Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacquiao's Stardom

The 2nd round knock-out that surprised everyone has vaulted Manny Pacquiao into a stratosphere unseen by any of his countrymen over the course of their history. He is know the face of boxing, the "pound-for-pound" champion who has won a title at six different weight classes and has beaten two of the most recognizable faces in the past few years in Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

In Pacquiao's first marquee fight of his career, one that had the industry reveling in meaning, Pacquiao dismantled "The Golden Boy" and forced him into a long overdue retirement by mercifully picking apart the guard that De La Hoya tried to present. Quickly De La Hoya was outmached and Pacquiao toyed with him until De La Hoya's camp threw in the towel for the final time in a glorious career. This marked the first big name fighter Pacquiao would face on a big stage and he would follow with an encore so stunning that even he was surprised.

The fight between Pacquiao and Hatton this past Saturday night was to be the biggest fight of the year pinning speed versus brawn. Pacquiao, the speedy Filipino, against Hatton, the brawler from Britain. Two opposing styles meeting in the ring which was destined to be a battle. Though Pacquiao was the favorite, many saw Ricky Hatton as a person who could in an instant put "Pac-Man" on his back in slumber so deep it would take months for him to awake. Only this fight happened to turn out the opposite. In the five-minutes and fifty-nine seconds that the fight lasted, Pacquiao knocked-down Hatton three times the third of which stoned Hatton so hard he may retire. It was pure brilliance and something unseen in and of Pacquiao's fights that it brings to new light whether or not Pacquiao now has the power to knock someone out as well as wear them down.
On the same day, the previous "pound-for-pound" champion, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came out of retirement setting up an intriguing situation should Mayweather beat Juan Migel Marquez in his upcomming fight. Should this happen, many believe this would set up a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight that could rival some of the major heavyweight fights this past decade.
Two men with similar styles trying to best one another could be the most anticipated fight in years. Who would be the favorite? Its hard to tell now since Mayweather hasn't fought in nearly two years and Pacquiao has yet to meet someone with the caliber of Mayweather. It would be an interesting fight and probably one with as much hype as any Tyson fight late in his career. Will this save boxing, probably not since fans really flock towards the heavyweights, but nonetheless it would be one of the highest selling pay-per-views in years.
When this fight happens, count me as one of the millions who will watch this fight on the edge of their seats, watching as two technicians scrap their way to a victory. For now though, Pacquiao is the darling of boxing, and until someone dethrones him he will be the premeir fighter for all to watch.

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