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OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Come hell or high water, fight must go on -- Pacquiao


PhilBoxing.com




GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Don?t look now, but in his bid to win back the welterweight belt at the expense of reigning titlist Lucas ?La Maquina? Matthysse of Argentina on July 15 in Malaysia, Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is actually putting at stake his legacy earned in 23 years as a prizefighter, amassing 59 victories of his 68 fights so far and becoming the only man in the universe to win 11 world championships in eight weight divisions.

Pacquiao, likewise, is the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight categories besides crowning himself, too, as world titleholder in four of the original weight classes known as the ?glamour? divisions namely flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.

These and many more, Pacquiao himself said he would be bequeathing the world of sports, are guaranteeing that the fight with Matthysse, which was rumored as to not pushing through, must come to fruition come hell or high water.

?I don?t intend waste these legacies na sinasabing magiging pamanang iiwanan ko sa mundo ng palakasan dahil lamang sa mga paninirang ibinabato sa akin ng aking mga kalaban,? Pacquiao told this OUTSIDER during a lull in his training here for that July 15 fight with Matthysse.

?Like in my previous fights, dala ko ang bandila ng bansa sa labang ito at ayokong isugal ang pangalan ng ating bayan at ng lahing Pilipino na hindi ipagkakatuloy ng laban. Tuloy na tuloy po ang laban,? Pacquiao assured.

And this might come as a warning to the hard-punching belt-owner, Pacquiao, too, doesn?t intend to lose this fight. ?I am training hard for this fight. I know he?s preparing hard, too, kay magandang laban ito at hindi ako papayag na matalo.?


Manny Pacquiao works out at the Pacman Wildcard Gym in General Santos City Friday ahead of his world title fight against defended WBA world welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentian on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Photo by Wendell Alinea.

Among the many recognitions heaped on Pacquiao include his being ranked No. 4 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time. In 2016, Pacquiao was ranked No. 2 on ESPN's list of top pound-for-pound boxers of the past 25 years. Named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), WBC, and WBO.

He is also a three-time Ring magazine and BWAA Fighter of the Year, winning the award in 2006, 2008, and 2009; and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011. The former two-time congressman has generated approximately 19.2 million in pay-per-view buys and $1.2 billion in revenue from his 23 PPV bouts. He was FORBES second highest paid athlete in the world as of 2015.

Too high a stake really compared to the title the Argentine defender whose only credential in a 14-year career is his 39-4-0 (36 KOs) record.

Add the some 20 more international award and recognitions accorded him and the Philipine?s Pambansang Kamao is, indeed, one of the most decorated athletes in the world. And an all-time great in any sports.

His accomplishments on top of the squared jungle has established him as a certain future first ballot Hall of Famer. Our Manny has reached another level that can only be claimed by but very few of his peers ? that of transcending the pot of sweet science.

Pacquiao?s overwhelming unanimous decision of Antonio Margarito on November 13, 2010 that gifted him the World Boxing Council super-welterweight gonfalon and the distinction of becoming the only fighter to jump 48 pounds from mere 106-pound campaigner to 154-pound champion enabled him to be compared with old-time great Henry Armstrong, who once ruled the 126, 135 and 147 divisions simultaneously.

The Filipino ring legend?s three ?Fighter of the Year? awards tied him with the most only Muhammad ?The Greatest? Ali and Evander Holyfield had done before.

Pacquiao, at that time the pound-for-pound king, was accorded the ?Fighter of the Decade? accolade over the then active Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera, who have all been retired.

Manny has fought no less than 20 former world champions, among them, Timothy Bradley, Marquez, Mosley, Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar Dela Joya, David Diaz, Barrera, Jorge Solis, Erik Morales, Oscar Larios, Jorge Julio, Agapito Sanchez, Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, Medgoen Lukchaopormaak and Chatchai Sasakul.

He danced with Marquez in epic four matches, winning twice, losing once and drawing once; Morales thrice, emerging victor twice and losing once; Bradley also thrice, winning twice and losing once; and Barrera twice, winning both.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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