The best of the decade: Your opinions, Part II
Note: RingTV.com asked you to tell us who you think is the best fighter of the decade. We received hundreds of emails. Many of them are here, in the second posting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And, please, keep in touch. We want to know what you're thinking.
Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with your top fighter of the 2000's.
You forgot Hopkins: 15-3 since 2000 with victories over elites Trinidad, DLH, Tarver, Wright and Pavlik. Additionally, many people had him beating Taylor and an undefeated Calzaghe. Couple that with solid wins over Eastman, Allen, Vanderpool, Joppy, Daniels, Echols and Holmes and you have a resume far superior to Pacquiao's. Additionally, he reigned as the p4p king longer then Manny has.
Then you have Calzaghe: 19-0 since 2000 with solid victories over RJJ (though he was shot), Hopkins (though I had Hopkins winning), Kessler, Lacy and a slew of decent SMWs.
Then you have Mosley: 19-5 since 2000 with (two) wins over a prime DLH, (two) wins over Vargas, win over Mayorga and Margarito. His loss to Cotto was questionable and his other losses were to (two) future bigger future HOf's in their primes (Forrest and Wright).
Then you have Mayweather: 17-0 since 2000 with victories over elites DLH, Hatton, Judah, Castillo (twice), and Corrales. Throw in Baldomir, Hernandez, Chavez, Mitchell, Gatti and Corley and you have a solid resume.
And you have JMM: 23-2 since 2000 with wins over Casamayor, Diaz, Barrera and quality wins over Gainer, Peden and Juarez. His losses to Pacman and John were extremely controversial as many had him winning those fights.
Finally Pacquiao: 25-1 since 2000 with wins over elites Morales, Barrera, Hatton, DLH and JMM and Diaz and Solis.
My ballot would go something like Hopkins, Mayweather, Mosley, JMM, Pacquiao and then Calzaghe. I think that Hopkins beat better fighters than the other guys and is a better overall fighter. As much as I dislike Mayweather his resume is superb. Mosley was one the baddest dudes around in the 2000s and never seems to get his just dues, but his victories over DLH and Margarito are much more impressive than any of the other guys on the list as they were both pfp top-5 and in their prime. I had JMM winning both fights against Pacquiao and I was more impressed with his victories over Casamayor and Diaz than Pacman's victories over DLH and Hatton (who were both dehydrated and past it, though Manny did look phenomenal against Hatton). Calzaghe falls short for me as he didn't face Hopkins or RJJ when they were in their prime and I had Hopkins beating him anyway.
Los Angeles, Calif.
I agree with you in what you stated in reference to Manny being the best fighter of this decade. In the dispute of this matter it seems as though this has become a ridiculous comparison. I cannot understand how anyone who is an actual boxing fan and knows of the sport can even consider Mayweather great at any level. His greatest assets in my opinion are the following: his timing in opponent selecting (cherry picking), his outspoken arrogance and self-glorified attitude, but the best asset of Mayweather that can be considered something he does great is his defense- if not the best defense perhaps one of the best ones I have seen. I will not take anything from Floyd. He made smart moves at the right time, he looked good while taking on easy opponents, he avoided many punches with his unique defense, his fighting style far from the best but he knew how to win fights even when the crowd seemed unpleased. To say that Floyd is great is to downgrade what Greatness is suppose to be. Now many will say that his record is of greatness but to me his record is arguable, his fans says he is undefeated but honestly he lost the De la hoya fight in my book, De La Hoya imposed the fight while Mayweather just did the Mayweather thing and that be the reason why the fight did not meet expectations… some say he won and I can give them the benefit of the doubt; but how about his loss to Castillo on their first encounter. Mayweather clearly lost to Castillo any one who saw the fight could see that it was boxing corruption at it's best. Mayweather never fought Cotto, Margarito, or Shane Mosley the great. He dodged these guys, went on an early retirement while he had a good record and spread the word of his greatness. Now he returns and wants to fight the small guys to capture his spot back, really what he should be doing is fighting Mosley, Cotto, Collazo, Berto, Williams; that’s the only way he would ever get recognized by true boxing fans. In the other hand Manny is a prize fighter, every time he fights people come to see and always leave satisfied; he continues to take on the best and continues to take on greater challenges, he dodges no one and he fights all those worthy… even if Mayweather defeats Pacquiao that will not make him great… greatness is determined by what you have accomplished in your career sometimes boxing can be deceiving… Greatness is not what a record reads yet what you see when you tune in to watch a fight… the eyes are the best judge in boxing. And fighters like Manny don't come too often yet fighters like Mayweather can always be created. To all the Mayweather fanatics I challenge you to mention Floyd's greatest challenge because Manny has too many to mention them all.
So you don’t rank Floyd as the best fighter in of the 2000's because of his quality of his opponent. You may have a point there. But then you contradict yourself by ranking Roy Jones Jr. as the best fighter of the ’90s. So who were the quality opponents he fought in the ’90s to justify his ranking. Overweight and untrained James Toney and an inexperience Hopkins who were not at their best? I am sorry but I disagree with your ranking Jones as the best fighter. He avoided a lot of fighters like Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Dariusz Michalczewski, Joe Calzaghe and others. Well now I know why he avoided them, his CHIN!
Now you might say that he didn’t avoid them or that some of them were promoted by Don King and etc. But you know what, Tito didn't have to fight Hopkins (#1 160lb in 2001) , Wright (#2 160lb in 2005) , Joppy(#2 160lb in 2001), Reid (#2 154lb in 2000) and Vargas(#1 154lb in 2000) to make money. But he wanted to face the best and that's what he did.
Roy is probably most overrated fighter in the history of the sport!!
I totally agree with you Michael, on your very salient points why Pacquiao is the most popular fighter of this decade. Everything you said about this fighter, how he made boxing interesting because he challenged the best there were and took a lot of risks, the way he fought boxers who were thought to be invincible before – especially when he faced Oscar dela Hoya undauntedly as the pseudo-gods of boxing cried a mismatch (favoring the Golden Boy) – these make the Pacman truly THE BOXER! Yes, Mayweather is a good fighter and a very skilled one, but his skills never aroused my interest. HIS FIGHT WITH DELA HOYA WAS THE MOST BORING FIGHT I'VE EVER SEEN! Where is the thrill of watching boxers fending each other's punches off? They practically didn't hurt each other. Neither got hit seriously because they both danced around the ring. After that fight, I felt bad that I had to pay $44 for PPV while the two fighters LAUGHED THEIR WAY TO THE BANK.
What Floyd failed to do (to Oscar and Ricky), Pacman was able to do (handily demolished them both). Now who is the better fighter? I believe that Pacman is the one who is more moneyable than Floyd. I have no doubt about it.
