I’ve been thinking about boxing a lot lately. Given the circumstances we are in with the coronavirus and the time I stay at home not being able to go out much, I started watching boxing fights on YouTube.
I watched some of the full fight uploads provided by Top Rank, DAZN, PBC, and other boxing channels.
The most recent one was the Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman fight that I watched. I decided to click some of the pre-fight build up including interviews, media workouts and countdown shows.
One particular video stood out to me, it was Pacquiao’s pre-fight roundtable done right after the grand arrival on fight week and he openly discussed his love for boxing as a youth.
Pacquiao who is a man of few words mainly due to his broken English, shocked many when he revealed he was a student of the fight game, and mentioned some of the fighters he watched and studied growing up.
“You know, since 10 years old I’ve been watching fights,” said Pacquiao. “I don’t know how many boxing matches I watched. Even before way back to the 1990s if you ask me then. I watch Oscar De La Hoya – even when he was starting in the Olympics. I watch Roy Jones Jr. from Olympics to when he become a champion. Watching Tyson, George Foreman, (Livingstone) Bramble, (Pernell) Whitaker. The Heavyweights before is so big, the time of Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe. I saw Julio Cesar Chavez, Oba Carr, the two brothers Rafael Ruelas and Gabriel. I saw many fights that’s how much I love boxing.”
Most casual boxing fans I come across think Pacquiao was just a poor kid from the Philippines who learned how to box by fighting on the street just to feed his family and was fine tuned by the legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao dropping names like the Ruelas brothers, Livingstone Bramble and Oba Carr shows he really was a fan of boxing, only hardcore fight fans remember those names.
It’s no wonder Pacquiao is such a great fighter because he has studied so many styles and knows what to look for when he faces an opponent.
Never underestimate the boxing IQ of Manny Pacquiao, it’s no wonder he has lasted in the fight game so long, he is more than just a slugger, he is a crafty veteran who was able to become a champion in 8 different weight divisions and at 41 is the oldest welterweight champion in history. To achieve all of that takes ring smarts and true skill.
Pacquiao is the Grand Master of Boxing.