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27th May 2020
By: Motivedia Boxing
The pride of his homeland, a master of his craft, and the last remaining giant of his generation. To consider Manny Pacquiao as one of the best fighters ever in 2020 seems somewhat of an understatement. Obtaining unparalleled achievements within the sweet science and standing as one of the world’s most influential figures. And so breaking down the argument for the decade, the story as expected narrows down to two contrasting figures. A record-breaking and era-defining rivalry, which saw two men from opposite ends of the globe mesmerize the entire sporting world.
Here we breakdown one side of the argument by summing up Manny Pacquiao’s incredible achievements over the past 10 years. A span that has seen revenge, redemption, and rewards. Beyond our wildest expectations. Please subscribe to our friend’s at Motivedia Boxing as they look at why Manny Pacquiao could be considered the Fighter of the Decade.
Pacquiao started out the decade following one of his career-best performances, against Miguel Cotto. A night that saw him crowned the first-ever 7 weight world champion with his move up to welterweight. However, the year opened with bad news with Floyd Mayweather negotiations breaking down, ruling out the 2010 mega fight. Instead, Manny opened against tough Ghanaian fighter Joshua Clottey. And as expected, he dominated with blistering hand speed and tireless work rate, taking every single round. Eight months later, Pacquiao signed a deal to make yet another sensational move up in weight. This time, a 154lb bout against ill-famed Mexican fighter Antonio Margarito. Seemingly unable to miss, fans saw a boxing clinic in another of the Filipino’s most mesmerizing performances. Now 8 world champion, Pacquaio enter 2011 with an air of invincibility. And it showed as he scored another landslide victory, putting 50 fight veteran Sugar Shane Mosely onto a survival mission.
Next, in a night billed as ‘The 25th Round’, the Filipino faced previous two-time opponent Juan Manuel Marquez. Though in what was supposed to erase all doubt from the previous two, the third fight brought even more controversy. Scraping a majority victory after an all-out war, Manny Pacquaio moved to 54-3-2. Six months on, 2012 sparked another dramatic trilogy, the first bout against Tim ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley. This time, despite countering effectively and doing visible damage, the decision went against Pacquaio, in a controversial split decision. Adding insult to injury came his second loss of the year, this time in dramatic and unquestionable fashion. Refusing to accept his decline and ignoring media criticism, Pacquaio’s return was imminent and from late 2013, the next 12 months saw an emphatic comeback. The Filipino overwhelmed Brandon Rios in China with speed and movement, convincingly ended Tim Bradley’s undefeated record in their MGM rematch, and destroyed Chris Algieri at the back end of 2014, scoring a total of 6 knockdowns.
This leads us to the big one, after 6 years of anticipation, billed as the fight of the century. One that, due to never-ending negotiations became more aptly tag lined ‘Better late than never’. Taking the first three rounds across the board, Mayweather gained the early momentum. With Manny Pacquaio’s lackluster punch output, the subdued southpaw lacked his usual energy and aggressiveness, enabling Mayweather to pick his shots, avoid any meaningful damage and ride out a wide victory across all three cards. Disclosing an injured right shoulder and unsatisfied with the decision, Pacquiao remained insistent on his eventual rise towards another world title.
And so one year later, with Floyd now retired at 50-0, Manny’s journey restarted with a third victory over Tim Bradley and a clinical beating of Jessie Vargas to see out 2016. Eight months on came that memorable night in Queensland, Australia. A night where despite a career-best performance from Jeff Horn, boxing fans witnessed what would be considered amongst the worst decision of the decade. Though again, refusing to show any disrespect, the setback would only further motivate the Senator and straight back in at the deep end.
In mid-late 2018, Manny Pacquiao took on another Hall of Famer in the form of the hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse. And rolling back the clock in violent style, he put away the Argentinian in the 7th sending a shockwave throughout the boxing world. This leads us to the last and even more impressive 12 months, in which the Pac-man catapulted himself right in with not only the division’s very best, the pound for pound elite. Beating two young, live, and hungry champions in Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman. Broner brought his usual trash talk, was beaten by activity and accuracy, with Pacquiao’s continuous barrage of punches. Whereas Thurman, dropped in the first, struggled to find his feet until the middle rounds, providing too little too late. And so now, becoming a four-time welterweight world champion and standing as the only fighter to have ever been a world champion for four successive decades. Manny Pacquiao holds unparalleled achievements in a movie like roller-coaster career, one that for generations to come will reflect humility, determination, perseverance, and endear the pride of an entire nation.