viewed as “the Other”. Well…let’s take a Look at the Landscape&Scope of Dominance from the Lens of the Victor/Colonizer: the UK, much like it’s other European-Colonial Counterparts, obviously, had and/or has 0-Problem with conquering, exploiting Non-European Peoples around the World, yet ironically are so bothered if/when the Descendants of these Conquered-Peoples make their Way to their Mainlands/Motherlands…ahhhhh, now all of a sudden these People are “2-Close 4 Comfort”?!!!

Whenever you’re the Dominator of any Human-Demographic, particularly/especially if/when you’ve oppressed them, then of course, it makes Sense as to how/why you’d deliberately, purposely/purposefully, methodically, set Social-Political Mechanisms in place to either keep them “in their Place” or to use/drain them of their Potential actualized within your Society & then expel them once donewith them. This is seemingly, most defintely, the Case as per the Climate&Tension surrounding Brexit which is merely yet another Excuse for the UK to put the Lean upon anyone/everyone deemed an “Outsider”, which is simply a Political-Euphemism for Non-Christian/Non-European.

African-Peoples, regadless to where they hail from under the Shadow of the British-Empire (and/or what’s left of it), are simply deemed threatening: not in Terms of Military-Opposition, but more/most importantly, in Terms of them being Historically-Perpetual Reminders of the Fact that the UK as a Global-Power, as well as an Economic-Force, had profitted mightily from Colonization, the Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade, etc. The Descendants of those whom were oppressed are in many Respects being just as victimized via the Same-Oppressors. So, of course, the greatest Global-Immigration Crisis in Human-History to date-Since the Children of Europe’s Former Colonial-Regions are suffering as per the Proliferation of: Economic-Destitution, Political-Chaos, Religio-Cultural Impossition on Part of European-Powers are now wanting to seek Assylum within Europe’s Borders, then obviously Europe must now “save itself” from being overrun by the Peoples whom have historically/generationally had their Backs broken via the Service of their Colonial-Masters.

And, also, since many of these African-Peoples whom reside within the UK as (Downtrodden, Uneducated, Unskilled) Persons yearing to escape the Poverty & Dead-Ends of their Homelands which were exploited by the UK & whose Hardtimes are mainly the Direct-Result of Colonial-Oppresdion: when they’re too Uneducated to acquire Careers which offer Higher-Standards of Living, when thay’re not Affluent enough to afford Solid-Education leading to Promising Economic-Opportunities, when they can’t afford Private-Properties & must settle for dwelling within the British-Slums which’re Breading-Grounds of/for Criminality, then of course you’re goung to have significant Percentages of these Demographics whom’re: Roadmen/Trapstars, Journeymen/Hustlers, Knifemen/Shooters, Gangsters, etc. & of course Places where these Demographics are mostly concentrated like: London, Glascow, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, York, etc. are going to be Criminalized Hornets-Nests. And, of course, as per the Pseudo-Narrative that the Vast-Majority of British-Crimes are committed by African-Peoples will be readily accepted via the Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Scottish, Celtic Masses of the UK, allowing themselves to deflect from the Reality that Criminality is never exclusively a Black-Man’s Vice, but rather a Human-Vice.

Instead of actually addressing the Socio-Economic Disenfranchisenent of the UK and/or its Socio-Political Marginalization, Parliament via the Xenophobic Right-Wing Factions of Governence&Government would much rather just point Fingers & shift Blame in a Dishonest-Way. We can/should all agree that there’s 0-Justification to pontificate/proluferate Criminality. At the exact Same-Time though, manipulatiing alarming Crime-Rates also isn’t any Justification to criminalize Human-Demographics & deliberately work towards forcibly expeling/exiling them from the Hone&Life which they’ve made for themselves…what’s being established via this Brexit-Phenomenon is simply an Excuse for the UK, as well as any/all other European-Nations like it to suck People dry of their Personal/Human-Resources for the Good of their Nations, only to repay them with Deportation/Exile, to the exact Same-Places which they once were where these European-Nations have decimated & exploited damn near to Death.

