Pacquiao needs to be recognized as a Modern Day Great
By Rameez Haider: After my previous article on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather debate, the responses yet again focused on fans of both boxers knocking the other. Despite me being a big Mayweather fan and believing he would beat Pacquiao without question, I am a boxing fan and a Pacquiao fan and it’s time people are real and accept Pacquiao for the great boxer that he is.
Boxing is about the sweet science, about the skills of the individual to be able to mix defence with attack and show true guile in the squared circle. However there is more to boxing and different fighters have different styles.
The come forward explosive style with incredible hand speed and punch power is at times just as affective and in most instances more exciting. It is down to the pundits and the fans to decide which style they prefer. Many fans on my articles have argued this and many have claimed Pacquiao is not a legend, that his knock out loss has ruined his legacy, that he has been found out in terms of style and that this style makes him no legend. But there are some arguments in history worth considering.
The greatest boxer for me in the history of the sweet science is Muhammad Ali, a truly perfect example of the skill, the speed, the guile etc and though other people may have different views, no one can argue Ali’s place in history. However where there was Ali, there was also the late great Joe Frazier, a total different style to Ali, a come forward hit and hit back harder kind of style, a style which was not as graceful as Ali, not showcasing the sweet science like Ali, but one which was exciting, explosive and affective. This style cemented Frazier’s legacy in the sport.
In many ways this is the same situation with Mayweather and Pacquiao, granted Pacquiao does not have the all round skills that Mayweather has, but there is no question that Pacquiao’s talent, fast hand speed and power are in many ways just as special as Mayweather’s skills.
Looking into Pacquiao’s career, he is an 8 weight champion with 10 world titles and fighter of the decade. These are not achievements gained by ordinary boxers. Throughout his career he has fought some of the best boxers in the modern era, Morales, Barrera, Marquez, De La Hoya, Hatton, Margarito, Cotto not to mention others. He has beaten all of these great boxers, regardless of whether you argue Marquez won fights or not, the fact is he has defeated them all, again this is not a feat achieved by ordinary boxers.
People argue Pacquiao just throws lots of punches and uses his speed yet does not land with many punches. But if you look at someone like Amir Khan, who has blistering hand speed but does not put his combinations as well as he could, Pacquiao has shown throughout his career that the amazing hand speed he has is combined with excellent combinations and though maybe in his last few fights this may not have been as good as it could have been, in his last fight against Marquez, it was clear to see how good those combinations still were as Marquez was being picked off at times with ease.
Pacquiao’s heart is another quality that can’t be overlooked.
In a lot of his fights he has been involved in true wars, taking shots from some of the best boxers yet showing the heart of a lion to fight back. Even in his last fight, after what was a heavy first knock down he came back fighting and not only did he knock Marquez down, he was taking over the fight before getting caught cold.
The punch power possessed by Pacquiao can also not be questioned. The devastating punch power used to dismantle opponents like Cotto, Hatton and many others has been a sight to behold over the last decade. Any boxer will tell you that it’s not just about power, but the technique in landing the shots which Pacquiao has shown in abundance with blistering speed.
It’s clear that Pacquiao’s skills and achievements can’t be questioned. I read people who say Pacquiao has taken PEDs, but to that as I have previously stated, he has come through the same weight classes as Mayweather and has never been found guilty of anything. It’s sad that fans can’t accept the fact that Pacquiao is a great, one that we will talk about for many years to come, just like Mayweather, Marquez etc.
People claim the Marquez knock out has ruined his legacy, to this I would take you back to Ali, who suffered knock downs etc yet is still a legend. I take you back to Frazier who was dismantled in shocking fashion by Foreman yet still his legacy is one that will forever be noted. Foreman himself suffered the humiliation of being made to look silly by Ali before being knocked out, yet still his name is etched in the history books. De La Hoya suffered a humiliating defeat to Pacquaio and quit on his stool, yet still he is a true great of the sport.
People need to stop to understand what they have with the likes of Pacquiao in boxing. Is he better than Floyd Mayweather, personally I say no, but that is personal opinion. Is Pacquiao a legend of the sport? Not a question in my mind, and any true boxing fan should respect and accept the achievements of this great boxer.