Manny Pacquiao is in a very unique position. He’s largely considered the best pound-for-pounder in the sport, and he’s more or less accomplished everything that a fighter of his caliber can accomplish. He’s defeated countless big names, held titles in eight different divisions and so on and so forth.
In short: he’s great.
Pacquiao has fought and beaten most of the boxing’s biggest and brightest stars, and is supposedly willing to fight anyone he may have missed along the way. At the same time, the one guy who just about everyone acknowledges is on his level, Floyd Mayweather Jr., doesn’t seem too keen on fighting him.
So what can Manny do, realistically?
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Well, he could fight the other guy who’s begging for a shot and is universally regarded as the third best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport today. Yes, the one, the only Sergio Martinez is still desperately pining away for a chance to square off against the Filipino champion but, oddly, all he’s getting from him is the silent treatment.
Last week, Opposing Views pointed out that Martinez has made numerous overtures to Pacquiao and the rest of Top Rank and, yet, as of this week, the latter camp has yet to reply. Despite the fact that Martinez has publicly acknowledged that he would go down to 150 pounds to fight Pacquiao, the Filipino champion and the rest of his crew is surprisingly mum on the situation.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time a potential bout between Pacquiao and Martinez has been discussed. Earlier in the year Martinez demanded that Pacquiao come up to the catchweight of 154-pounds to fight him – a request that was firmly (and sort of understandably) rejected by just about everyone.
But now, with Martinez making such a huge sacrifice and offering to come down in weight so heavily, you have to wonder why Pacquiao wouldn’t even entertain the thought of fighting him. Again, this is a guy who has so little in the way of future fighting prospects that he’s actually fighting an opponent in Juan Manuel Marquez that at one point stalked him to the Philippines after their second match.
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Sure, everyone is lovey-dovey now, but this Pacquiao-Marquez relationship was pretty contentious at one point in time. The soothing power of a massive payday mended the fence, obviously, but anyone who thinks Marquez is anything but a last resort fight for Pacquiao is out of their mind.
Martinez is extending an olive branch to Pacquiao. Clearly, he’s looking to challenge himself against a worthy competitor, and he’s willing to be the one to do some things that he may not have otherwise been willing to do. If Pacquiao is as legitimately focused on being a competitor and fighting all comers as he appears to be, then he should at the very least engage in talks with Martinez.
And if he doesn’t, then perhaps it’s time for the general public to reconsider the way they view Pacquiao’s competitive spirit.