Alister Scott Ottesen
I thought your choice and argument for hailing Pacman as the best fighters of the decade was spot on. Can't believe many disagreed about that — they obviously pay more attention to the “0” than the sheer quality of opposition.
Mayweather never faced a fighter in the league of Marquez, Barrera or Morales, and Manny was also far more convincing against their common opponents. Calling him the best fighter of the decade is a no-brainer in my opinion — the real discussion should be whether or not Mayweather is better/greater than Hopkins or Marquez. I'm not so sure he is.
Other than that it was refreshing to see you choose Tony Canzoneri ahead of Joe Louis.
We obviously agree that Canzoneri is a vastly underrated fighter even if his name always pops up in all-time ratings.
How come you didn't pick fighters from the 1890s and 1900s? Would I be far off if I predict your picks would be:
1890s: Bob Fitzsimmons. Runner up: George Dixon.
1900s: Joe Gans. Runner up: Stanley Ketchel.
I can't help but disagree (as I'm sure many others) with your take on the greatest fighters of each era. Actually, I truly respect and agree with all the decades except for the ’90s and ’00s. I feel that your argument as to why Roy Jones Jr. is the best of the 90s and why Manny Pacquiao is the best of the 2000s contradict each other. My reason being is that you stated that Floyd Mayweather is the best pure boxer of the generation, but was never willing to take risks in his career. That all sounds way too familiar when I think of Roy Jones Jr. in his prime. I mean, Roy Jones had skills and abilities that were and still are unmatched to this day, but he also never took risks in his career. Unfortunately, I think Roy Jones began to take risks and became a “fighter” as soon as his prime was over. Call me crazy, but personally I don't feel as if Manny Pacquiao has beaten any great fighter who was in his prime. His only loss to the “Three Mexiteers” was to a Erik Morales who was already past his prime in my opinion. Barrera had TONS of miles and wars in him already when they fought the first time. And Juan Manuel Marquez? He boxed circles around Manny after he was knocked down three times! The second fight I felt Marquez won by at least two points and yes I know that's all irrelevant now. My argument may come off as one from a Mayweather fanatic but the truth is that I really do agree with you that he has no heart and pure talent, but I do feel that he wins by default. I feel that a stron argument can definitely be made for Juan Manuel Marquez and Bernard Hopkins. Jones in the 90s? Common! The best fighter of the 90s in my opinion goes to either Ricardo “Finito” Lopez or Oscar De la Hoya. Lopez gets overlooked by everyone because he was too darn small, but what a great fighter he was. As far as Oscar goes, he was a warrior and in his prime in the 90s. He dared to be great in fights against the likes of Ike Quartey, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Genaro Hernandez, and John John Molina. He humiliated a pound for pound top three candidate in Felix Trinidad for nine rounds and he was the first boxer to make the great, although past his prime, Julio Cesar Chavez quit. Chavez was still good enough to be in the top 15 pound for pound lists. I'm sure that you're probably way too busy to even read this long e-mail, but I would really like to hear your take on what I said, or maybe you can have a one week mailbag.
For me, the best figther is Manny Pacquiao. Why? Because he’s a complete boxer.
It`s a really hard question you pose. If Had to choose between Packman and Money Mayweather I would choose Packman every time, he comes to fight, never ducks or hand picks his opponents and is a fantastic ambassador for the sport, But the fighter I`m going to choose is neither of the above two, For me Joe Calzaghe is my choice and here`s why, He has beat the best in Europe in Mikkel Kessler, who I no is a bit of an unknown in the states(for me if he were to fight the likes of Dawson, Taylor or Froch he would dominate all of them, and push his self into the top 10p4p ratings)and he won comfortably, he destroyed Jeff Lacy who at the time was the next big thing state side, He beat a Legend and a fighter who you also put up for contention in Bernard Hopkins(I had him winning that fight by at least 3 rounds).I could mention Roy Jones but for me that fight proved very little. Joe was never hurt in the ring, always came to fight and dominated his opponents with his hand speed and fantastic technical ability, I believe had he been from the other side of the pond this wouldn't have even been up for contention, and let’s not forget he never tasted defeat and dominated his weight division throughout the 2000`s, great article and one for genuine debate.
Who is better between Manny Pacquiao (my idol) and Floyd Mayweather Jr.? 102 percent Manny is much much better than Floyd. because even if you review their previous fights Manny (Pacman) Pacquiao fought high quality fighters than Floyd and watching Pacman fights, it's more thrilling than Floyd. No offense to Floyd's fans. I'm just being honest giving my own opinion and I'm sure if they faced each other (if) because Mayweather as I can see it is not sure if he can beat Juan Manuel Marquez, Marquez for me is a better boxer than Floyd. They both are a good fighters but Pacquiao is the best.
Modesto P. Fucio
My simple answer to your column regarding who is the best boxer by year 2000, to the present, its very clear that the filipino hero in boxing and our national treasure is the best… few reason is that he is aggressive fighter and not afraid of fighting to anyone, softspooken fighter he dos not talk to much even he won the fight., he does not for his own prestige he fight for the glory and honor of our country. i think Floyd Mayweather is great fighter but i don’t like his style in the ring run… run .. and counter, not like Manny very aggressive and he make the people happy in every bout he fought.
Money-weather should beat the best fighters (Cotto, Mosley, Margarito) in his division if he want to be regarded as “The Best Fighter of the Decade”.
I feel that the best fighter of the 2000's has been Floyd Mayweather Jr. I'm basing this on unbeaten record (which does mean a hell of a lot), his world titles gained at five different weights and most importantly, his natural talent as a boxer. Also, we shouldn't forget his ability to promote and take part if mega fights, despite splitting fight fans like no other. However, I don't think he will be remembered in this way. Regardless my own sentiments, Manny Pacquiao will be regarded upon reflection as the greatest, because he gave the fans what they wanted, entertainment. Something Mayweather, in spite of what he proclaims, could not do on a consistent basis.
I believe Bernard Hopkins is hands down the best of the decade. I like Pacman and Mayweather both better than Bhop, but if you review Hopkins record 20 defenses of the middleweight title. He beat Pavlik, De La Hoya, Tarver, and a slew of top fighters. I guess the reason i think Hopkins easily is the best of the decade is a word called longevity at the top level. We all want to focus on the hear and now, i remember the ring acting like Tyson was one of the best ever till Douglas stomped him. How quick we forget, no offense but based purely on accomplishments the sometimes boring Hopkins stands alone. One more point as far as the 90s go i despised watching Whitaker fight but come on he was definitely the best of his decade not Roy Jones hell Ring Magazine ranked Sweet Pea in the Top 10 best fighters of the last 80 years nuff said.
