Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Manny Pacquiao Simply the Best Boxer

In what appears to be Manny Pacquiao's biggest opponent and test to his illustrious career, against Antonio Margarito, 4 1/2 inches taller and 17 lbs heavier, Pacquiao did what he does best-winning a boxing match in a very convincing manner. Margarito suffered a devastating defeat that he needs a surgery to his fractured eye socket. It was such a one-sided match that you may think that Pacquiao had the best training and Margarito had so many distractions.

Much has been written and said about Team Pacquiao's camp and training being the worst ever, from distractions in Baguio City and meetings with politicians, a singing engagement in a tv show, coaching a basketball team in the US, campaigning for a US Senator, preparing for a concert after the Margarito match, Pacquiao has done it all. He has multi tasked once again, in the weeks before his bout with Margarito, and pulled off a very convincing win that makes people wonder how did he do all that? Will he ever be called the greatest boxer even if does not have a match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at all?

I say, yes. Definitely. Pacquiao does not need Mayweather to be called the best. Mayweather may be a defensive specialist, and has not lost once but he has not made any convincing win as convincing as Pacquiao has done from the last boxing matches he had. According to Bob Arum, his manager, Manny has not only won his match against his opponents but perhaps ended or altered their careers. From David Diaz, Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. Among the boxers mentioned, only Joshua Clottey seems to probably have a future in boxing. Diaz has not been heard for a while, Dela Hoya and Hatton retired, Cotto is still recovering and Margarito will need several months, probably a year to heal his wounds and spirit. Mayweather has repeatedly avoided having a match signed against Pacquiao and with legal issues hounding him right now against his former girlfriend, I doubt he will agree this time. Mayweather is not a multi tasker like Pacquiao and has not handled mental pressures as well as Pacquiao. At this point in time, Pacquiao is right, Mayweather needs him and Pacquiao does not need Mayweather.

If the match will defy odds and push through, when Floyd losses, everybody will expect that his reason for loosing will be his distractions outside the ring. This will be unfair for Pacquiao. Before every fight, Manny trains as hard as he can and it will be unfair to not credit him the win against Floyd. So, the best option may be a fight with Marquez. Will Marquez be a formidable opponent against Pacquiao? Is his performance against Mayweather a good gauge for him to be worthy of Pacquiao's stature? I say no. Some boxing analysts say that Pacquiao could have lost to Marquez once or twice but the Pacquiao who was against Marquez during those time was only half of what he is today. He is such an excellent boxer today that a match with Marquez will be a mismatch once again. Pacquiao's desired weight of 145 lbs is high for Marquez because he was so outclassed by Mayweather during their last match. But who knows? Maybe Marquez has improved too?

For me, this is the best time for Pacquiao to retire. He has achieved so much for the sport, for his family and for the Filipino people that it is hard to think of what is left for him to prove. His venture to politics may help or inspire more people but it may also be his downfall. Once he retires, I suggest for him to concentrate on helping other Filipino boxers achieve what he has done by providing a scientific way of training them and hiring the best trainers from all over the world. There may never be another Manny Pacquiao to pass by Philippine history but it will be nice to see Pacquiao protegees once in a while. Not only in boxing, he may venture in being the country's godfather in sports and help athletes have good exposure, training and equipment so that in 5 or 10 years from now, we may soon achieve our first, second or maybe third gold medal in the greatest sporting event of all time- the Olympics.

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