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

The Reason Why Khabib Is A Muslim-Hero

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In the Tradition of Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali [May Allah mercify him]), Khabib Nurmagomedov has taken the World by storm. He’s not only proven his Fighting-Skills to be Top-Notch, or that his Athletism is Unmatched within the UFC Professional-Arena-He’s offered more to the World than his current Undefeated-Record…he’s offered his very High-Profile, Unapologetic-Adherence to al-Islām. (As a Personality/Celebrity especially) being a Muslim is most definitely smothered with Islāmophobia, Scrutiny, Ridicule, etc. This is particularly true regarding where Khabib hails from: Dagestan, a Semi-Autonomous Region of the Russian Federation (Former USSR/Soviet Union). This Region, within the Greater Caucasus-Region of Asia, has had 2 Major-Legacies: al-Islām & Military-Resistance. As far back as atleast the 17th-Century, C.E., Dagestan has fought against being Militarily-Annexed by Russia. As a Result, the Muslims of Dagestan have historically evolved their Culture around Fighting-Spirit, Fighting-Skill, something which most of the Muslim-World has totally forfeited for Countless-Reasons. In fact, Dagestan is probably one of the only Places within the Muslim-World where just about every Able-Bodied Muslim-Male is 💯%-Ready for al-Qitāl/al-Jihād (Combat/Armed-Struggle)…yes, I said Jihād, the “J-Word”, if you don’t like it, then too bad for you…🤓😁😎

And, so much like Cassius Clay, Khabib Nurmagomedov evolved both religiously & personally out of Centuries worth of Theft, Rape, Murder, courtesy of Imperialism, Xenophobia, Islāmophobia, etc. via the Power of the Machine. So, of course, him being the Container of historical Spiritual/Psycho-Emotional Trauma, you can/should expect a Prize-Fighter to react in Ways which any other Muslim (who has never had Fights, never lived under Systemic-Oppression, never constantly/consistently lived under threat of Active-Wafare, etc.) wouldn’t behave (perhaps prior to as well as after a Fight), especially after fighting an Opponent like Conor McGreggor who blatantly attacked Khabib spiritually, psycho-emotionally, went out of his Way to directly/overtly mock al-Islām, his Family, his Home, etc. Ironically, there were/are many Muslims who’ve (instead of being happy, grateful, that such a High-Profile Muslim stuck it to such a High-Profile Islāmophobe) resorted to criticizing the Character of Khabib, as though he possessed absolutely 0 Islāmic-Character before, which is completely Unjust, Unfair, Dishonest, and Muslim-Coonish. Cassius Clay faced the exact same Scrutiny, when he refused to accept Military-Conscription Orders/the Draft to fight in the Vietnam-War. Also, Chris Jackson (Mahmoud Abdul Rauf), when he refused to stand for the Flag & National-Anthem of the United States, because of the Oppressive-Actions of the US-Government (via American Law-Enforcement & the American Judicial-System specifically) against Afro-Americans, which ironically hasn’t really changed that much since he was a Basketball-Player for the NBA: he was tarred&feathered even by Fellow-Muslims, accused of being “Unpatriotic”.

It’s almost as though the Muslim-Male is supposed to be afraid of his own Shadow…to just merely be Emmasculated within the Mundane, at any/all Levels. Well, Khabib has sparked something very special within the Psyche of the Muslim-Male, in Ways which no `Ālim/Scholar, no Imām/Religious-Leader, no Shaykh/Religious-Teacher, etc. has been able to do as of late. His mere presence, as a Visible-Muslim, is empowering to countless Muslim-Men, he represents Strength while the Muslim-World dwells pitifully in an unprecedented Duration of utter Weakness.

All in all, regardless to how one either favors or banes him: Khabib Nurmagomedov has without any Doubt has envigorated Generations of upcoming Muslim-Youth, Muslim-Men especially, to rise to the Occassion & to train to resist.

