By Don Donatello
WARNING! To the Anti-Pacquiao crowd, this article is going to cause enlightenment, anxiety, discomfort, increase blood pressure and chest pounding heart rate. MANNY PACQUIAO IS THE BEST FIGHTER OF HIS ERA! Oh-oh, there it goes! Just like Luke Skywalker, I sense a disturbance in the FORCE! Just the mention of Pacquiao’s name offends someone, attach an accomplishment to Pacquiao’s name and their blood starts to boil. A victory by Pacquiao sends them spiraling to the Dark Side! To the detractors, it is a sin to exult in Manny Pacquiao’s accomplishments. Meanwhile, I monitor hate and profanity laden posts and gauge how far I can send them down the abyss. Watch this! “Only a Filipino can win 8 weight division Boxing Title, prove me wrong and I will cut all my fingers off and post it on YouTube.” OK, OK, so I channeled Floyd Mayweather, there is no risk in losing that bet.
Let the pain and discomfort begin! Here we go!
The past decade of boxing belonged to one man, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Simply put, Pacquiao is the best of his era and possibly the best of all time.
In June of 2001, the American public was treated and greatly entertained to Pacquiao’s destructive nature. In an HBO broadcast, America was introduced to Manny Pacquiao with his sensational, punch fest, and brutal 6th round TKO domination of then IBF Super Bantamweight Champion, Lehlohonolo Ledwaba of South Africa. Ledwaba had won 23 straight fights prior to Pacquiao. Ledwaba was never the same after the brutal beating, he lost 4 of his next 7 fights and retired in 2006.
Immediately after the fight, murmurs began to circulate in the boxing community about the performance of the then up and coming fighter from the Philippines with the awesome punching power. In the next two years, Pacquiao tore through his opponents like Genghis Khan tore and lay waste to Europe. He stringed 5 wins by either KO or TKO. In succession, Manny beat Jorge Eliecer Julio via 2nd round TKO, Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym in 1st round KO, Serikzhan Yeshmagambetow in 5th round TKO, and Emmanuel Lucero in a 3rd round TKO. In 2003, Manny was calling out Marco Antonio Barrera. Barrera being a true Mexican Warrior, accepted the challenge and the fight was made. The beginning of Manny’s arrival to dominate boxing thundered, he battered and dominated Marco Antonio Barrera from post to post that ended in an 11th round TKO. The boxing world was jolted and shocked by Manny’s mastery of a top level fighter like Barrera.
Manny has arrived and his fate to dominate the decade of boxing was sealed. His initial plan was simple, take on the top three, most celebrated Mexican boxers at the time. Antonio Barrera was first, then Juan Manuel Marquez, and then Erik Morales. He deliberately sought the best opponent and was willing fight them “anywhere, any time and any place.” Manny burst in to the boxing scene like a tornado in route to being the P4P King, the “Fighter of the Decade,” the best fighter of his era, and win an unheard and unprecedented 8 weight division Championship titles. Outside the ring, companies such as Nike, McDonalds, San Miguel Beer, Alaxan EA Sports, clamored to associate themselves with his name, he was elected to Congress in his country in May of 2010, he was named as the 24th most influential man on the planet by AskMen magazine, and became one of a handful of boxers to grace the cover of Time Magazine, included in Forbes magazine list of most powerful celebrities in the world. Manny also owns a boxing promotions company, a basketball team called MP Warriors, a lotto outlet, appeared in movies, released CD albums, and rental properties. No other boxer even came close to all of Manny’s accomplishments within the decade of 2000-2010.
In the same year of 2001 when Manny first appeared on an American broadcast, Mayweather started a very slow and steady decline after he put on his finest and best performance against Diego Corrales in route to a 10th round TKO in a Super Featherweight title fight. In his very next fight, four months later against Carlos Hernandez, Mayweather suffered his first knockdown in his professional career. The following year, Jose Luis Castillo gave Mayweather a beating. Mayweather was never the same after that. Though he claims he is undefeated to this day, he never truly believed that himself. Castillo beat him and he knows it; Compubox and the world saw it. The beating from Castillo clearly affected him and took out something from Mayweather. He never duplicated the performance against Corrales in which he clearly dominated a legitimate top tiered opponent on equal footing. In July of 2003, DeMarcus Corley had just lost to Zab Judah, Mayweather thought it was time to fight Corley in an eliminator bout for the WBC Welterweight title.
Mayweather circled around and avoided the best fighter of the Light Welterweight division, Kostya Tszyu. Rather than fight Kostya Tszyu at Jr. WW, he moved up to the Welterweight division. From there, once more, Mayweather fought an opponent coming off a lost. After Carlos Baldomir beat Zab Judah, Mayweather decided it was time to fight Judah. The beating that Judah gave Mayweather during the first half of the fight affected him greatly.
After Judah, Mayweather would never take a fight again unless he had an overwhelming advantage over his opponent. In succession, he fought the very slow and predictable, Carlos Baldomir, the old and washed up Oscar De La Hoya, the small Jr. Welterweight Ricky Hatton, the old, fat, and slow Lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez. Sugar Shane Mosley was next. Mosley trained for the January 30th fight against Andre Berto, the fight was canceled. Then Mosley had to train again for the May 1st fight against Mayweather. Mayweather fought an over-trained, and depleted Mosley. It clearly showed when Mosley gassed out after the second round.
The decade has been good and it has been bad, it was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. (I like that one, I got it from sold old author that is now dead.) Good if you’re a Manny Pacquiao fan, bad if you’re a Floyd Mayweather fan. It was actually GREAT if you’re a fan of Pacquiao. As for Mayweather and his fans, second place is not all that bad. Chill, relax, enjoy; it could have been worse. Just imagine if Mayweather signed on the dotted line and actually fought Pacquiao. Instead of second, it would have been a complete and utter disaster. So you see, second place is not that bad at all. I have always contended that Mayweather’s true talent is his ability to recognize who he can beat and which opponent to avoid.
The Fighter of the Decade went to Manny Pacquiao. Honestly, I don’t know who came in second. Was it Floyd? I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was Floyd. Of course I understand that Floyd is giving up on the race with Pacquiao. Floyd said he no longer cares about trophies and belts and all that kind of stuff. RIIIIIIGHT!.. . .I would give it up too if I was always coming in second. I mean, a man has got to know his place and save face. If you see your girlfriend is about to drop you, quit your girlfriend before she drops you, right? That’s the way Floyd sees it. Hey, I get it!
Roberto Duran did not, Sugar Ray Leonard did not, Oscar De La Hoya too, same with Julio Cesar Chavez, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, and of course Floyd Mayweather belongs with that group who did not. But Manny Pacquiao did. He was chosen for the prestigious honor of gracing the cover of Time Magazine. Once again we rejoiced in Manny’s accomplishments. As for the Mayweather fans, you can take solace that other famous and know fighters like those above also did not win the honor. In fact there are only a handful chosen for the honor. The boxers that did grace the cover of Time were all heavyweights, except two very notable fighters, Manny Pacquiao and Sugar Ray Robinson. And Pacquiao is the only non-American to ever do so. NIIIIIIICE!
But Mayweather did grace the cover of JET magazine, I think. Not too sure on that one.
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