Where does the Pacquiao rank?

By Ziggy Shah: The past week has been full of highs and lows for boxing fans across the globe. First we had the dismal WBA title fight between Audley Harrison and David Haye. It was indeed a night that had the UFC faithful chuckling over their Budweiser, and questioning our loyalty to the sweet science.

However, hours later across the pond, in the Cowboy Stadium, Manny Pacquiao put on a master class and reminded us all why we love this sport so much. It was a memorable performance, one that shall be talked about for generations to come.

His achievements and heroics in the squared circle have, without doubt, earned him a secure place in the all time great listings. But, if he was to retire today, where would he rank amongst all the others fighters, who have captured the hearts and minds of boxing fans?

Compiling an all time greats list is never easy, as the competition is fierce and competitive with generations of fighters from different eras being nominated.

But what is the basis upon which we put ring legends in order of greatness? Heart and passion, perhaps? If so, every fight fans’ lists would be littered with names such as Ketchel, Tony Zale, Dick Tiger and Gatti.

Technical skills maybe? If so, everyone’s top fighter would have to be Roy Jones Jnr.

How about raw power? It’s a very big part of a boxer’s artillery, I agree, but Big George Foreman possessed it and so did Sonny Liston- does that put them on the top of the tree? Thought not.
Indeed, the Pac man has all the above attributes, but you need more than heart, passion, technical skill and power to be the Man amongst men. You need to exceed yourself and also the sport you represent- and the sport in question happens to be the toughest of them all.

And after witnessing the manner in which Manny Pacquiao has risen from Flyweight, and the path of destruction he has left throughout the higher weights divisions, one must conclude that throughout his career he has, at every opportunity, exceeded himself and excelled the sport to a limit that no other boxer has been able to do so for over a decade.

He has never taken an easy fight and always thrives on taking on the bigger men. His style of fight has ensured that new fight fans, who have never took an interest in the sport before, are now flocking to bars and clubhouses everywhere to watch the ‘Little Man’ fight anyone and everyone.

He has rejuvenated the sport by being a true warrior in the ring and an ambassador outside it. He is without doubt an all time top-ten fighter, but where does he rank? Let the fans decide.

Article posted on 19.11.2010

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