By Muki Hadad
I’ve been a fan of the great Filipino boxing legend Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao for a long time and I am still astonished that he is fighting as a 40-year-old Senator and teaching these young bucks a lesson in the ring.
Pacquiao is still one of the most ferocious fighters in the sport and he fights with all his might in the ring. No matter how big or tall the opponent is he will never back down from a tussle. He is a true warrior.
I will see people question his punching power and mention that he hasn’t knocked someone out cold since he fought Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton in 2009.
I remember several years ago Pac haters claiming the reason he was taking out these bigger guys was due to steroids and Alex Ariza mystery shakes.
Then they claimed he stopped juicing because Floyd Mayweather Jr. put him on the spot with his USADA drug testing demands. When Pacquiao rejected those demands the Pacquiao detractors suggested the reason he stopped knocking guys out is due to him being off the juice.
What they fail to mention is that he has knocked down 5 of his last 8 world class opponents and had several of them badly hurt in fights.
When he fought Chris Algieri he knocked him down several times and the referee should have stopped the fight but let it keep going and Algieri went on his bicycle in survival mode to last the distance.
When he fought Jeff Horn in Australia, he hurt him so bad in the 9th round that the referee nearly stopped it. They robbed Pacquiao of a TKO victory in the Horn fight and gave the gift decision to Horn in one of the worst robberies on nationwide TV.
In his most recent fight, a 40-year-old Pacquiao dropped the hard-hitting 30-year-old Keith Thurman in the first round and hurt him badly to the body in the 10th. Pacquiao also took all of the power shots Thurman threw at him and went on to win the WBA welterweight strap.
People who say Pacman lost his punching power do not take into account that most of the time his opponents go into survival mode and get on their bike like Adrien Broner and Floyd Mayweather. These fighters play it safe and avoid trading blows because they know that Pacquiao has sneaky power.
It is very hard to knockout an opponent who is trying to survive and avoid exchanging blows with you.
For his size and weight Pacquiao has to be one of the hardest punchers pound for pound. He is hurting men who are much bigger than him in a weight class he doesn’t belong in. Pacquiao’s walk around weight is around 140 pounds and I remember reading an interview with Alex Ariza his old conditioning coach saying the Pacman has to eat a high amount of calories just to make the 147 pound welterweight limit, while his opponents usually cut down in weight 170 or 180 pounds. If he fought at his natural weight class of 135-pounds he would be a KO machine.
Pacquiao doing what he does in the ring is legendary stuff.
There will never be another Manny Pacquiao. The ferocity and the will to win even his advanced age is inspirational. Seeing Manny still fight in the ring at his age and with all his responsibilities makes me realize there is no excuse to be lazy. Whatever you do in life do it to the fullest just like Manny Pacquiao.