I'm writing in response to your article today on the above subject. First point though, I'm from the UK and was in Vegas for the Hatton vs. Pacquiao fight, but before I make this point I'd like to state I am a boxing fan first and foremost and individual fighters to me are secondary (I'll still pay my money to come over for the big fights British interest or not), but I must say the comment, which I believe was made my Mike Silver's that Pacquiao beat a club fighter in Hatton is very unfair. Granted when it has come to being right at the very top he fell short, but to lose to the two fighters that he has, the same two you discuss in your article as the best of this era, is there any real shame in that? I don't think so.
Onto the article and what a question, and I do wonder whether we should include Marquez in the debate as well.
I understand the point that Pacquiao has gone after the most difficult fights and that is definitely a plus in his column, but has PBF really been that selective? As far as I can tell he has fought and beaten the best at his weight classes down the years, and although not always the most entertaining, he has always managed to do what was needed to win.
Comparing their two mutual opponents, DLH gave Mayweather a tough time and I wonder how Pacquiao would have fared against that DLH and not the one that turned up on the night. Also, how much did the KO against PBF take out of Hatton (he looked ready for a trip to canvas against Lazcano). That is by no means to take anything away from Pacquiao, as we say, you can only beat what is put in front of you and he did that convincingly against both.
I just think that at the time the fights took place, Mayweather fought them when they were both closer to their prime than when Pacquaio did, and certainly against Hatton, looked like he let Hatton stay in that fight till the 10th and really could have taken him out any time after the 3rd-4th.
It's for those reasons that I am swaying, ever so slightly towards Mayweather.
I won't bring Marquez into it as we could be here all day, I will just say roll on July 18th though – can't wait.
I totally agree with your assessment that Manny is the total Boxer of the decade. First He shows every good boxer Humility. He never boast about being good and he is always kind with his words towards everyone especially to his opponents. But once He is on the ring He shows His real self, dominating, skilled, thriller if you like, a total boxer of our generation and most of all , He is very Good Role Model, you name it, to the fans all over the world, to His people the Filipinos. God knows what will he be in the near future.
How about Hopkins ?
Floyd and Manny are both great ( I happen to agree with you 100% about Manny being much more accomplished and stepping up to better challenges ) but how about Hopkins . He may not have the thrill factor but his record speaks for itself. His 2001 knockout of Tito was maybe the single greatest performance of the decade and from there he went on to KO Oscar, jump up to beat Tarver, beat Wright, and shock Pavlik. Even if he does not leapfrog Manny as the fighter of the decade his resume is certainly better than Floyd’s.
Keep in mind too that many people feel that he beat Jermain and Calzaghe. At the very least he took on the challenge which is something Floyd never did. I don’t think you can rank Floyd that high based on wins of Castillo, Chico and Oscar. Skill is one thing but you have to apply that skill and take on the best to be considered great.
He is my choice to be the pound for pound king of 2000s. Like what you said, he fought more hall of famers than Mayweather. He destroyed each one of those guys. Mayweather is a boring fighter. Marquez did not able to KO Barrera even Barrera was not on his prime anymore. Pacquiao demolished Barrera when he was on his prime.
There's no doubt that Pacquiao is THE fighter of the 2000's. While Mayweather is talented and might actually win in a head-to-head confrontation, if it's about accomplishment, he doesn't come close to Pacman. The shame of it all is that Floyd has had his opportunities to fight the best, but instead has carefully chosen his opponents based upon maximum dollar and minimum risk. He has actively avoided big fights with Margarito, Cotto, and even Mosley–fights which would have established his supremacy at welterweight and his legitimacy as the best fighter in the world had he won. Pacquiao has also chosen opponents who provided him with maximum financial reward but the risks have been much greater as he has sought out the toughest challenges and when actually in the ring (he's fought 25 times in the 2000's as opposed to 17 for Mayweather) has continually outperformed even the loftiest of expectations. Also, in this case size matters as Pacquiao has destroyed three fighters in a row that were supposed to have significant size and strength advantages. When's the last time Mayweather entered the ring with obvious disadvantages and overcame them to earn an impressive victory? Finally, size matters and so does style. As you mentioned, Mike, when Pacquiao fights he does more than win–he performs, he entertains, he captivates, he exceeds pre-fight expectations. He leaves you feeling that you just witnessed something surreal and spectacular–and you can't wait to see it again.
I totally disagree with your choice of Pacquiao over Mayweather, as the top fighter of the decade. I think your analysis is seriously flawed. First of all, Pacquiao's defensive skills are at best, average. Although he demolished Hatton, Ricky was able to hit him. I still believe that if the fight had lasted five or six rounds, then Hatton had a good chance of beating him. Ricky started the fight with absolutely no defense; he was simply there to be hit, so a quick fighter as Manny, just could not miss him. Ricky was much more defensive and tactical when he fought Mayweather. Simply put, he had a higher regard for Mayweather than he had for Pacquiao, so he was better prepared mentally and strategically. For ten rounds, Ricky was unable to hit Floyd effectively, while in two rounds, he was able to hit Manny.
I think your comparison of the two fighters based on their performance against common opponent Oscar, is almost absurd. As an expert, you should realize that styles play a very important part in fights. Floyd is a tactician, while Manny is an aggressor. Manny fought a weak and dehydrated Oscar, while Floyd fought a physically well-prepared Oscar.
It's not true (at least to me) that Manny has been willing to fight anyone. He has shied away from a third fight with Marquez, a fight which could help determine decisively, which of the two is the better fighter. To me, Manny won neither of the two fights he had with Marquez.
It is clear to me that Freddie Roach is not eager to put his man against Mayweather. Manny is a very good and entertaining fighter, but I think that Floyd would give him a boxing lesson in the early rounds, and knock him out later, in a fight between them. Remember that while Floyd is not naturally, an aggressive fighter, he is deadly accurate, and will not fail to punish Manny's body, where Manny seems to be weak.
Though I disagree with you on this one, I still respect you as a great boxing analyst.
B. S. Aquino
I totally agree with your choice of Pacquiao as the fighter of the decade, instead of Mayweather, not because I am a countryman of Pacquiao, but simply because Manny Pacquiao has proven that he is the best, better than all his contemporaries, including Mayweather, even though they still have to meet inside the ring. No need for me to explain, because you have already done that – most accurately and objectively.
Here's my reason why Pacquiao, at this moment in time, has to go down as the best.
