Sunday, April 13, 2014

What does it all mean?


So Manny Pacquaio won a unanimous decision against previously undefeated Timothy Bradley on Saturday night; thus avenging a disputed decision loss to Bradley nearly two years ago. In doing so, he wins his ninth world title in eight divisions. He also quelled any suspicion that the 35-year-old was on the downslide after a couple of setbacks. Yet all that said, what does it all mean?

It is unquestioned that Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO's) is an all-time great and will be a future Hall of Famer someday, but is his legacy questioned and tarnished at all if he never faces the consensus number one pound for pound fighter Floyd 'Money' Mayweather, Jr.? However, it goes both ways. Mayweather, unquestionably the number one fighter in the world, is still undefeated at (45-0, 26 KO's). He too is a multiple title winner in numerous divisions, yet the same can be asked about him. Is his legacy questioned and (or) tarnished without ever fighting Pacquiao?

It is hard to believe that anyone would question anything regarding these two champions. They have both been the top two fighters in the world for numerous years now and both have faced all types of challenges from all comers, except each other. I could care less about who's at fault in that scenario. Ask that question and you'll have a never-ending debate from fans of both about who's to blame.

Truth is, they are both to blame equally. If they really wanted this fight to happen, which it should have already long ago, it could have been done. Beyond the politics of boxing, of which there are a lot, both of these men have the power to make this happen. Why they won't is beyond me? Maybe their legacy, of which I am asking about, is the reason. Only one man can be declared a winner; thus the loser lives with the infamous stigma of being an all-time great, but not the greatest of his era.

So what? Look at the history of boxing and does anyone really care about whom won or lost? It is the battles that took place from combatants at the top of their game that is revered. Is the legendary Wilfredo Gomez no longer regarded as an all-time great, even though he loss via knockout to the late Salvador Sanchez in their epic battle from 1981? Is Marvin Hagler regarded any less for losing a decision to Sugar Ray Leonard in the "Superfight' of '87? Is Oscar De la Hoya, still not considered the Golden Boy champion that he was for losing to Felix Trinidad in their classic meeting of unbeaten 26 year old welterweights back in 1999?

The answer to all these is an emphatic no! All those names are hallowed in the annals of boxing and it should go without saying that so would the names Pacquiao and Mayweather, regardless of who won or lost. Therefore, I say that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. can continue to do what they do and be universally regarded as the top two names in the sport until they decide to hang up the gloves. However, unless they face each other at some point, and hopefully some point before it's too late, because they're already past their prime, the question will always remain, "What does it all mean?"

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