Manny Pacquiao may have won the battle against Juan Manuel Marquez, but he lost the war to Floyd Mayweather Jr. shortly thereafter.
After a somewhat underwhelming performance against the shockingly spry Marquez, many reevaluated their opinions of Pacquiao, who had been dubbed the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by all major sources. Now, almost two weeks after that epic showdown, Pacquiao is beginning to feel the aftereffects where it really matters – the rankings.
In recent rankings released by Sports Illustrated and ESPN, the Filipino champ has been taken down a peg to second place. Mayweather -- who earned a controversial victory over Victor Ortiz back in September -- now rests comfortably in the top spot in both.
ESPN boxing pundit Dan Rafael justified the decision to demote Pacquiao by pointing to his performance versus Marquez:
"Pacquiao looked confused at times and lacked snap on his punches in a less-than-stellar outing. It just wasn't the kind of performance we have come to expect from Pacquiao, especially in light of the fact that Marquez had been wiped out by Mayweather in 2009 in his only other welterweight fight."
It’s not all bad news for Pacquiao, though. Shirking the need to fall in line with other boxing media outlets, The Ring magazine kept the Filipino champion atop its pound-for-pound standings.
As noted by Michael Rosenthal:
"Pacquiao has accomplished more than Mayweather in recent years. The Filipino is 9-0 against big-name opponents since the beginning of 2008; Mayweather is 3-0 in that time."
He also pointed out:
"And you can't say that Mayweather should supplant Pacquiao because he defeated Marquez more easily. That doesn't take into account styles and strengths. Plus, Pacquiao beat Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya more easily than Mayweather did."
The pundits have had their say, now it’s up to the fans. What do you think, should ESPN and SI have demoted Pacquiao in their rankings? Or did they jump the gun to bump up Mayweather who, as The Ring noted, hasn’t proven himself as much as his counterpart over the last few years?