Young Guns Chasing "Old Man" Manny Pacquiao Just Natural
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Wed, 20 May 2020
Did anyone ask the young fighters of the 60s to stop chasing Sugar Ray Robinson, then well in his 40s and nearly a decade past his last winning championship bout?
None that I know or read of.
Hence I cannot understand why some supposed boxing pundits, including former and active boxers are bashing younger fighters for trying to land a fight against Manny Pacquiao who they claim is an old man.
All the more, Floyd Mayweather Jr. who is even older than Pacquiao but has been sending feelers of his own boxing comeback. His motive could not be anything but envy and jealousy of his archrival's continuing popularity and relevance in pro boxing. And wary of the greater feats Manny could still achieve before his career is over.
In this time when Marcos Maidana and Sergio Martinez are making a comeback and even Mike Tyson is threatening to make one, the calls for young fighters to lay off Pacquiao and Manny to steer clear of them young guns strike a discordant note.
Manny Pacquiao is a young 40 years old and IS the reigning WBA welterweight super world champion, winning that crown from an erstwhile undefeated, ten years younger Keith Thurman, a fighter also known as a knockout finisher.
It is just natural for the younger fighters to chase a fight with him because he is not only a world champion but a boxing legend, a surefire Hall of Famer and possible all time great, the last not even Floyd can lay claim to given his comparative career and body of work.
Manny's is a most worthy scalp if any of the young guns could beat and possibly retire him.
But then, Manny could be fresher by comparison to the so called young guns, having only been into three fights, two of which he won comfortably in the last more than three years since he was last forced to a war by the bigger, roughhousing Jeff Horn in Australia.
By comparison, Thurman, Shawn Porter, Mikey and Danny Garcia and Errol Spence have had to go through harder fights battling one or some of each other. Even Terrence Crawford with his relatively lighter assignments, has had to dig deep to win particularly in his bouts versus Victor Postol and the Lithuanian Mean Machine Egijidus Kavaliauskas.
So who are they saying as old, even washed up?
Crawford is 34 and signs of him slowing down and other vulnerabilities are beginning to show. He suffered a clear knockdown against Kavaliauskas that was not called. And he had to resort to switch hitting earlier than usual when the Lithuanian succeeded in beating him to the punch earlier with his orthodox style.
Porter and Danny Garcia could have been even more aged by the rigors of their previous hard bouts and the beatings they have to take and endure fighting the way they usually did.
I would say Thurman is already finished as an elite fighter after the Pacquiao fight. One judge was generously patriotic in giving him a winning card in what was supposedly and deservedly a unanimous decision win for what he described in the pre-fight as an old, smaller man.
He claimed tinkering with his weight before every fight, ballooning to over 180 before scaling down to 147 did him in.
I think the same would befall Errol, Porter, Danny G and even Crawford who has previously said that he was ready to move up to 154, even 160 lbs class if Arum could not get a big fight with Errol or Manny.
Just get to show how these fighters have been cheating with the current day before the fight official weigh in, possibly even using gray area so called scientific means to manage their weights before and at actual fight night.
And what Manny has had to contend against at fight time against these fighters who would make the 147 lbs max limit the day before but come to the fight as full middleweights.
He has had this handicap since his fights against Joshua Clottey and most especially against Antonio Margarito in 2010. One can only wonder how heavy Horn actually was in their 2017 bout as Jeff looked like a light heavyweight he would soon fight in against veteran Tony Mundine after losing to Crawford.
The young guns as Denny Moyer, Joey Archer, Stan Harrington, Ralph Dupas and Joey Giardello who would all figure in world title fights with Giardello winning two championships, all chased and landed a fight versus Sugar Ray Robinson, most of them winning and handing the greatest fighter many of his last losses.
But Robinson, old as he was didn't have to contend against weight bullies.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
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