Manny Pacquiao: Pac-Man Needs Mayweather Match to Get Back on Top

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJanuary 31, 2013

Dec 8, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Manny Pacquiao before  his welterweight bout against Juan Manuel Marquez (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Juan Manuel Marquez won the bout by sixth round knockout. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't that long ago that Manny Pacquiao was one of the biggest names in boxing. Two back-to-back losses later, and the Pac-Man is trying to get his name back on the map, but there's only one way to do that.

Take on Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The fight has been teased before, and now it's time it actually happens. Both men were set to go back in 2009 after Pacquiao's TKO of Miguel Cotto.

The details of the match came to a standstill when both sides had differing opinions over the style of drug testing leading to the match.

The boxers met with mediation, and just when it seemed the match would be back on, Pacquiao refused to go with the agreed upon test window.

In January of 2010—four months before the March match date—the fight was called off.

Since then, Pacquiao and Mayweather have flip-flopped in the pound-for-pound rankings. At one point there was no No. 1, with both men tying for second.

As the current Ring Magazine rankings stand, Mayweather is No. 1 and Pacquiao a distant seventh.

The Filipino star has faltered over the last few months. His 15-match win streak—as well as his WBO Welterweight title—were both lost in June of 2012 after a split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley.

Looking to get back on track, the Pac-Man faced off with Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012. Pacquiao lost that match by knock out in the sixth round.

It was Pacquiao's first KO loss since 1999, and it was the first time in his career that he had had back-to-back losses.

Two losses later, and the name "Manny Pacquiao" suddenly doesn't mean so much in the boxing world.

Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has enjoyed a 43-0 win streak. He's currently the best the sport has to offer.

If Pacquiao wants to get his name back on top, the answer is simple. Beat the best.

There's plenty of people hoping the match will inevitably happen. That includes former welterweight boxer—and rival to both Pacquiao and Mayweather—Ricky Hatton.

In a recent ESPN article, Hatton was quoted as saying that the two just need to "get it on in the ring."

Pacquiao is itching for such a match as well. He's so determined to fight Mayweather, he's even willing to give his opponent a bigger chunk of the purse.

If these two ever get in the ring, and Pacquiao can pull out an upset, it would surely put the 34-year-old back on the map.

Not only would he have beaten the best, but he would have also snapped Mayweather's win streak.

But if the two will ever get to that point has yet to be seen. It's obvious Pacquiao wants the fight, but there doesn't seem as much enthusiasm from Mayweather.

Perhaps he's scared, perhaps he thinks he's too good for the Pac-Man, who knows.

Either way, for Pacquiao this fight is a must. Not only would it be a crowning achievement in his career, it would also be the fight that undoubtedly puts his name back on the map.