Obviously there are many factors that have to be considered when weighing up a fighters career, or legacy, and I believe that re-matches and trilogies go an extremely long way in defining a fighters career. Ali vs. Frazier. Leonard fighting Duran three times and Hearns twice. Here in England, Nigel Been and Chris Eubank were questionably the two best fighters in the UK in the 90's and they had two classic encounters. This is why I lost a little respect for Calzaghe. Why didn't he give Hopkins the re-match? It wasn't a great fight, but it was close. If Calzaghe had beat Hopkins convincingly then you could understand why, but he didn't and I guess it was so close that Joe may have been scared to lose his 0, but I think the re-match with Hopkins was a missed opportunity for Calzaghe because rivalries and re-matches become etched into peoples minds because it has history and it becomes a drama. Again I think Mayweather missed an opportunity retiring before the De La Hoya rematch. It may not have been a fight that every one might have wanted to see, but nevertheless it would have created more of a history between the pair of them and there careers. Still with Mayweather, if we take his upcoming fight with Marquez I want Marquez to win, why? Because I want to see Marquez and Manny get it on again. I don't think Mayweather has a rivalry, or the same level of adversary's, as Manny, which as a boxing fan provides less of a talking point. If Mayweather were to beat Marquez then go on to defeat Manny I think in years ahead you would still have to place Manny over Mayweather in the all time list. Now, if Mayweather and Manny had a rip-roaring trilogy and Mayweather came out on top, then you could Place him above Manny. Now, I'm not saying the re-match-trilogy always defines greatness, you could have two bums fight a great trilogy, but if you are a great fighter it goes a long way having it on your r├®sum├®. Two of the most important ingredients to greatness are rivalries and the re-match/trilogy. All the greats have had them. In my honest opinion I think great rivalries and re-matches carry more weight then an 0.
Dale City, Va.
Great discussion. If I had to rank the top 3 fighters of the 2000’s it would be:
1. Manny Pacquiao 2.Bernanrd Hopkins 3. Floyd Mayweather. 3 years ago I would have went with Floyd at #1 not because of the opponents he had fought(I mean he fought Baldomir and Judah back to back c'mon) but because of his untested abilities. However Floyd in my opinion got hit more then I can ever remember by Hatton and in all fairness in the De La Hoya fight he was losing until De La went away from the game plan. The best comparison we can make is head to head competition and let’s get real PAC-MAN absolutely destroyed Hatton which was incredible. Not to mention the boxing lesson he gave one of my favorite fighters of all time in De La Hoya (Weight is not an excuse). One of the reason I thought Floyd was so special was how he dismantled Diego Corralles. But let’s get real, he was the American version of Hatton, a lot of heart a warrior but a very limited fighter. Pacquiao’s resume is beyond impressive and I am sorry but Floyd ducked to many fighters. As a fan of the sport I love when there is a chance for a KO at anytime(ala Trinidad or Pacquiao) it makes the fight unpredictable. All those factors in my opinion add to the best fighter of the 2000's and The Pac-Man deserves that title.
Pacquiao, for me, is definitely the better fighter of the 2000s. While Mayweather has taken a much safer route to greatness, the Pacman has withstood, and oftentimes dominated, the toughest hombres of this generation. Add to the fact that Pacquiao almost singlehandedly brought the sport of boxing back into the limelight. If only you could experience firsthand Manny's hold of the entire country that is the Philippines. Can Mayweather make his country crime-free even for a day? Hey! The Pacman's been doing that for years!
I'm not too keen on the techniques of boxing and I'm Filipino yet I agree with your determining factor of who should be considered greater. Its not thrilling to watch a game when you know that one party has all the stars lined up to win or is set up to win. Your jaw will drop though if one who was given less physical assets by God prevails. To me, its like the US Olympic hockey team winning over the heavily favored Russian team. That's why I see that movie again whenever I'm low and need an inspiration.
I'd have to go with Pacquiao over Mayweather, based mainly on strength of opposition. First off, to put in to perspective, imagine Ivan Calderon or even Vic Darchinyan progressing through the weight classes and eventually facing Cotto or even a Berto. Basically that's what Pacquiao has done in his career. I like to look at level of opposition rather than undefeated records. When Mayweather was younger, he'd take on all challengers including Corrales, Castillo, etc. However, from 140 on he has taken the easy route. People criticize Pacquiao for choosing to face Diaz at 135, which is a valid argument, but the same argument can be made against Mayweather. At 140, he didn't face Hatton or Cotto, instead he chose to fight Brussels and Gatti. After beating the easiest titleholder in Gatti, he moved to 147 and fought Sharmba Mitchell and then Zab Judah. I was okay with the Judah fight until Mayweather started claiming it was for the championship. He still claims the bogus title he won from Judah as one of his “6 titles in 5 different weight classes.” That's like someone beating Ricky Hatton in the next fight and claiming to be the Jr Welter champ. Now this doesn't mean that Pacquiao would beat Mayweather if they ever met in the ring, although he might. It just means that his current body of work is more impressive. Decades from now, I believe that people will remember Pacquiao as the fighter of this decade for the titles in multiple divisions, strength of opposition, and most of all his exciting style. If this was about undefeated records, Joe Calzaghe would be the fighter of the decade.
First of all I would like to say that Im a huge Floyd Mayweather fan and would pick Mayweather to beat Pacquiao at any weight. But I do not acknowledge Mayweather as fighter of the decade because he did not fight the toughest competition (In my opinion he would have beaten everybody) and thats why its for me okay that you name Pacquiao as fighter of the decade because he took more chances and fought whoever was put in front of him And even if Floyd Mayweather beats the shit out of Pacquiao (wich I think he would, and very easily, probably knock him out inside 9 rounds) he should not be named fighter of the decade, because of the retirement and because he did not fight the best there was and only took on smaller fighters while he could beat the bigger and better fighters. Pacquiao for me is fighter of the decade because of the competition he fought, Mayweather is the most talented fighter of the decade but did not fight the best. So I agree with you that Pacquiao desurves it but only because Mayweather blew it. One thing I dont agree with you about is where you said that a prime Oscar would beat Mayweather anytime, which I think Mayweather would give Oscar hell any time they fought, the only reason Oscar gave such a good fight is because he was in the perfect weight and was a lot bigger than Mayweather, if a prime Oscar fought Mayweather at 130, 135,140 or even 147 and both were in their primes, Oscar would get his ass kicked.
