NOW that Floyd Mayweather has finally called time on his illustrious career (or so he claims) after a routine win over Andre Berto at the weekend, attention has turned to the question of who will replace him atop the mythical pound-for-pound list.
These lists are of course subjective and there is no way of definitively compiling a list of the top 10 boxers on the planet, but the topic is inevitably debated.
Given that Mayweather, undoubtedly the best in the world while active, has vacated his throne, Boxing News has installed Manny Pacquiao as the new pound-for-pound leader.
Prior to his decisive points loss to Mayweather in May, the Filipino icon held the no 2 spot on most pound-for-pound lists – which was one of the key reasons for the fight generating gargantuan amounts of revenue and attention.
While public opinion over Pacquiao may have turned slightly sour given his relatively underwhelming performance, and the revelation of his shoulder injury, losing to the best fighter on the planet should not send a fighter several places down the pound-for-pound rankings. Quite simply, now that Mayweather has seemingly retired, everyone has moved up a place.
While the fight he produced against Floyd seems a far cry from his emphatic wins over the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, it’s a little early to label Pacquiao as a spent force. Indeed, many wrote him off after his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, only for Manny to return and outpoint the highly-talented Tim Bradley before setting up his clash with Mayweather.
The 36-year-old remains one of the most exciting fighters on the planet, with blurring handspeed and footwork as well as thunderous power – though time is certainly taking its toll, Pacquiao is still one of boxing’s most dangerous combatants and it takes a fighter of Mayweather’s calibre to beat him.
His CV is also unparalleled. Manny’s meteoric rise through the weight classes is the stuff of legend and he has handily beaten some of the best fighters of this generation. While compelling arguments can be made for the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Terence Crawford and Andre Ward to be the pound-for-pound number one, they are yet to prove themselves in as many career-defining fights as Pacquiao.
Those three in particular are hot favourites to claim world supremacy in the future but for now, the Filipino veteran once again rules the roost.
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