I’ve taken a lot of heat for writing so many pro-Pacquiao articles. I’ve been called a "Pacquiao fan boy," a "Mayweather basher," and a lot of other things that I won’t repeat.
So in response to all of the criticism, here is yet another Pacquiao / Mayweather article.
Take a quick look around and you’ll notice that I’m not the only one writing about "Pacman" and "Money May." These are the guys that nearly all boxing fans are most interested in right now.
Let’s face it. These guys are not only the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, they’re also highly controversial and interesting characters, and both are controversial and interesting in completely different ways. All of this computes into a combination that writers, analysts, commentators, and fans can’t resist.
I’ve compiled a short list of facts and opinions about Pacquiao and Mayweather. I think it’s rational to say that some will agree while others will disagree. Don‘t you agree?
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a true villain of the sport
Floyd has succeeded in creating an effective bad-boy image. He gets angry every time he thinks someone has stolen his spotlight. He brags, yells, argues, lies, and contradicts himself.
Is it all an act...a marketing strategy? I have no idea, and frankly, I don’t care. To the public, he is what he is perceived to be. If it is an act, he certainly has maintained it consistently.
He claims to be the greatest boxer alive and bases these claims on his undefeated record.
His coveted zero means nothing if he continues to cherry-pick his opponents.
Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer of his time and possibly the greatest ever. However, Ali lost some fights. Why? Because he was always willing to fight the toughest opposition available. Did those losses take away from his greatness? Absolutely not. They only earned him more respect.
Imagine if Muhammad Ali had ducked Joe Frazier.
Whether or not Floyd’s bad-boy persona is an act is irrelevant. It’s a fact that he has refused to fight many of the top welterweights ever since he moved into the division.
It is pretty reasonable to assume that this just might be evidence of his true character.
Floyd’s skills need to be put to the test.
2. Manny Pacquiao is one of the true gentlemen of the sport
I like Manny Pacquiao.
There. I’ve confirmed all of the speculation. It’s true. Sue me.
The guy has a lot of character. He’s a nice guy. He smiles on his way to the ring. He carries himself with dignity and humility. He doesn’t engage in trash talking and slandering his opponents. It has now become cliché to say that Manny Pacquiao does his talking with his fists.
Manny cheerfully carries the weight of an entire country on his shoulders every time he steps into the ring. When Manny Pacquiao fights, the Philippine Islands pause to watch. Literally.
He represents hope to millions of Filipinos. He has proven what can happen when a poor, underprivileged kid makes up his mind to achieve great things.
He decided he was going to be a world champion boxer, so he did it. Historically, this is the typical attitude of people who have accomplished great things.
Many years ago, before the world knew his name, he visited his hometown of General Santos City. He found his friend Buboy Fernandez on the street.
"I saw Buboy smoking. And Buboy he wearing a dirty shirt and dirty shorts." Manny said. "And when I come back to Manila, I decided to bring Buboy to help me, wash my clothes, everything, to cook. I told Buboy, 'Buboy, someday you will be thankful of me because of what I did right now.'"
Manny believed in himself long before anyone else ever did. He knew he was going places when he told Buboy that someday he would be thankful. It’s clear that Manny has exceeded his own expectations and goals.
The Manny Pacquiao story is a story of rags to riches. It is the true ‘Rocky’ story. He hasn’t avoided tough opponents. That’s a big part of the reason he’s where he is today.
He represents what a person can accomplish by perseverance, tenacity, hard work, and faith.
3. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a great boxer and a defensive genius
I’ll give credit where credit is due.
To say Mayweather is a great fighter is an understatement. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a defensive genius.
I’ve never seen another boxer who can avoid punches as effectively as Floyd. The beauty in his ability to slip a punch lies in the fact that after he makes his opponent miss, he makes him pay.
His punching accuracy is nothing less than phenomenal.
He often leans forward with his left hand dangling at his side: daring his opponent to take a shot. If his opponent accepts the challenge and misses, Floyd’s left hand can move from his hip to his opponent’s nose in the twinkling of an eye.
If you blink, you’ll have to wait for the replay.
His agility is also exceptional. He can land blindingly quick and accurate counterpunches as he backpedals. He can slip a punch, disappear from a corner, and reappear in the middle of the ring -momentarily causing his opponent to have to search for him.
Floyd is elusive and quick.
4. Manny Pacquiao is a tremendously exciting fighter and an offensive genius
Great boxers will come and go but there will only be one Manny Pacquiao. His fighting style is completely inimitable. I once heard someone say that no boxing trainer will ever say "Fight like Manny Pacquiao." Emmanuel Steward once said that Manny’s style is a gift that can’t be taught.
He is so unorthodox that boxers who have looked great against other opponents tend to look sloppy against him. He instinctively finds the holes in his opponents’ defenses. His ability to capitalize on the other guy’s mistakes is unparalleled.
Manny can land punches from virtually any and every angle imaginable.
The most exciting aspect of Pacquiao’s style is his explosiveness. If he gets rocked with a good punch it just ignites him and causes him to begin to perform on an even higher level.
He’s at his best when going toe to toe with a boxer who intends to knock him out. That makes for an exciting show.
He throws relentless, blindingly quick combinations that seem to go on for days. He is an absolute buzz-saw, a Tasmanian devil that never tires.
The gentleman named Manny Pacquiao is a very dangerous man inside the ring.
Most boxing writers have an opinion and aren’t afraid to express it. If all you want is stats and records, go to boxrec.com and have yourself a ball. If you want more than that, I’m happy to oblige.