My pick for the best pound-for-pound fighter is Manny Pacquiao for the same reasons you have expressed in the blog but let me expound it a little more. Pacquiao has been an extraordinary ride and we all know that it's still far from over, he has fought his 4 last fights in 4 different weight divisions and not only won those fights, but completely dominated and vanquished his opponents and made them ponder whether to pursue their respective careers or retire. His performance against Hatton was by far, the most exciting and the most thrilling fight in years and I believe that's how boxing fights should be. I am tired of boxers who play it safe, who care much for their records than giving a good fight to the viewers who have paid good money to see a boxing fight and not a chess game which is most likely Mayweather's case. He has been very selective of his opponents, not willing to take risks and inside the ring, he dances around, waits for his opponent to age faster as the rounds progress following his game plan then destroy them in the later rounds or if not, wins by decision. The point is, he doesn’t really match fire with fire because he believes that he doesn’t have the power of a puncher like Pacquiao. I believe that the reason why he didn't fight elite fighters like Mosley, Hopkins or even Cotto is because he knew that these fighters will give him lots of trouble inside the ring and that there is a big possibility that he would lose. Pacquiao on the other hand displays the opposite approach in every fight. He likes to be the underdog, he gambles a lot, he fights his opponents force with force and really willing to go on for a head-on collision with a much bigger fighter. There is a point in the fight where you could see that he could lose but in the end, rings victorious. Pacquiao unleashes that primal instinct driven fighter and shades of mythical powers that mythological heroes only possess. That is the ability to pack huge arenas and make even the average boxing fan to spend extra dollar to install PPV. That’s what makes him the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He brings excitement, a special kind of thrill that really compels us to keep a steady eye in every second he is in the ring because something dramatic and spectacular might happen. Destruction and demolition have never been any more beautiful and titillating.
Good article about the relative merits of Pacquiao and Mayweather. Although I see your point about Mayweather not being a thrilling fighter, I think the biggest strike against his claim of all-time greatness is his extreme selectivity in opponents. He sat “atop” the deepest division in boxing and refused to fight any of the top fighters. He's said, “If it doesn't make dollars, then it doesn't make sense,” yet when Margarito offered him $8M to fight him, which would have been his largest payday, he refused. He wouldn't go near Cotto or Mosley, and tough fighters like Clottey and Collazo are not even on his radar. So what is that “0” on his record really worth? To me, that automatically disqualifies him for consideration as a true all-time great.
That said, let's face it, Pac was also pretty selective in choosing David Diaz as his first lightweight opponent. Compare that to what Marquez did in taking on the lineal champ and then the widely recognized next best lightweight, Juan Diaz. Marquez's claim is even stronger that Mayweather's in my opinion because he always takes on the toughest challenges, almost without exception…
Finally, can you really call anyone from this era an all-time great? Guys form the 20's-50's would probably destroy all of them: the talent pool was much, much deeper, and although I personally cannot attest to this, to hear the old time trainers say it, much of the craft has been lost.
Micheal you're absolutely right, Pacquiao is the fighter of the decade, and i don't think it's that close. What sticks in my mind is how Floyd and Manny did in their respective rematches with Jose Luis Castillo and Erik Morales. Both original fights were tough, close affairs, Pacquiao lost a narrow decision, Mayweather won an ever closer one. The return fights saw a ferocious Pacman fight with awesome intensity to eventually overwhelm a brave 'El Terrible' in 11 rounds, Mayweather bagged a couple more rounds than in their first scrap, but essentially fought the same fight against the still perpetually advancing Mexican. The day after a Pacquiao fight i find myself desperately looking to see what superlatives guys like yourself can come up with to describe his latest performance, i've never done that after a Mayweather bout.
Mr. Rosenthal I truly admire your belief in Pacquiao. Your courage as a writer is undeniable. That for me is a character of a brave columnist. I mean who in the whole of America writes about his or her admiration to a non-American icon in favor of his compatriot? Not that I’m a Filipino but see, people must come to meet with reality that Pacquiao is the most thrilling entertainer in the boxing today if not in the whole history of it. You see Mr. Rosenthal that if you are for the truth, people are angered and even want to boycott you. That's overboard because a good writer like you take down what is fair and true. Tjat's the essence of journalism isn't it. We'll just wait and see when Pacquiao meets Mayweather and I know and truly believe that you will have the last laugh and can continue on having write ups about our hometown hero The Pacman! Long live buddy!
I find your case impartial and reasonable. You have opened an area of debate that many boxing observers might have not realized… Consequently, I have the same opinion and I would like to re-post my comment on one Forum discussing who is the best fighter among Pacquiao, Mayweather and Marquez. Here is my comment on Juan Angel Zuritas' article “The New Saga: Mayweather rejoins Pacquiao and MArquez for the Battle Towards Boxing Immortality at www.boxingfanatics.com :
Who’s the Better (or should we say the “Best”) Fighter among the three?? It is surely an unending debate.. considering the criteria of being the best was never specified. Is it the number of punches connected per match over the entire career? The percentage? The number of KO made? Or the number of PPV sold? Sadly, not any of the stats determines the greatness of a fight. In short, Marquez, Mayweather and Pacquiao can claim to be the greatest. And no one can argue that. With this deadlock, we can determine who gets the little edge by deciding who gave the most exciting fight. The one who was not afraid to exchange power punches, avoids running away and clinching- these make a fight exciting and make a great fighter the best– which is what boxing is about– to bring entertainment to the fans!
Pacquiao is a fantastic fighter, the only issue I have is that Morales was in decline, Barrera was in decline, only Marquez was truly in the prime of his career and could have been given either or both of those decisions. Mayweather is gifted but boring, but possibly unbeatable due to good defense and the ability to make mid-fight adjustments. To me Pacquiao is the most exciting fighter but not the best fighter. As far as Hatton goes he never challenged Mayweather, Mayweather has to say that Hatton was the toughest fighter to justify fighting him.
Win or lose, Manny is such a fighter. Nobody knew him when he fought Ledwaba. Nobody believed in him when he fought Barrera for the 1st time(Barrera wasn't even 30 years old during the time). During the 1st Morales fight, he suffered from a pretty bad cut…that alone would've made other fighters quit…as Mike Tyson said in an interview “I could feel his (Manny's) pain” and that cut was so nasty that it would've made him quit the fight. But Pacman fought to the very end. The 1st Marquez fight? He actually won that one, had the judge scored it right on a knockdown, Marquez would've lost by a point…and the judge actually admitted after the fight that he made a scoring mistake…but Manny never complained about that mistake, instead, he waited for a rematch..the second Marquez fight? I got that one scored with Manny taking only 5 rounds compared to Marquez's 7…the big difference?…again the knockdown…Manny wins by a point. David Diaz? Oscar Dela Hoya? Ricky Hatton? They are far more “bigger and stronger” than Manny, well, that's what most people thought of…but now it's a different story. Pacquiao fights from the heart…whether he's winning or losing…and that may spell trouble for Manny if ever the fight with Floyd takes place…as Freddie Roach said, that style would be very difficult for Manny …you call running away inside the ring talent?…naahhh…that's called “intelligence!!!” and although, Floyd Mayweather is an intelligent boxer inside the ring…I know that if he stands toe to toe with Manny, he's gonna be in trouble. Floyd maybe a bigger version of Juan Manuel Marquez, but I don't believe he's way too better. Talk about gifts? Talents? Terrific handspeed combined with unbelievable sheer power, skills, the heart of a lion, we're talking about Manny Pacquiao…the very best of this decade.
