Manny Pacquiao, an Overrated Cherry-Picker? Think Again...

Lorne ScogginsCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2010

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 13:  Manny Pacquiao weighs in for his upcoming bout against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 13, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand on November 14.  Pacquiao weighed in at 144 pounds and Cotto weighed in at 145 pounds. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

It is impossible for a human being to be completely devoid of opinion.

Every person who knows anything about today’s boxing world has an opinion of Manny Pacquiao, and everyone seems to be eager to share it.

While the majority of fans agree that Pacquiao has earned his place as one of the greats in boxing history, a growing number of critics have a lot to say to the contrary.

Critics continue to throw jabs, hooks, and haymakers in their attempts to discredit Manny Pacquiao. Most punches are off target--catching nothing but air. Each jab can be countered with real fact.

Here are the most popular statements that have been circulated in attempts to nullify Pacquiao’s achievements:

“He can’t be one of the greatest. He’s been knocked out before.”

Even Joe Louis was KOd by Max Schmeling.

Joe Frazier was TKOd by Ali.   

“Marco Antonio Barrera was past his prime.”

He was 29 when Manny TKOd him in their first meeting.

“Juan Manuel Marquez really beat Pacquiao in both fights.”

Wrong. The two battles that were fought between these great warriors resulted in one draw and one split decision win for Pacquiao. Pacquiao actually sent Marquez to the mats four times in two fights.

“Erik Morales was shop-worn and past his prime.”

Morales was 29 and 30 years old when he was respectively TKOd and KOd by Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is 31 with more fights under his belt than Morales, yet he is still considered to be in his prime.  

“Oscar De La Hoya was old and weight-drained.”

De La Hoya was only a year and a half older and 8 lbs lighter than when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. and gave him the toughest fight of his career. It was the only fight that Mayweather failed to win by KO, TKO, or unanimous decision.

“Ricky Hatton was overrated.”

Hatton had an outstanding record of 45 wins and one loss at the time he fought Pacquiao. He was undefeated as a light welterweight, and his only loss had been to Mayweather in a welter weight bout. It took Mayweather 10 rounds to finish him. Manny did it in two.

“Cotto was damaged goods.”

After the beating that Cotto suffered at the allegedly loaded hands of Antonio Margarito, Cotto went on to TKO Michael Jennings, who held a record of 34-1.

In his next bout he reigned victorious in a brutal war against Joshua Clottey (35-2) despite suffering a severe cut over his left eye due to an incidental headbutt in round three.

“Pacquiao is on steroids, or some other form of performance enhancing drugs, and that’s why he’s been able to gain so much lean weight while retaining his power.”

This accusation is totally baseless. There is no evidence that Pacquiao has ever used any form of illegal PEDs. In fact, his actual fighting weight has changed very little over the past three years.

Pacquiao-Morales 3: Official weigh-in: 129- Fight night: 144

Pacquiao-Barrera 2: Official weigh-in: 130- Fight night: 144

Pacquiao-Marquez 2: Official weigh-in: 130- Fight night: 145

Pacquiao-Diaz: Official weigh-in: 135- Fight night: 147

Pacquiao- De La Hoya: Official weigh-in: 142- Fight night: 148

Pacquiao-Hatton: Official weigh-in: 138- Fight night: 148

Pacquiao-Cotto: Official weigh-in: 144- Fight night: unknown

“Pacquiao is on A-side meth.”

I have no facts on this because I have no idea what A-side meth actually is—or if it even exists.

I was recently told by a particular critic that there are only a few sources that cover boxing with unbiased credibility. The rest are fan sites and blogs.

The intended point was that the sites who praise Pacquiao are not credible.

I found that interesting.

Upon doing a great deal of research I also found it interesting that all of the unbiased, credible boxing sources that were named by this critic have bestowed honors upon Manny Pacquiao, including:

2006, 2008 and 2009 The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year

2006 and 2008 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year

2006 and 2008 Fighter of the Year

2008 and 2009 The Ring Magazine No. 1 Pound For Pound (year-end)

Five-Time PSA Sportsman of the Year

2000-09 Philippine Sportswriters Association Athlete of the Decade

2008 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Honorary Award for Sports Excellence

2008 and 2009 Fighter of the Year

2008 Sports Illustrated Boxer of the Year

2008 and 2009 Boxer of the Year

2008 WBC Boxer of the Year

2008 Yahoo Sports Fighter of the Year

2008 and 2009 ESPN Star's Champion of Champions

2009 ESPN Fighter of the Year

2009 ESPN Knockout of the Year

2009 ESPY Awards Best Fighter

2009 TIME 100 Most Influential People (Heroes & Icons Category)

2009 TIME Magazine cover for November issue

2009 Forbes Magazine Celebrity 100 (ranked 57th)

2009 HBO Fighter of the Decade

2009 The Fighter of the Decade

2009 Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year

 2009 The Ring Magazine Knockout of the Year

2009 World's Greatest Ever Featherweight

2009 World's Greatest Ever (ranked second)

To the hysterical and very loud minority who think Pacquiao is an overrated cherry-picker: You have every right to your opinion, but facts are facts.



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