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SPORTS SHORTS 231: THANK YOU FOR THE BOXING, MANNY PACQUIAO (PART III)


PhilBoxing.com




Manny Pacquiao's big break came on June 23, 2001, against IBF super bantamweight title holder Lehlohonolo Ledwaba of South Africa. Pacquiao stepped into the fight as a late replacement of Mexico's Enrique Sanchez on two weeks' notice.

* * *

Before his turn to shine on HBO, Pacquiao had only fought three times outside of the Philippines in 34 professional bouts, including the loss to Medgoen Singsurat in Thailand.

* * *

The underdog and unknown Pacquiao won the fight by technical knockout and the title, his second major boxing world title. The bout was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This time he boxed under head trainer Freddie Roach, owner of the Wild Card Boxing Club Gym in West Hollywood.

* * *

With a purse of only $40,000 Pacquiao floored the champion three times, and a straight left hand sent him to the canvas for good for a TKO victory in round six.

* * *

The unexpected victory put the name of Manny Pacquiao in the list of boxing world's shining stars. It ushered a billion dollar boxing career which made him so popular that he could be considered as one of boxing's all time greatest.

* * *

World-renowned boxing expert and historian Bert Sugar ranked Pacquiao as the greatest southpaw fighter of all time. Sugar was editor and owner of Boxing Illustrated magazine from 1969 until 1973. From 1979 to 1983 he was editor and publisher of The Ring magazine. In 1988 he was again editor of Boxing Illustrated.

* * *

“OK, right now, if I freeze his career where it is, he’s among the all-time greats and probably the greatest left-hander of all time,” Sugar said referring to Pacquiao. "I think he’d be in the Top 25,” he added.

* * *

Veteran promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions in 2010 said he was unequaled and assessed him to be better than Muhammad Ali. “His left and right hand hit with equal power and that is what destroys his opponents,” Arum said.

* * *

BoxRec rates Pacquiao as the greatest Asian boxer of all time ahead of the members of the top ten: Gennadiy Golovkin, Nonito Donaire, Chris John, Ceferino Garcia, Flash Elorde, Ruslan Chagaev, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Toshiaki Nishioka and Khaosai Galaxy.

* * *

BoxRec ranks Pacquiao as the fourth greatest boxer, pound for pound, of all time. The top fighter is Floyd Mayweather Jr. At second is Ezzard Charles, and third is Bernard Hopkins. Completing the top ten from 5th to 10th are: Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe, Lennox Lewis, Archie Moore, Wladimir Klitschko and Saul Alvarez.

* * *

In 2016, Pacquiao was ranked second on ESPN's list of top boxers, pound-for-pound, of the past 25 years. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came out on top. From 3rd to 10th were: Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones, Jr., Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricardo Lopez.

* * *

According to the Ranker's list, Pacquiao has been ranked the best boxer in the 21st century having held title belts in four decades while undefeated retired champion Floyd Mayweather is ranked second while the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Roy Jones Jr, and Klitchko rounded the top five.

* * *

Heavyweight veterans Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis are ranked in sixth and seventh place respectively. Oscar de La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins and Irish boxer Joe Calzaghe complete the top ten places.

* * *

Messages from different boxing personalities and organizations poured over social media thanking Pacquiao's contribution to boxing and the world of sports.

* * *

"I love you manny pacquiao thank you for the legendary career and all the memories you inspired me forever" - RYAN GARCIA (@RyanGarcia) September 29, 2021

* * *

"Thanks for the memories champ, end of an era! My favourite fighter 🥲 enjoy retirement PAC-MAN" — Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) September 29, 2021

* * *

"Boxing Will Miss You @MannyPacquiao
Thankyou For Everything You Did For My Career"
— George "Ferocious" Kambosos Jr (@georgekambosos) September 29, 2021

* * *

"My best wishes to @MannyPacquiao Great fighter and great human being. It was an honor // Mis mejores deseos a @MannyPacquiao Gran peleador y gran persona." — Marco A Barrera Tapi (@barreratapia) September 29, 2021

* * *

"End of an amazing era in the sport. I was privileged to announce a number of Manny's fights. It was always fun." — Al Bernstein
(@AlBernstein)

* * *

"@MannyPacquiao, it was our honor to be your promoter. We wish you nothing but the best in retirement." — Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing)

* * *

"LEGEND. Thank you for your contribution to this great sport of boxing, @MannyPacquiao." — Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing)

* * *

"Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has announced his retirement from the sport with an emotional video. The Philippines' flag-bearer from Beijing2008 will now focus on his political career. @MannyPacquiao @OlympicPHI" — Olympics (@Olympics)

* * *

“Legendary. Manny, you are EVERYTHING that defines a legend in this sport. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your historic and legendary career. YOU ARE THE GREATEST,” wrote the 61-year-old Roach, who molded Pacquiao to become the only eight-division world boxing champion." — Freddie Roach (@FreddieRoach)

* * *

"Undeniably a LEGEND. Thank you @MannyPacquiao for all you’ve given to boxing and the world. Thank you for encouraging, INSPIRING, and motivating so many. You’ve left an everlasting, legendary impression on the sport of boxing that will live on forever." WildCardBoxingClub (@WildCardBoxing1)

* * *

Malacañang thanked Senator Manny Pacquiao for bringing honor to the Philippines after his retirement. "We thank Senator Pacquiao because he has honored the country with his many successes and we share in the joys of his triumphs as well as in his defeats," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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