I chose Mannny Pacquiao as the best fighter of 2000s over Mayweather simply because; Mayweather-De la Hoya fight won by split decision while Pacquiao- De la Hoya was a no match fight. Mayweather took much time before he stopped Hatton, while Pacquiao knocked down Hatton in the first round two times and finished him off in the second round. Just as simple as that.
I agree with your article 110%. I think Mayweather is an great fighter. He's undoubtedly one of the best. I think the thing about Mayweather is he is constantly looking down weight classes instead of looking at his own. Granted the weight class below his have some great fighters, but its not like he had bums in his division. I feel Pacquiao fights anybody that's in his way of his goals, where Mayweather has been known to side step a few fighters. Put it this way: Would we talk about David and Goliath if Goliath won the battle? Not to say Mayweather is a Goliath, His last fight was with Hatton, he's coming back to fight Marquez probably Pacquiao. All smaller men. You want to cheer for the underdog. I know Pacquiao was favorite in the Hatton fight, but most experts agreed it wasn't by much. He definitely wasn't favored in the De La Hoya fight. I can't remember the last time Floyd entered the ring being the underdog. Pacquiao is heading the opposite way in the weight classes. I hate to pull out the race card, but maybe people can't imagine (or don't want to for that matter) someone who isn't white or black on the top of the boxing game. Its just not what people are accustom to. Therefore they find little reason why he can't be the best. Whether it's because all the fighters he beat were out of their prime, or because people feel he lost to Marquez (which by the way I had Pacman winning both of the fights). I think its easier for Americans to pick Mayweather. If you could switch their accomplishments and the fights, Have Pacman be the fighter who picked and choose who he fought, and Mayweather be the fighter who fought everybody it would be a easier debate. Think about it.
Cagayan de Oro City
It’s gotta be Pacquiao. Sure Mayweather is more technically proficient, better defense, better record but his fights are boring. Pacquiao is an electrifying fighter and every year, every bout since his mauling of Ledwaba in 2001, he has become a more complete boxer and craftier too.
Las Pinas City
Mike, I love the article you wrote about “the best fighter of the decade 2000”, sure has kind of touched a hornets’ nest!!
Now, it did woke a lot of boxing fans from their stupor as boxing is almost dying when the heavyweights just ran out of talents. Manny Pacquiao’s (MP) appearance came just in time to help ODLH in rekindling boxing from its relegation to second-class sports well behind MMA/UFC.
Lest I stray from my opinion of who’s the fighter of this decade, MP or FMJ. I’m sure the arguments between camps will be endless, though you doused it with yours in your well-written article. But let me simplify so the great debate can be put to rest by asking simple questions: 1. Put up two boxing rings 150ft. apart and sprinkle it with 20,000 of pure boxing aficionados. MP fighting on one ring and FMJ on the other. WHO DO YOU THINK THE FANS WILL WATCH?? I bet you only have 4 pairs of eyes watching the FMJ bout: the referee and the 3 judgesÔÇªand they will be sneak peeking once in a while on the other side of the ring as that’s where you will here all the noisy crowds. 2. Ten or more years from now, who do you think will be remembered: MP or FMJ?? I, for one, will be telling stories to the younger generation who would care to listen ten or more years hence about the Great Pacquiao who never ran from a “good fight”—and his rival FMJ who never ran from a “good dance.” 3. If you are the President of the United States and you have 2 soldiers coming out of Iraq who survived the attack of the enemy from 2 difft. camps: one run away from the enemy as the attackers are in great numbers; while the other one stood his ground and fought the enemy and survived only out of miracle—whom will you give the Medal of Valor having only one in your hand?? It’s not about survival or coming out alive we are talking about here now—it is about HEART!! If you compare that to boxing—it is not just about winning or coming out alive! If anyone can tell me FMJ has an ounce of heart, MP has tons of it!! Would anyone go to a race if an F1 Ferrari is pitted against Volks Beetle?; or if a Volks Beetle pitted against a Mini Cooper? I will definitely go to the latter as they are fairly matched, more exciting to watch! Now readers, you do get what I’m poking at. FMJ being the Ferrari just looking for a mismatch just so he can win! MP is the guy who really looks for a real fightÔÇöa real match!!
Well, just so I will not be leaving you hanging, I’ll bet my popcorn bucks on the Beetle!
Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. I truly believe Pac-mans is the better of the two in the sport. I love boxing and I've alway felt Floyd Jr. was over rated. Floyd has fought great fighters but no great fighter in there prime. Pefect examples Arturo Gatti in the down fall of his career, Zab Judah when everbody knew he's not going to be great, De La Hoya didn't have it anymore. Floyd Jr. has always carefully selected his fights, not selecting the biggest and best, unless there at down fall, Hatton is ok but I never consider him near the best. Pacquiao fights the best and is the best, taking any fighter at the top of his weight class and at the prime of there careers. Pacquiao gives the fans what they want to see, a fearless fighter puts it all out there. If a boxer doesn't bring the fight, Pacquiao makes a fight. I'm finally going to give Floyd Jr. repect for taking the Juan Marquez bout, reguardless of the weight change Marquez has to put on. Marquez is a top fighter a smart fighter still in his prime chasing his rival in Pacquiao, I really believe Floyd Jr. is going to lose.
In my opinion Floyd Mayweather is better than Manny Pacquiao. The Oscar De La Hoya that Mayweather fought was actually throwing punches while the one that showed up for the fight with Pacquiao was not throwing anything. I do agree that Pacquiao is by far the more exciting of the two. In fact, in terms of excitement Pacquiao is in my opinion the fighter of the decade. The Ricky Hatton that showed up for the fight with Manny looked a little drained and did not appear to be following the game plan, while when he fought Floyd he appeared better trained and was following the game plan. I'm not trying to discredit Manny of his accomplishments. His greatest accomplishment is the 5-1-1 record against Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera. However, most observers believe that he lost both fights with Marquez and both Morales and Barrera were past their primes when Manny fought them, although I believe that even at that stage in their careers no one else could have beaten them the way Manny did. All credit to Manny for having the courage to fight the best. Floyd won decisively in his fights againts Hernandez, Corrales, Judah, De La Hoya, Hatton, 2nd fight with Castillo, Jesus Chavez. Although with a less exciting style, Mayweather dominated every fighter his fought except for Castillo in their first fight and ultimately it is why I feel he is just a bit better than Manny. I do think that Pacquiao is better for boxing because of his fighting style and willingness to face anyone.
