What more can the great Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao achieve in his 25 years in boxing?
The answer is he can become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world should he defeat Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
Pacquiao has done many things in his boxing career, he holds 8 weight division world titles, recently became the oldest fighter to win a welterweight belt, but he has never become the undisputed champion in any weight division he reigned in.
He had one opportunity to become the undisputed champion at lightweight when he beat David Diaz in 2008 for the WBC belt in his first fight in the division coming up from super featherweight. He would have fought unified champion Nate Campbell who pulled off a huge upset in defeating the undefeated HBO favorite Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz for the WBA, WBO, and IBF 135-pound titles.
That fight never came to fruition because Oscar De La Hoya came calling and anybody would have gladly jumped at the opportunity to fight the cash cow of boxing because it would mean a lucrative payday and should you win the chance to become a bigger name in boxing and pay-per-view star.
Freddie Roach initially said that the fight with Oscar De La Hoya would be a one off fight and Pacquiao win or lose would come back down to lightweight. Pacquiao destroyed the Golden Boy and sent him into retirement and he never went back down to lightweight, the welterweight division became his home.
It’s amazing to see a modern day David slaying the Goliaths in the division. Pacquiao is such a small guy only 5 feet 5 inches tall and has to eat thousands of calories just to make the 147 pound limit. His opponents all weigh 20 to 30 pounds above 147 and cut down to the division.
This little fighter who came up from flyweight, has demolished many bigger foes, and at 41 years of age he is ambitious enough to continue to challenge the younger champions in the division. First he took out Keith Thurman to capture the WBA belt and now he is gunning for IBF/WBC champ Errol Spence Jr. and WBO title holder Terence Crawford.
I wonder if he can achieve undisputed status at the age of 41 against the two other undefeated American champions in their prime.
Pacquiao already took on Thurman and handed him his first loss, but he had to go through fire to win. It was a very tough battle with Pacquiao taking many hard blows, he dropped Thurman in round one and hurt him with a body shot in the tenth, but he didn’t have the gas to finish him off. A younger Pacquiao would have demolished Thurman if he hurt him with a body shot, but this older one got tired.
It will be a tough task and if he pulls it off it will make boxing historians have to rethink his place in boxing history. Even the most ardent Pacquiao haters would have to give him respect or else they will lose all credibility.
Even if he fails to achieve it and loses to either Spence or Crawford, there is nothing to be ashamed of because he already has a storied career and had more courage than many of the younger fighters today. He never ducked or dodged anyone and at 41 still wanted to challenge himself against the most dangerous foes in the sport.
Pacquiao is truly one of a kind.
Erwin Lastimosa is a long time boxing fan and enjoys boxing discussion with his peers. Some of his favorite fighters are Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali, Flash Elorde, Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao.