The one man standing in the way of Manny Pacquiao cementing his legacy as an all-time great is none other than the flamboyant and charismatic Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
For whatever reason, if “Pac-Man” fails to secure a match with the recently incarcerated Mayweather, his seating alongside the ATG’s in the pantheon of fistic eminence will always be called into question.
At present, the Filipino congressman’s status as arguably the best of his generation hangs precariously in the balance.
In his trilogy with Juan Manuel Marquez, he fought a stinker, but took home the unanimous decision. In his last outing, he was usurped as the WBO welterweight champion by former WBO and WBC light welterweight titlist Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley.
Whether he was robbed of the decision and his title is neither here nor there—he should’ve taken care of business on fight night, and not left his fate in the hands of the judges.
Apropos Mayweather, most boxing connoisseurs are of the mindset that the Grand Rapids native is the legitimate pound-for-pound kingpin in boxing’s stratosphere—he’s undefeated in 43 outings.
However, according to Ring Magazine, neither pugilist holds that accolade, as the No. 1 spot lies vacant due to Bradley putting an end to Pac-Man’s 15-fight and seven-year unbeaten streak.
To make matters worse, not only does the eight-division world champion occupy the No. 2 slot along with Mayweather (43-0-26 KOs), the latter is now rated above him.
That said, before Pacquiao (54-4-2-38 KOs) can get to grips with Money May, his first port of call is a rematch with Bradley—a redemptive fight that will determine whether he finally gets the honor of sharing the ring with Mayweather.
Pacquiao now finds himself in a catch-22 situation—ultimate boxing greatness awaits, yet the same accolade will elude him forever if he fails in his quest to throw leather with the one man that can truly buttress his case as being an all-time great.