Having said all that, in my opinion Bernard Hopkins is the best fighter of the decade. He has been ranked in the top 5 P4P for almost the entire decade. His accomplishment include 20 defenses of the middleweight championship. He dominated Felix Trinidad and knocked him out at a time when Trinidad was considered by most (not by The Ring) the best fighter P4P. His performance in that fight is probably the best boxing performance of the decade. He defeated top contenders Keith Holmes, William Joppy, Howard Eastman and Robert Allen. He was the first fighter to KO De La Hoya. I believe that he beat Jermain Taylor in their first fight though I do think he lost the rematch. He stepped up to dominate Antonio Tarver for the light heavyweight title, then defeated Winky Wright, lost a highly disputed decision against Joe Calzaghe (who refused to give him a rematch) and then dominated Kelly Pavlik. What's impressive about Hopkins is that he began this decade at age 35. He has never been hurt in a fight that I can recall. Well, that is just an opinion.
I do agree very much in the column that you wrote about who is the fighter of the 2000's.
I would also say that it is Manny Pacquiao who is the best fighter of this decade and their is no question about it and no doubt about it. He proves it in so many weight division fighting best fighters all over the world. He proves that he can fight any Asian fighter, Mexican's best champion's and the best fighter of England and I can tell you right now that he can take down Mayweather in just 8 or 9 rounds in a knockout decision. Since Pacquiao is the only reason why Mayweather wants to have a comeback, I cant wait to see him getting knock out by the best pound for pound in the world, best fighter of the decade, the greatest fighter of all time and the peoples champion. Even Mayweather wants to prove that he is still the pound for pound king, their is no doubt that Pacquiao shows who is the real one through his accomplishments.
Rene Angelo Ramos
i totally agree with you. the Pacman demolishes and dismantles everyone he gets into the ring with. he trains hard ,and thus, reaps what sows. although i'm Filipino, like Pacquiao, i'm not being bias at all, in fact i admire the skill and intelligence of Floyd Mayweather jr., his brilliance, his punching accuracy and his defence in the ring makes him one of the greats but i think that Floyd jr. lacks that thrill and electrifying performance that Pacquiao gives to the audience. people don't pay to watch a boring fight. Mayweather has a lot of boring fights. he may be fundamentally sound that makes him successful and a great fighter but he's not the agressor, the slugger that people pay to see in the ring unlike the Pacman! so in the debate of Pacman vs. the Pretty Boy on being who's the greatest fighter of the 2000s, without a shadow of a doubt its Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao he brings traffic in our country to halt and even a zero crime rate during his fights. thats how Filipinos wanted to see him in the ring!
manny paquiao is the better of the two as a boxer and if may add as a person. pacquiao delivers punches, connects and hurts leaving his opponents confused to those multiple shots thrown left and of course to the new weapon of concussions the big right that floors the hitman hatton in the first round.a champion that conquers the other divisions of champion,send a message to a legend its time and he retires . floyd mayweather deseves a comeback, chose to annonce on it on paquiao hatton nght. time and again he has shown who he was.
I agree in your view that Manny Pacquiao should be the P4P king because he fights anybody even when odds are too great as perceived by boxing analysts. He has fought bigger guys with height and reach advantage while Mayweather is choosy on who to fight…by July, he wish to take another smaller guy in -Marquez who against all odds is going up to fight Mayweather bigger than himself if only to seek another fight with Manny. These warrior attitude makes Marquez like pacquiao in the mold of Champions with big hearts!!! Mayweather is cautious and afraid to loss so he wished to fight only those that he strongly feels he can defeat.
He is afraid of bigger guys so he files his retirement to ensure that he becomes out of reach by more aggressive fighters…that not the way warriors are made off.
Mike, you have made exactly the point, mayweather is not a who dares win fighter…his win against Hatton and Dela Hoya went longer distances while Paquiao the smaller fighter dispatched both warriors Ricky & Oscar in shorter stoppages…Pacquiao rides in the motto of “NO FEAR” while Floyd lurks in the sideline “WITH FEAR” so he wont take any risk when possible.
I agree with you that Manny is a better fighter. Any way to watch fight. I like Floyd but I would rather watch Manny fight. He has had tougher fights than Floyd. Go Manny. Manny ranks up there with Suger Ray L. most enjoyable to watch. P.S. Why was Joe Louis listed under Mich. in the 50 greatest sportmen in each State in Sports Itlistrated last mag. of the 20 Centry?
I would like to share some of my opinions regarding who’s the best fighter of the decade. Before anything else, I’m IRVIN T. YUZON. I’m from the Phillippines city of Makati . Anyway, of course for me, Manny is the best fighter compared to Mayweather. We all know that Mayweather has a great record with 39-W 0-L (25-KOs) compared to Manny with W-49 L-3 D-2 (37-KOs), but hey, selecting a best fighter is not just with the number of wins and losses, but on how the boxer is doing in the ring and outside the ring. I’ve watched all Manny’s fight, from Barrera to Marquez to Morales to Dela Hoya and now to Hatton. With all those fights, I’ve seen a better Manny when he stepped in the ring. Manny always evolve as a good boxer. From a brawler with just a left power-punch to KO opponent to a boxer who has it all. Just like what he had shown to people when he gives Hatton a straight right during their fight that led to Hatton kissing the canvass. Outside the ring, he also considered a champ by the people here in the Philippines especially in General Santos where he once lived as a poor boy. Every time he will win a fight in any part of the world, be ready with your cameras because 100% sure, there will be a motorcade and celebration here in the Philippines . Again, Manny is the best not only in the ring but also outside the ring.
Can’t wait for Pacquiao VS. Mayweather.
Pacquiao is the most exciting fighter hands down, no question about it, but I think in a pound for pound sense Mayweather is better, I also think he will beat Pac, although Pac is my man. He is just simply bigger, however, I will not argue with anyone who pics Pac, he is the man and he earned it.
