By Lester Salvador
Manny Pacquiao must do several things in order to solidify himself among the greats like Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Henry Armstrong, Julio Cesar Chavez, Tito Trinidad, Wilfredo Benitez, Wilfredo Gómez, Hector Camacho, Carlos Ortiz and Roberto Duran. I am not sold on the Pacquiao hype and his standing as a multi-division champion.
To be considered a true champion at any weight class you must win the title belt from the legitimate champion without a catchweight. Manny has won mostly paper titles and vacant belts. Manny never won a title at 126 pounds, he was given the Ring belt after he beat a distracted Marco Antonio Barrera. People fail to remember that the man who was the true champion at featherweight was Juan Manuel Marquez and we all seen how that went, Manny got schooled and couldn’t capture a real belt from Marquez.
Pacquiao also never cleaned out a division, his move up in weight was carefully guided by Bob Arum and Freddie Roach to fool the public that he is this incredible boxer defying the odds, when all his wins are against faded champions, favorable style match-up’s and false titles (WBC Diamond belt, WBO belt fought at catchweight, WBC Jr. Middleweight title fought at catch weight).
In order for Manny Pacquiao to crack my top 100 all time greats list, he must do the following:
- He must defend his WBC 154-pound title — which he won at a catchweight of 150-pounds against Antonio Margarito — against a legit 154 pound fighter, either Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, IBF champ Cornelius Bundrage, this needs to be done in order to make his title win at 154 a legit one.
- After that, Manny Pacquiao must clean out a division by beating all the champions, either at 140, 147, or 154 pounds if he wants to prove his greatness among true legends.
- After he cleans out a division, If Pacquiao fans want to label him the modern day Henry Armstrong then he must defy the odds and fight Sergio Martinez for his 160-pound title or another legitimate 160-pound champion like Dmitry Pirog, Felix Sturm, Sebastian Zbik or Sebastian Sylvester and destroy them. If he wins it only by split decision he won’t prove his greatness because people will question if he was given a gift decision by the judges.
- Since the fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. probably won’t happen, Manny must fight the remaining fights of his career under Olympic style drug testing, with random blood tests up tot he fight, to prove his wins above featherweight are all legitimate and to clear any doubt that was cast on him.
If Manny Pacquiao does all of the above, I will add him to my Top 100 boxers of all time list. If he wants to get in the Top 50, he would need to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and beat him along with everything else I listed above.
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