Manny Pacquiao feels very strongly he has more to achieve in the sport of boxing before he is ready to hang ’em up and retire, full-time into politics. But as fight fans everywhere know, Pac Man has already achieved oh, so much. An absolute all-time great, the man who won world titles in an incredible eight weight classes has fought some epic fights against great opposition.
But who does the man himself rank as the best he ever fought? Speaking with the media ahead of his fast-approaching, must-win fight with Adrien Broner – Broner another formidable challenge for the now 40 year old Pacquiao – the southpaw dynamo listed the seven best opponents of his pro career as follows:
“I think my top opponents are Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, Erik Morales and Ricky Hatton,” Manny said.
Now that’s some fine, fine list of opposition, as surely every fight fan will agree. Pacquiao didn’t defeat each of these seven men of course – instead losing to Morales in fight-one, to Marquez, by brutal KO, in their final meeting, and to Mayweather – but as the saying goes, Pacquiao ‘fought ’em all.’
And then there are the excellent fighters Manny fought but did not place on his list; such as: Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, David Diaz, Tim Bradley (who of course scored that hugely controversial decision win over Pac Man back in 2012) and one or two others.
So after all that he has done, after all that he has achieved, how does Pacquiao, 60-7-2(39) keep himself motivated at his advanced age; this after 24 long years as a pro? Pacquiao keeps going because he is a very special fighter, let’s put it that way. Can he beat Broner, and then perhaps land a second mega-fight with Mayweather? This is what Manny very much wants, but of course Broner has other ideas – those of beating Pacquiao and then “taking over boxing.”
It’s the first big fight of the year, and the January 19th fight is actually a pretty tough one to call. But we all know who the fans are rooting for.