Manny Pacquiao is the greatest fighter of 2000s based on definition and theoretical basis of the pound for pound best fighter ratings. Based on the pound for pound ideal of a great fighter, Manny's accomplishment tops everything other boxers in 2000 has done. Manny has won four fights in four weight divisions, has fought in weight classes ranging from 109 to a welterweight of 147 (a range of 38 pounds), and has won four lineal championship belts at four weight classes! At his recent heavier weight class fights, the knockout power he has displayed clearly shows he hits as hard as you can hit in those weight classes, without actually killing someone with blunt force trauma. Look at old fight films and you can see those fighters moving up in weight class will actually lose some of the power they had the lower weight classes. In summary, Manny is the best because of his success moving up the weight classes as champion so quickly and in such a dominating fashion, plus his KO punching power he has at his disposal at his currently heaviest weight.
I am a Filipino and no doubt a Pacman Fan. But way before he came to be I have been a boxing fan since the first Leonard-Duran fight in 1980. Let me reassure you though that I am not going into a fight with anyone just because they happen to think differently from me.
The definition of who is the greatest fighter unfortunately has varied from one fan to the next, hence this great debate as you put it, may never be settled even assuming the two of them meet in the Ring. But it will not stop me from putting in my two cents worth as well.
Your thesis however about the thrill factor is valid and resonates well with me. During the times of Whitaker and Chavez, I chose Chavez for the same reason. It does not diminish Whitaker's accomplishments ( Nor Mayweather's), it simply means, that for all their preternatural gifts, people would rather watch somebody else. Boxing after all is still entertainment. It is about winning in a magnificent fashion.
I've watched Mayweather fight, and can't help but marvel at his defensive genius. Just watch him roll his shoulders to defend himself and you can't help admire his breath-taking gifts. But boxing isn't just about avoiding being beaten up. It is also about prevailing in a very spectacular way. Anyone for Hector Camacho, here?
Being the best also means taking on guys you are not supposed to beat. Ali would not have been as great if Rumble in the Jungle had not happened. If Archie Moore, were a champion during his 20's and not during forties, he would have swept a lesser number of feet. If Sanchez had not defeated Gomez, I wonder how many of us would rank him as high as we do now? How many times has Mayweather won as an underdog? Did he meet a prime De la Hoya? If that is to be asked of Pacman, why not Mayweather?
Finally, on accomplishment, there is no question Mayweather has beaten many accomplished boxers. But I am not sure he really beat De la Hoya. He has beaten a slew of very capable boxers, but not a list close to being as impressive as that of Pacman's.
Mayweather is great. But Marquez is probably the only boxer right now who should be mentioned in the same breath as the Pacman.
For sure, there are others of the contrary opinion, and that is fine. we can all agree to disagree.
Pacquiao by far, He brought back what boxing is all about and that is fighting with tenacity, speed and power. Defeating three future hall of famers going up in weight defeating bigger and stronger men at different weight classes making the fights look effortless. His last fight with Hatton and they way he demolished him at a weight (hatton) never lost secured why he is the Number 1 Pound for Pound fighter of 2000's period.
Fort Collins, Colo.
I too have to go with Manny, (I've been religiously following his career since the first Barrera fight so I will refer to him on a first name basis). I agree with you for two of the same reasons: 1-quality of opposition, and 2- thrill factor. Manny has sought out to fight the best basically since the Ledwaba fight, when he quickly took on Barrera, who I think had just beaten a great Prince Naseem and Erik Morales soon before that. Not once did Manny dodge anyone trying to make a name for himself. He also fights for almost the entire fight which makes him way more fun to watch that almost anyone in the sport. Mayweather, I feel, did fight a lot of the better fighters in his weight classes around the middle of his career; those being Correlas, Castillo, Corley, and Zudah. But when he was getting towards the end of his career, which we all knew wasn't gonna be the end, he started being too picky on who he fought. Baldomir did have a title, but he punches slower than a heavyweight, Gatti's a punching bag, and I respect his decision to fight both De la Hoya and Hatton. However, dodging fighters like Mosley, Cotto, Margarito, and Paul Williams, to me shows he wasn't the best because he wasn't beating the all of the best. Now he's taking on a much smaller man in Marquez, however I still don't count out Maquez because he's such a tecnician and almost always figures out how to beat a fighter midway through the fight. So I think if Maquez can get past round 7, I think the fight's his. Also, Manny knocked down Marquez 4 times in 2 fights, (The first fight I scored 115-110 for Pacquiao, and the second I scored it 114-113, for Pacquiao, the knock down being the decider with them winning six rounds each.) This shows just how good Pacquiao is, because when Marquez moved up to 135, neither Casamayor nor Diaz even knocked him down, and Marquez knocked them both out, when neither of them had been knocked out before.
Also, in closing, how ofter do you see a guy, who 's seemingly smaller than everyone he faces, and who has great punching power, keep moving up in weight, but somehow keeps all of his speed, while at the same time increasing his punching power? That's almost unheard of. I thought he could pick apart Oscar because of Oscar struggling to make weight, which is exactly what happened. But I thought Hatton would at least get to round 6 or 7, but Manny now showed that he has a lot more power than people realize. When he threw that left hook on Hatton, he actually had time to wind up and put his whole body into the punch, and Hatton still didn't see it coming. In my eyes, that's just simply amazing.
P.S. I'm half mexican-half white, so therefore I have no “phillopino” biased in the opinion.
I don’t even need to think about it. Winning records aside (notice I don’t say undeafeated), 1 thing and 1 thing matters to me. Quality of opposition. Pacquiao’s is far superior to Mayweather. I do not care in the least that Mayweather is undefeated. To me the “0” is the most over rated thing in boxing. All it does is tell me you have not fought enough good opposition. Ali lost fights. Sugar Ray Robinson lost fights. Sugar Ray Leonard lost fights. And they all lost fights because they challenged themselves and fought the best repeatedly. When you compete that much at that high a level, especially in a subjective sport like boxing where judging can play a huge part in wins and losses.. you will lose. Look at any other sport as an example. The Bulls on their way to their record 72 win season. The Yankees in theirs. The Patriots, or the 49ers, or the 85 Bears.. all lost games.
You play enough good competition night in and night out, you will lose. And who cares. You dared me great and you should be rewarded for it.
I don’t even take the thrill factor into account. Sweat Pea might not have thrilled us, but he fought the highest level of competition he could. We will NEVER be able to say that about Floyd.
Based on their records and quality of opposition, it’s the Pac Man. Mayweather is a Fraud of an all time great. Pacman is the exact opposite.
I followed Floyd Jr. from the Olympics on (i thought he was robbed) and I grew into a big fan Floyd might be the better “boxer”, but Manny is definitely the better “figher”. Lastly compare their top ten opponents (and the fight results) for this decade only and it's not close.
San Antonio, Texas
I pick Pacquiao over Mayweather.
Love the article, and agree with you that the Pac-Man is the best fighter of this decade. The other fighters you