Manny Pacquiao

Time to Give Manny Pacquiao the Respect he Deserves

| by Ian Palmer

It’s time the so-called boxing experts and media types gave Manny Pacquiao the respect he deserves. Sure, the fans are entitled to their opinions and there’s always going to be two stands on every debate. But those who know the sport should be thankful that Pacquiao’s on the scene and is living up to his and of the bargain when it comes to be a world champion.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the 1970s when boxers used to earn their money by fighting several times a year. Some guys enter the ring just once a year these days, but at least Pacquiao tries to appease his fans by lacing up the gloves at least twice every 12 months. All the talk about ducking opponents is garbage.

Just do the math here. With Pacquiao fighting twice a year it’s impossible to take on everybody the experts want to see. If he fights Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, as he did last year, they accuse him of ducking Mayweather and Marquez. If he fights Shane Mosley, as he’s going to do on May 7, people say he’s ducking Andre Berto, etc. There’s no end to it. Let’s face it, he can’t fight everybody.

Actually, when you compare who some of the other world champions are fighting, Pacquiao should be praised for his choice of opponents. Just take a look at the Klitschko’s for example. The heavyweight champions of the world. WBC champ Vitali has taken on guys such as Shannon Briggs, Albert Sosnowski, and Kevin Johnson over the past year or so and he’s going to be facing Odlainer Solis in his next fight on March 19.

While you might need help from the FBI to find out who these guys are, they still have a chance of landing a KO punch that will change boxing history. But the fact is nobody other than their immediate families know who they are. Take a look at the list of Pacquiao’s opponents and they’re all well-known and well-respected fighters.

IBO, IBF, and WBO heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko has taken on the likes of Eddie Chambers, Tony Thompson, and Hasim Rahman over the last couple of years and is going to take on Derek Chisora on April 30. In addition we’ve had the other heavyweight champ, the WBA’s David Haye, taking on Audley Harrison in one of the worst fights in boxing history. At least Pacquiao’s taking on ex-world champions, top-10 fighters, and those who are well known around the world with excellent records.

If Pacquiao decided to take on Ricardo Mayorga, like Miguel Cotto’s going to do, or a faded Erik Morales, who Juan Manuel Marquez is likely to meet, we’d never hear the end of it. But for some reason, Pacquiao’s forever being criticized by certain boxing and media people no matter who he decides to fight.

Pacquiao has fought 57 times as a pro. A total of nine opponents had losing records. However, these all came in his first 19 fights when he was learning his craft. The last time he fought somebody with a losing record was back in 1997 when he was just 19 years old. He’s also fought seven fighters who were previously unbeaten when facing him as well as 14 others who hadn’t lost more than two fights at the time of their meeting.

The only reason I can see for people getting upset with Pacquiao’s choice of opponents is because they rate him as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world even though they may dislike him.

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