Gareth Bryant

1440, AH./2018, C.E.

What I’ve Finally Learned From Ramadhan:

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Ramadhan of 1437/2016 will always be the year I’ve come to terms with what this month really stands for. To many Muslims, it’s a way to get closer to the proximity of Allah’s Mercy, for Others it’s a reason to fraternize with fellow Muslims in ways that’s not necessarily available at other times of the year, for some it’s an excuse to attempt to get in shape/lose weight, for some it’s the ideal situation to indulge in some Free-Food at various Mosques. But, for me personally, I’ve forced myself to search more indepthly, just to see what can be found within this month.

What I’ve come to realize is that Ramadhan for so many of us is to attempt to be a “Super-Muslim”…only during the Month of Ramadhan, and/or only during the last 9/10 Days of Ramadhan, in the hopes of catching what’s known as Laylat-al-Qadr/the Night of Decree, in which the reward for it is similar to worshipping Allah for 83 years.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.97, V.3) For so many Muslims, we wait for this time of year to pretend to be “Super-Pious”: praying, giving Charity, being nice, etc., more than in other times of the year. However, many of us have this all wrong. My personal-assessment is that Ramadhan serves exclusively as a period of Spiritual-Purging. I liken this month to the etymology of the Arabic-Noun Fitnah…the word Fitnah, meaning “Problem”, “Conflict”, “Drama”, “Trial/Tribulation”, etc., comes from Gold/Silver Smithing.(Lisan-ul-`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Because Gold & Silver is from deep beneath the Earth and/or embedded within Mountains: oftentimes these metals themselves are meshed which earthly materials, which diminish their value.

So, then what’s to be done about it? The Gold/Silver must be melted down, and then be forged into a purer substance. But, to do that, these metals need to be placed under extreme temperatures, thousands of degrees, in order to melt them, so that the turbid materials attached to these metals can be sifted away. And, this is exactly what Ramadhan is to me, a way to sift through all of our turbidity, so that we can be forged into purer types of People. We must allow ourselves to be placed into the heat of Hunger, Thirst, denial of our natural inclinations towards: Sexual-Intercourse, Anger, Revenge, Violence, etc. & all other things which naturally make us…well, Humans. The entire purpose for us to be Spiritually-Smithed is so that we can truly be worthy of the Favor of Allah, which is His Mercy, Guidance, via us acquiring Piety (holding ourselves accountable to refrain from all that Allah has made temporarily Mahrum/Prohibited, as well as things which Allah has made Mahrum at all times).(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.183)

For some/many, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion, without me even having to write this. But, I’ve deemed it necessary, because it’s something that I’ve come to the realization of, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who hasn’t truly gotten the point of what Ramadhan truly stands for. Ramadhan, by its nature, isn’t for us to get things right all in one month, because that’s not even realistic. Rather, it’s a time to really dig through one’s self, to reflect upon what makes you work vs. what makes you halt…what makes you strong vs. what makes you weak…what makes you resist vs. what makes you sin, etc. I now have a greater understanding of who I am, as a Muslim, as just simply a Human-Being.

Everyday is like a fierce Internal-Fight: a perfect mixture or even an imbalance of spiritual victories & defeats-Resisting what just naturally comes to you, what automatically feels good and feels right, and struggling to rise above all of that to be someone greater, someone higher. It’s about sacrificing what you think & feel is for you, in order to please you, and really trying your best to replace that mindset with doing what’s expected of you from Allah, in order to please Him. Since arriving at this particular epiphany, in my journey as a Muslim, I’ve attained a better sense of how I am to improve and what I allow myself to still fall victim to. I’ve truly honed in on remaining more conscious of what drives me more towards Obedience vs. Disobedience to Allah. This is what I’ve been allowed to learn during Ramadhan, through the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

Muhammad Ali: One of the Greatest

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Cassius Marcellus Clay, Cassius X, Muhammad Ali…
…born & raised in the South: Louisville, Kentucky.

