The Appreciation and Career of Manny Pacquiao

By Wil Patino - 04/13/2014 - Comments

pac888881By Will Patino: Hello once again, in this edition of articles written by me I’m going to speak on Manny Pacquiao’s legacy in the aftermath of his rematch with Timothy Bradley. I also will be touching on where he has been and where he is now as a fighter along with my appreciation of Manny. I’d like to start off by saying I DO NOT like to criticize any boxers on their talent or place in boxing’s history. The main reason is because its all really opinion based.

If you have read any of my articles I usually speak on subjects that people rarely touch upon such as “Did you know? Boxing Edition”, “Defense a beautiful art to master” and ” How to market Boxing to expand its demographic and popularity”. All articles in which I do not speak on or criticize boxers with my opinions. This time around in light of his recent win I’ll speak on a fighter I have learned to gain great respect and appreciation for, the little man Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

During the weeks leading to this fight I myself was intrigued on this match up in this time of both men’s careers. I started watching a lot of Pacquiao fights from his glory days and his rise to stardom. I found my self watching every fight from Manny’s first fight in the states all the way to the Brandon Rios fight. In the process i was looking to see what has changed through out the years and took consideration of the opponent in front of Pacquiao in each fight. Manny’s style has not changed by much, what has changed is what he decides to do with it and the way he implements his strengths and defends his weaknesses.

The truth is that Manny Pacquiao has gotten older, and with age comes adjustments which is something most of the great fighters learn to do. Its not that Manny Pacquiao has lost significant speed, power, or stamina. Its that at his age he can not fight in the same manner as he did when he was younger. He still has speed, power and stamina just to be clear. Its not what it was 5 years ago but its not too far from it. What I appreciate about Pacquiao is his ability to take on all challengers and face a plethora of styles. Of course along the way he might of favored certain styles more than others and have faced those particular styled fighters more frequently, but that’s the way match making works.

Manny Pacquiao has one of the best boxing resume’s in recent memory. People seem to forget how good he really is. He is a legend and he is easily a top 50 all time great. Where in that top 50 is so debatable that i will not waste my energy on trying to stamp a specific number to his legacy in boxing. What I will say is this… We should appreciate the talent he continuously displays to the boxing fans in every fight. He has many assets to his game that you want a fighter to have. 3 of them which i spoke of already is great speed, good power and stamina along with punching from angles and a very good defense (not great). Wait I know what some of you are thinking. Defense? Yes, defense. Its something we don’t speak of when it comes to Pacquiao due to his offensive prowess. To the untrained eye Pacquiao’s defense might look average, but its not. In no way am I saying he’s a defensive wizard, because he isn’t. Bradley did land some big punches in this rematch, and so have others in many of his fights.

To understand Manny’s defense is to understand his style. His offense is his defense but not entirely. Other than getting caught with some good punches in last nights fight, manny blocked many of them with his gloves. He slipped under and around some punches as well. I will admit he was willing to absorb some punishment to the body for the first half of the fight in the process. Yet if we look at his defense closely and even delve into compubox stats we come to find numbers like 19% of total punches landed on Pacquiao in the first Bradley match-up. With 22% landed on Pacquiao in the rematch. Even in his knock out lost to Marquez the total punches landed on Pacquiao was 21% While Brandon Rios manged to land 27% with most punches landing in the clinch while holding Pacquiao. For comparisons sake Floyd Mayweather vs Cotto had Cotto landing 21% of total punches and in the Canelo fight compubox had Canelo landing 22%.

Of course you can look into jabs and power punches and break it down from there. Now in no way am I trying to say that Pacquiao’s defense resembles anything of Floyd’s stature. Floyd is superb in that department for sure because he is a defensive genius. I just want to show an example of how Manny’s defense is better than some give him credit for. Some people do see Pacquiao’s defense for what it truly is, but there are others who don’t. Manny also absorbs some big shots due to the style he chooses to fight in. He usually is the aggressor and the smaller man, so he has to find his way in using footwork, feints, speed and angles. He likes to jab his way in sometimes with a double or even a triple jab. The risks he’s willing to take to impose his power on his opponents makes for a style which he is bound to get caught with some good shots. Therefore not making Manny a defensive genius of course. But this is the style that works for him with his quick in and out movements. Sometimes he like to wait and counter, bobbing and weaving making opponents miss. I believe Manny is also a smarter fighter than what some give him credit for and he has great timing. I don’t want to make it seem like he is some type of God or overly praise him. I hope I am not doing that, but I do want to state that I think Manny is a great fighter still to this day. He proved it last night in a very tough fight with a current pound for pound (now former) champion who is in his prime… Timothy Bradley.

