If Pacquiao Defeats De La Hoya Should He Be Rated Amongst All-Time Greats Robinson, Armstrong, Duran Etc?

Manny Pacquiaoby James Slater - Like the fight or not, it's happening in less than three months time and the bout will be a hugely watched event. The match-up I'm talking about, is, of course, Oscar De La Hoya's "dream fight" with Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao. The fight has already generated loads of interest and tickets are reportedly being much sought after as we speak.

In this article, I ask the question, what will it mean if Pacquaio beats De La Hoya, and will such a win elevate the Filipino superstar to all-time great, legend status? Without a doubt, if he's able to overcome the much bigger and in theory more powerful De La Hoya, Pacquaio will have dome extremely well - but well enough to be compared with such pugilistic immortals as Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong and Robert Duran, to name just three legends?

Oscar has almost everything going for him apart from age. He's the bigger man, he has a longer reach and he's boxed at the fight's weight limit of welterweight many times in the past. Make no mistake, Pacquiao is well and truly going to be up against it come December 6th. That's why, should he pull it off, a victory will possibly make Manny one of the all-time greats of the sport. Beginning his career as a light-flyweight, the 29-year-old has already boxed in six different weight classes, winning world titles in four of them. Going up against De La Hoya in December, "Pac-Man" will be fighting at a weight some forty-plus pounds heavier than what he weighed-in at for his pro debut back in January of 1995.

This factor alone will make a Pacquiao victory a massively noteworthy achievement. But not only is Manny going up in weight for a seventh time, he is doing so against a man who once held a world title at middleweight! Sure, De La Hoya may be getting on in years now, but if he's able to beat him, Manny will have done something not all that many people think he has a shot at doing right now - and just think how incredibly impressive a Pacquiao KO win would be!

Many are calling the fight a joke and a un-winnable fight for Pacquiao. Maybe these critics are correct and the former flyweight world champion will indeed be blown away in quick time as soon as he gets in there with the 4" taller man. But Pacquiao, by taking this fight with "The Golden Boy," is daring to be great in a manner not too many of his fellow modern day fighters would. Indeed, Pacquiao is giving us a reminder of how it was once done in boxing. If a fighter had won a title and proven his worth at lightweight (as Manny has done, by knocking natural lightweight David Diaz senseless) and then wanted to move up in weight, he would have to go to welterweight - there being no light-welterweight division in years gone by.

This is just what Pacquaio is doing in December. As such, with the southpaw warrior going up from flyweight, to featherweight, to lightweight, to welterweight (I'm listing the old, traditional weight classes Manny has fought in only) we are seeing a modern day boxer do what the hugely revered fighters of yesteryear did.

For this Manny deserves much credit. Does he deserve to be put in a category with the true greats listed in the title of this article if he beats De La Hoya on December 6th? Damn right he does!

Article posted on 10.09.2008

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