Every boxing fan is guilty of this at some point.
When you consistently watch an all-time great fighter, a legend by anyone’s standards year in and year out, you begin to inevitably take that fighter for granted.
We’re beginning to take Manny Pacquiao for granted.
In a sport like boxing whose popularity is centered around how the main, top-tier fighters are doing at any given point in time, you can’t help but get a certain oversaturation of news and information about the living legends. Then it gets to the point where you receive so much news and information about them on a regular basis that you stop seeing them as the exceptional generational talents that they are, and begin to look at them as mere mortals.
Pacquiao is not a mere boxing mortal, and the accolades alone indicate that.
Fifty-three victories. Thirty-eight knock outs. Eight-division champion. Three time Fighter of the Year. Fighter of the Decade.
And that’s without even putting those accomplishments in context.
Pacquiao has essentially accomplished all of that while opening the door for other Filipino fighters that would eventually rise to the top-tier levels of the sport (i.e. Nonito Donaire), served as an international ambassador for boxing in the face of its waning popularity, and more importantly, lent a bit of credence to the notion that your legacy can extend beyond the wins and losses you accumulate over the course your career.
That’s not to say Pacquiao is beyond reproach.
His constant mishandling of arranging a superfight with Floyd Mayweather is unfortunate. His tendency to ignore legitimate challengers (i.e. Sergio Martinez) in hopes they they’ll just go away is equally regrettable. And, like everyone else, he has had his fair share of personal, outside-the-ring issues.
But none of that, none of it detracts from what he’s been able to accomplish. And because his career is winding down and is currently in the home stretch, it would behoove everyone to remember that Manny won’t be around forever.
In preparation for his upcoming bout against Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12, the good folks from HBO have put together a 10-minute montage of Pacquiao’s greatest hits.
Check it out below.