I have noticed that since the Marquez knock out Pacquiao has become more cautious. Plenty of people have criticized his inability to knock out his opponents. How he lost some of that aggression he possessed in his prime. Well truth is, Manny is not in his prime and he does not need to go looking for a knock out with every opponent anymore. His boxing skills along with his speed and power can carry him on to a unanimous decision victoriously. Honestly if Pacquiao finishes his career without knocking anyone out from here on, its fine with me. Its called boxing ladies and gents. Hit and not get hit. We had the pleasure to see Pacquiao knock out legends and take punishment along the way of some very exciting fights. Now at this point of his career he’s not doing it anymore, but consistently shows that he can win and out-land his opponents. The one time Pacquiao did decide to go and be the old Manny knowing its a lot riskier to do so now, is when he got knocked out. Not saying that was the only reason that he got floored in the 4th Marquez fight but it was a big part of it.

So Manny has learned from his mistakes and I believe deep down, Manny knows he’s not the same fighter that he used to be. Thankfully he has manged to adjust to his age and find a way to win even when facing adversity like he did last night. That’s another thing, people used to say Manny Pacquiao can only fight one way and can not adjust. I always believed he could, and with him being more cautious now, he allows himself time to think more than punch. Which makes for good adjustments in the ring. I like this cautious yet still willing to get in there and engage type of Pacquiao and you should too.

As a big fan of boxing I feel privileged to have the honor to watch a magnificent career with Manny Pacquiao. I have seen him win, lose, be ferocious, knock out legends, out box opponents, fight many rivals, face adversity, get knocked down and get back up to score a knock down of his own, get knocked out, his rise and fall and rise again, win 8 belts in 8 different weight classes (catch-weight or not) and now I have seen him adjust to father time and redeem himself by re-matching a pound for pound fighter in their prime. Honestly what hasn’t Pacquiao done in the sport. If you are a boxing fan I hope you appreciate Pacquiao and many other fighters. I appreciate Floyd’s defensive prowess and his amazing talent and skill, I also appreciate Manny Pacquiao’s offensive prowess and his own talent and ability. There is nothing wrong with that. This isn’t a team sport its OK to like more than one guy and I do. I’ve been appreciating Floyd Mayweather as of late more than ever for his ability to keep winning and making it look easy in the process. Somehow that has led me to ignore what Manny Pacquiao is doing in his own career. Now that Pacquiao’s career as an elite fighter is nearing the end too I am gaining a whole lot more appreciation for the little man who many years ago seemed to come out of nowhere and rise to the top. I respect both Floyd and Manny and in no way am I trying to make this article about both of them, but sort of like Ward and Gatti or Frazier and Ali, you can’t mention one without speaking of the other. Even though the examples i gave were rivals and these two (Pac & May) are not. You need to have faced each other to be rivals. They are still and always have been once in a generation fighters and I am appreciating them both. In no way am I saying one is better than the other. For me I just like knowing that Pacquiao has given us his all by facing just about everyone we have asked him to face and some of them more than once even if it wasn’t in his best interest. Manny may not have made the better business choices but he has given us a more dramatic career. One full of ups, some downs, triumph, exhilaration, excitement, heart break, nail biters, and redemption. As a boxing fan what more can you ask for.

Thank you Manny Pacquiao I appreciate you and your legacy.

P.S. I will be writing an article for my appreciation of Floyd after his fight on May 3rd. To read more articles like this , boxing news, and watch some awesome boxing videos please visit my facebook page. or click on my pic in the comment section.

Comments are closed.