Is Manny Pacquiao a Great Fighter?

True to his hit list of oldies and unknowns, Philippine Star Manny Pacquiao will face another John Doe to the thrill of 100 million fans in the Philippines. He has now handpicked another Mexican boxer, known in his family table as David Diaz. Diaz (34-1-0 with 17 custom made Paquiao KO’s) is well known for beating hall of famers like Jose Armando Santa Cruz and Jacobo Garcia.

While the oriental press and his hangers on and fans speak loudly about his millions and how he’s going to be a millionaire for the rest of his immortality, there are other voices that speak of another Pacquiao. One of his girlfriends suing him for child support. A car dealer who Pacquiao owes money and hasn’t paid. The spending sprees he gets involved with even before he gets paid for a fight. According to expert commentators like HBO Larry Merchant, Manny’s lifestyle is comparable to a train wreck. In order to keep squeezing this train wreck before it ends in smithereens, his handlers will squeeze the nickel to the last drop. Till then Manny will keep on fighting Mexican champions in past tense and unknowns like his new opponent. The fight will sell on PPV because 100 million of his countrymen are willing to pay or die to see Pacquiao raving in the ring throwing his weight around like the Tasmanian Devil looking for a Prozac to dive in.

Truth is that Pacquiao is a good fighter, not a great fighter. I respect him for all the excitement and the courage, and all he gives his fans, but he’s just a tough guy with enough skills to beat up old champions and little-known club fighters. He might very well be the hero for his countrymen and he says he fights for “honor of our country” but the question for all boxing fans is: Is he a great fighter? The question lingers on. If he gets in a ring with a Miguel Cotto or a Floyd Mayweather at their peak, like now, and he beats them, the and only then will Manny Pacquiao will get the respect of boxing experts and champions alike.


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