Manny Pacquiao will go down as one of the all-time greats, but Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s latest triumph over Miguel Cotto has put pressure on Pacquiao to perform, and perform convincingly.
That's why Friday's weigh-in with Timothy Bradley is more important than it has been in the past. Pacquiao knows that he has taken somewhat of a back seat to Mayweather after the Cotto fight. In that sense, he must do more to hype up this fight, because this fight is more important than it may seem.
There are still many who believe Pacquiao is the best boxer of this generation, but that group has shrunk since Mayweather's spectacular showing against Cotto and Pacquiao's narrow win (loss?) against Juan Manuel Marquez in November.
Pacquiao must do more than simply step on the weighing scale, take a few poses with Bradley and smile for the cameras. He may have to take a few pages out of Mayweather's book, throwing a few barbs at Bradley.
He needs to make everyone know that he's still a legend, and that his past fight with Marquez hasn't brought him back down to earth. He is Manny Pacquiao, and he needs to let the world know he'll show it on Saturday at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao must dominate Bradley on Saturday to stay in the discussion of who's the best boxer in the world right now. And the more people who are intrigued to watch, the better chance he has of creating a far-reaching impact if he dominates Bradley.
These are uncertain times for Pacquiao. He should still be considered at least the second-best boxer in the world, but, then again, Pacquiao has held the No. 1 post for years. He doesn't want to relinquish that. He must go into this weigh-in believing he's still the No. 1 boxer in the world, and show that from the moment he enters the room.
Because, realistically, Mayweather has battered Pacquiao in the marketing department. As much as some despise promotion, it is a part of boxing, and you do have to do some of it.
A contentious weigh-in between Pacquiao and Bradley would set the stage for the fight, a stage Pacquiao could star on once again.
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