By Ivan Masalsky
With all of the negative criticism coming from the boxing world about Manny Pacquiao fighting Sugar Shane Mosley on May 7th instead of facing someone who they deem more credible like a Juan Manuel Marquez or Andre Berto, it makes me wonder if people will diminish the Pacman’s legacy should he lose to the old timer.
We’ve seen it before with the once invincible pound for pound king Roy Jones Jr, who many felt was the greatest boxer of all time, but after reaching a career high winning the heavyweight title against John Ruiz, he came back down in weight to light heavyweight to challenge Antonio Tarver, the man who would forever change Roy Jones Jr’s legacy.
Tarver was a southpaw who many felt beat Roy Jones in their first meeting on pure volume punching and workrate, Jones won the first fight on the judges score cards. Roy didn’t have to give Tarver a rematch and could have retired on top with his legacy secured and among the all-time greats, but he decided to give Tarver another shot, and with one punch Tarver knocked Jones out in the second round of the rematch, forever changing the way we viewed Roy Jones Jr. among the all-time greats.
Before his knockout loss to Tarver, Jones was considered the best to ever lace them up, but at the same time he was being criticized by hardcore boxing fans and boxing writers of handpicking his opponents and avoiding challenges, such as picking the weakest heavyweight champion John Ruiz when he moved up to claim the title and never fighting Polish champion Dariusz Michalczewski at light heavyweight. Once Jones was knocked out by Tarver people who negatively critiqued Jones were suddenly justified expressing that once a real challenge went into the ring with Jones he would get exposed and suddenly people stopped calling Jones the greatest to ever lace the gloves.
Now a similar explosive and athletic fighter that is receiving ultimate praise from boxing fans is Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Like Roy Jones Jr, Manny Pacquiao is explosive and fast with a crowd pleasing style. Also like Jones, Manny is being questioned by the hardcore boxing fans and boxing writers on his level of opposition. Many in the boxing world believe Pacquiao was carefully built up by his coach Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum to make the Filipino boxing icon seem greater than he really is. A strong distaste was recently shown over Pacquiao picking 40 year old Shane Mosley as his next opponent over dominant and more deserving challengers like the undefeated WBC welterweight champ Andre Berto and long time Nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
Arum felt that Mosley was the biggest name that would garner the most ppv buys and casual fan interest, but it would also help answer the question of “Is Manny Pacquiao ducking African American fighters?”
Mosley is clearly out of his prime and hasn’t looked competitive in his fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Mora, but Mosley and his trainer Nazim Richardson argue that those style fighters would give anyone trouble or make an ugly fight, and a fight with Manny Pacquiao will bring out the best Shane Mosley because of the style of Pacquiao and Mosley, both, known as come forward fighters with aggressive natures.
If past his prime Shane Mosley utterly destroys Manny Pacquiao the same way he did Antonio Margarito, in my opinion, Pacquiao’s image and legacy to the casual fans will be diminished because he is facing a guy who people feel is done and it will only prove the critics right. The boxing historians won’t change their stance on Pacquiao as the greatest Filipino fighter but they might reconsider including him in the top 50 all time greats list. The Pacquiao critics and those who called for a boycott for Pacquiao vs. Mosley will be justified. The African-American fight fans who said Manny was avoiding slick black fighters will be the first to say Pacquiao was another hype job exposed, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will again be smiling with the last laugh telling the media how he knew Manny Pacquiao was a bum because he lost to a man he already beat.
Let us hope that Manny Pacquiao trains hard and doesn’t take Shane Mosley lightly or else he will face the same fate of Roy Jones Jr.
*Please refrain from leaving any Racist, Profane or Derogatory comments*
Got an Opinion? Submit Your Articles and Press Releases to be posted on NowBoxing.com
JOIN the NOW BOXING FORUM to discuss this and other boxing news topics (membership is FREE)