No matter what you called him, he defined himself…
…he proved he was the best, he was always top-shelf.

Olympic Gold-Medalist with Boxing-Titles…
…he had so many Opponents, but no Rivals.

He was never afraid to stand-up to Oppression…
…always willing to improve a Person’s situation.

He denied accepting the Military-Draft…
…he refused to be a paver of the Warpath.

And, later on became a Muslim in 1975…
…he gave us strength to keep Islam alive.

The World never forgot the way he won back his Belts…
…everywhere he went, greeted by the screams and yells.

A Father and Husband to some, but a Big-Brother to us all…
…he acknowledge the best in all of us, both great and small.

He’s known as Number-One in our eyes…
…despite Parkinson’s-Disease taking rise.

Never letting any of his ailments defeat him…
…till his dying day, he taught us how to win.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

 

 

 

 

Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao: the Fight of the Century of the 21st-Century

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Author’s-Note:
Floyd Mayweather, leader of The Money Team brings all of his ambition, skills, flamboyance to the table, against Manny Pacquiao Pac-Man: the World’s most famous Boxing underdog. These two Fighters have gone the distance, in their own careers, in their own rights. It’s so difficult to simply determine who’s the best. However, Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 is the fight to cast away any & all suspicions, doubts, mocking, joking. There will be only one Champion & only one loser. These two Giants of the Boxing-World will have to display all that brought them to the Boxing prominence which they’ve acquired.

Floyd Mayweather…Prior to the Fight:
(47-0 Career-Record)
47 Wins…0 Loses…0 Draws

Manny Pacquiao…Prior to the Fight:
(57-5-2 Career-Record)
57 Wins…5 Loses…2 Draws

The advantages

Mayweather:
Calculative, defensive, cautious, careful.

Pacquiao:
Relentless, daring, offensive, spontaneous.

The Setbacks

Mayweather:
Too reserved, doesn’t throw enough risky punches.

Pacquiao:
Throws too many risky punches, too aggressive.

Who won/Who lost & the Reasons why

Mayweather:
He won, because he stuck to his game-plan, which went in his favor: Defense. Even when Pacquiao had landed a significantly crucial hit, it didn’t incapacitate Mayweather. He was able to stay true to his fighting objective, which was to win the Bout, and he did. He was able to use Intelligence & Defense, to counter Pacquiao’s Offense & Risky-Punches. Round after round, Mayweather out-boxed & out-scored Pacquiao.

Pacquiao:
He lost because he stuck to his game-plan of Offense, without Defense. He clearly had opportunities to out-box Mayweather, however, without enacting any Defense, he was too little too late, to catch-up. He was out punched, Mayweather had landed much more punches, he was out-scored on the Score-Cards, this was just not Pacquiao’s fight. Although, he’s a great fighter, he didn’t prove his point in terms of being able to defeat Mayweather.

Now, what does this mean for Boxing?

Mayweather, when interviewed about possibly fighting Pacquiao for a Rematch, had simply stated that he’s planning on focusing on his fight in September of 2015. This is probably going to be Mayweather’s final fight. As he makes yet another mark on the Boxing World, by coming even closer to Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 Record, Mayweather, now at 48-0, may want to tie and/or even break Marciano’s record. That’s not a definitive conclusion or determination. However, what is certain is that all of the critics of Mayweather not being able to go the Distance and/or defeat Pacquiao have clearly been proven wrong. As far as Pacquiao, what’s to become of the rest of his career? Will he learn from this defeat, and still make his marks in Boxing, or will he decide to bow-out and retire, who knows? Nobody knows. That’s his decision to make. But, for now, it seems that with the potential retirement of Mayweather on the horizon, and Pacquiao being a lone contender, will there be any more Boxing bouts which will acquire the same caliber of fanfare, publicity, monies, celebrity, or will Boxing begin to be a yesteryear Sport? Will this be the last great fight which will be commented on, criticized, contested, questioned, or will there be other great bouts which we can all look forward to in our respective lifetimes? We’ll just have to wait and see.