Boxing


Is Manny Pacquiao Now Pound-4-Pound The Best On The Planet?

19.11.06 - By James Slater: With his ruthlessly awesome destruction of Mexican legend Erik Morales in the rubber match of their series this past weekend, Filipino warrior Manny Pacquiao proved just how unstoppable a force he really is. As such, I believe it is now time to rate him right at the very top of boxing's pound-4-pound ratings. High praise? Yes indeed, but praise very much deserved nonetheless. Let's look at why he should be ranked at the absolute top. Firstly and most importantly, it looks to all the world as though Manny is simply unbeatable at present. Who, for example, would you bet on to defeat him? I honestly cannot think of another super featherweight in the world that would be considered capable of doing so. And perhaps even a large number of lightweights come to that. No, Pacquiao is here to stay for a long, long time yet in my honest opinion. And yes, I know I wrote a piece some months back saying how I felt that that other Mexican great, in Marco Antonio Barrera, would exact revenge over Manny if and when they fought a return bout. You know what? I've changed my mind!

With all due respect to Marco, a truly superb fighting machine in his own right, I now feel he would meet a similar fate to the one his countryman did on Saturday in Las Vegas. Pacquiao is just too strong, too frighteningly well conditioned and, most tellingly, too incredibly fast and powerful. Yes, in my opinion, the Filipino has to be ranked at the top in the mythical title stakes.

Begging Floyd Mayweather's pardon, a fighter who unquestionably possesses sublime skills and incredible reflexes, he has to hand the claim he has staked as current pound-4-pound king over to Pacquiao. I know some people will say beating Morales does not prove too much, at least not in raising an argument for Pacquiao deserving to take over Mayweather at the very top of the sport.

But, I'm sorry, it did. Don't forget, Erik actually defeated Pacquiao in their first fight and was even winning the second encounter on points at the half way stage. The fact that Manny has just completely blown away Morales - a fighter who could very possibly still win another few fights up a weight - goes to show how much better he has become. Better? That's a frightening thought. The fact that he has become an even more formidable fighter than the one we saw besting both Barrera and then Morales the first time, is one that will bring absolute fear to many a good fighter.

Floyd, as great as he is, does not have that in his arsenal. And let's also ponder just what would have happened if Manny and Floyd had ever met at super featherweight (in a dream fight, of course). Who would have won that one? In my opinion the Mayweather ascension to glory may not have even happened in the first place. Without doubt, Pacquiao would have tested Mayweather's heart as no fighter ever has, or perhaps ever will.

I am fully aware the Floyd Mayweather fans will strongly disagree with my assertions, but before anyone starts hurling accusations at me of being biased in the Filipino's favour, I'd like to point out that the very same thing was accused of me in MAYWEATHER'S favour not too long ago. Surely it cannot be both ways? No, I have no axe to grind, I simply feel Manny Pacquaio is the very best boxer in the entire world right now. Let's see any fighter prove such thinking to be erroneous.

Article posted on 19.11.2006



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