(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
After the world witnessed the last two contrasting ages of boxing, namely, the Tyson "Bad as You Can Age" and De La Hoya's "Ho-hum Cutie-cutie Period," here comes the new golden age of boxing, the "Pacquiao Era of Greatness."
Let me first review what transpired in the last two boxing ages.
The Tyson age was dominated by heavyweights. Tyson was a one man wrecking machine.
Bad boys (literally) ruled the ring and knock outs were the name of the game. Tyson's brief stint in jail paved the way for other super "bad"stars to shine. Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, and Andrew Golota ruled PPV in absence of the real king.
Highlights of the "Bad as You Can Age" were:
- Bowe's seventh round KO win against Holyfield in their trilogy.
- Golota disqualified for continuously hitting below the belt.
- Tyson biting Holyfield's ear.
Oscar De La Hoya's "Ho-hum Cutie-cutie Period" was dominated by "pretty" boxers and put a premium on protecting their faces and their 0 losses at all cost. The baddies were replaced by De La Hoya, Mayweather Jr., Morales, Barrera, Trinidad, Mosely, and Hopkins—the "boxing cutties."
An Olympic style of boxing dominated this period, where winning by judges' score cards was the "in thing."
With the exception of Morales, Barrera, and Trinidad, the so called Hollywood cuties failed to sustain the interest of the boxing public by continuously winning in the most boring style.
In De La Hoya's period, we saw Mixed Martial Arts, the pseudo-sport, enjoy its brief moment of glory because fight fans wanted to see real action in the ring.
Highlights of the "Ho-hum Cutie-cutie Period" were:
- Felix Trinidad winning by points against the former unbeaten Oscar De La Hoya.
- Marco Antonio Barrera winning by points in his trilogy against Eric "El Terible" Morales.
- Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather Jr. beating Oscar De La Hoya by split decision.
Even the highlights of this period will not match the excitement of any of Manny Pacquiao's earlier fights.
The boxing world should thank Mega Manny Pacman who is single handedly bringing back the old glory of the sport. Welcome to the "Pacquiao Era of Greatness!"
Boxers in this age like Cotto, Hatton, Valerio, Marga-cheat-o, Donaire, Darchinyan, and Pacquiao himself, dominate their opponents by beating them mercilessly inside the ring. Lightning speed and power punches best describe this period.
We are witnessing the once powerful WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, or any other alphabet championship belts being disregarded in favor of the People's Championship or Ring Magazine's Championship belt.
Pound for Pound Kingship is the best championship ever contested. The good thing is, people respond with enthusiasm and shy away from watching dull boxing matchups.
Highlights so far for the "Pacquiao Era of Greatness" are:
- Pacquiao's TKO of Morales in the last two of their trilogies.
- Pacquiao retires (for good) De La Hoya in the ring.
- Pacquiao's KO of Hatton in two.
- Donaire's KO of Darchinyan in five.
This is the most exciting time in the history of boxing.
The following are possible boxing matchups we would all love to see:
- Pacquiao vs. Mayweather Jr.
- Pacquaio vs. Marquez 3
- Donaire vs. Darchinyan 2
- Cotto vs. Margarito 2
- Pacquiao vs. Cotto
- Pacquiao vs. Valerio