Monday, December 8, 2008
Do you like this story?
for lack of better words, allow me to copy an article from The Ring Magazine blog
Manny Pacquiao went into his megafight against Oscar De La Hoya on Saturday night in Las Vegas recognized by most experts as the best Asian fighter of all-time.
Now what do we call him?
One of the best fighters of his time – period? One of the best fighters of all time? Arguably, after what Pacquiao did to De La Hoya, both of the above now apply.
Consider: He started his career at 106 pounds, fought at 129 pounds less than a year ago and just beat the biggest draw in boxing and a certain Hall of Famer who has fought as heavy as 160 pounds.
That’s Henry Armstrongesque, which is the ultimate compliment in boxing.
It might be a reach to compare Pacquiao to a legend who held three world championships simultaneously and is recognized as one of the two or three greatest fighters who ever lived. However, that’s how Pacquiao’s accomplishments are starting to stack up.
He’s beaten four certain Hall of Famers: Erik Morales (two out of three meetings), Juan Manuel Marquez (a victory and a draw), Marco Antonio Barrera (twice) and now this, certainly the greatest feat in a sparkling career even if you believe De La Hoya has declined.
And, oh yeah, he’s won four world titles in four weight classes spanning 23 pounds.
How many fighters in recent years can make such claims? When all is said and done, Pacquiao could be the finest fighter since Sugar Ray Leonard was in his prime.
“I happen to think that that fighters like Pernell Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are boxing virtuosos,” television analyst Larry Merchant said. “I have the highest respect for that. But … when you also have a guy who fights, who is willing to take to risks, to put his nose in there, a guy who thrills people, well, that’s a harder way to do it.
“When somebody does it, it’s the best boxing has to offer.”
Pacquiao took a risk for a chance to make history, moving up two weight classes to challenge an elite opponent who is four inches taller and has fought some of the best middleweights and junior middleweights in the world.
The Filipino idol fought at 129 pounds in March and then once at 135, his heaviest for any fight. On Friday, he weighed in officially at 142, an indication he really is more a junior welterweight than welterweight.
Meanwhile, De La Hoya, a 10-time titleholder in six weight classes himself, weighed 145 on Friday but has fought seven times in the 154-pound class, which means he’s a natural junior middleweight who dropped down to 147 for this fight.
That’s the main reason Pacquiao’s victory was so astonishing – he beat one of the era’s best fighters and an average-sized man even though he has the frame of jockey.
He was already on top of the boxing world as the consensus pound-for-pound best fighter. Now, he’s God-like, at least in boxing terms.
“Yes, it was a transcendent performance,” Merchant said.
Of course, this begs an important question: What can he do to top this?
There’s Ricky Hatton, his probable next opponent, or a third meeting against Juan Manuel Marquez. However, while both are intriguing and lucrative matchups, neither is the type to define a career.
And then there’s Mayweather, which is extremely intriguing. Speed vs. speed, relative youth vs. youth in what would be an enormous fight.
Mayweather hasn’t indicated that he’s ready to come out of retirement. However, if he were to do so and Pacquiao were to hand him the first loss in his career … whew!
That name comes to mind again.
“He reminds me of Henry Armstrong, the great fighter of the past," his trainer, Freddie Roach, said immediately after the fight. "He's a throwback. He could fight in any era. Manny Pacquiao is just a fighting machine."
This post was written by: Jerick Baluyot
Jerick Baluyot is a professional blogger, writer and digital marketing specialist. Follow him on Twitter