By Freddy Fresco
I’ve been watching and reading a lot of the build up articles, videos, and comments to the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao super fight and the talk is always about Mayweather’s legacy, never about Pacquiao.
It seems like the fans and boxing community in general have already counted Pacquiao out, you would be hard pressed to find anyone picking Manny Pacquiao to beat Floyd Mayweather on May 2, unless your name is either Skip Bayless or Mike Tyson, two guys who have always supported Pacquiao win, lose or draw.
The sad part is when Manny Pacquiao was winning and delivering vicious beatings the fans loved him and so many people praised him, saying he belonged among the all time greats, but the moment he suffered a KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez they all disappeared. They gave up on the man. His Pay-Per-View numbers declined and only his true fans remained and supported him.
Pacquiao will always be a champion to the real boxing fans, and to people like me who appreciate his warrior mentality, he will always be a legend. Manny is an inspiration, and like a true champ he came back from back to back losses, after being counted out and given up on by millions of fake fans, he put together an impressive string of victories against bigger younger men. They told him you will never be able to comeback from that type of KO, but he did, and he proved everyone who doubted him wrong.
After he was knocked out by Marquez he faced a hungry young lion in Brandon Rios who was bigger and stronger, even legends like Bernard Hopkins said this was a dangerous fight for Pacquiao after a brutal KO loss, after Pacman put on an impressive near flawless boxing clinic on Rios, Mike Tyson called Pacquiao’s performance sensational. It was an impressive performance, he dominated Rios with ease.
His next fight was a rematch for the WBO welterweight title he unjustly lost to Timothy Bradley by controversial split decision. Bradley was coming off an impressive win over Juan Manuel Marquez, and heading into the fight he had all the confidence in the world having beat the man who put Pacquiao to sleep. When the fight happened just like in the first meeting his legs got injured trying to avoid the Pacman barrage. Pacquiao recaptured the title beating a slick, young, unbeaten fighter handing him his first loss.
Next up was Chris Algieri a tall, fast, lanky, unbeaten WBO light welterweight champion from New York, he was coming off a huge upset victory of Ruslan Provodnikov a former Pacquiao sparring partner. Algieri was young and ambitious, he had the size advantage and was filled with lots of stamina and foot movement constantly bouncing on his toes like Bradley and not staying in one place at a time. He was not flat footed and considered a style nightmare, but Pacquiao disposed of him easily winning a unanimous decision, dominating him from pillar to post with several knockdowns and a memorable 9th round knockdown that almost ended the fight.
Manny Pacquiao is the underdog heading into the Mayweather fight, he just beat two prime undefeated fighters who are fast and move a lot in the ring, if he pulls of the impossible by beating Floyd Mayweather Jr. and handing him his first loss, he would have put himself among the top 5 greatest fighters of all times.
For all the fake fans who left Pacquiao and gave up on him when he needed your support the most, please don’t comeback and act like you always knew he would win. A real fan will stand by their fighter win, lose or draw.