Manny Pacquiao's victory over Antonio Margarito elicited a flood of responses, as many Yahoo! Sports readers wanted to sound off about some aspect of the bout.
As has become typical, I received the usual number of ridiculous letters accusing me of being racist because I praised either Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. When I have praised Pacquiao, as I did on Saturday, I hear from African Americans calling me racist for not boosting Floyd. And when I've sung Mayweather's praises, the Filipino fans have done the same thing for not boosting Manny.
I've excluded those questions from the mailbag, but we have a pretty lively debate nonetheless.
Chris, I have long believed Robinson is the greatest fighter of all time and have written that repeatedly. First, my column you're referencing was in relation to the Bob Arum Era of boxing, from 1966 through the present, since Arum had said Pacquiao is the best he's ever seen. And while I admire Pacquiao's accomplishments tremendously, I don't believe he's the best of all time – or even since 1966. I stand behind the line near the end of my postfight column, in which I wrote: "There may have been better fighters than Manny Pacquiao in the last 50 years, but their numbers were few and their talent level was exceptionally high."
I don't think Pacquiao would have beaten either Duran or Leonard. Leonard represents the kind of fighter Pacquiao has yet to face: A big guy with tremendous speed and quickness as well as punching power, defensive skill and a quality chin. I think a Pacquiao-Chavez fight would have been epic and very close, though I think Pacquiao's speed might grant him a slight edge.
Both men have enormous fan bases, to begin with, Michael, but I think Manny's offensive style and his unassuming, humble personality wins over more undecideds, if you will, than does Floyd's defensive style and braggadocio. From a straight boxing standpoint, Mayweather is the best pure boxer of this generation.
Pacquiao fought Marquez twice, so it's not like he ducked him. And he's agreed to face Mayweather. While I think Pacquiao should have agreed to the drug test in the first place, Mayweather is out of line for simply demanding it. He's created a suspicion where none previously existed.
Joe, I don't think Tony insists on being referred to as the "Tijuana Tornado." My friend Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com dubbed him that (and should, by the way, get some royalties from all those "Tornado" T-shirt sales). It's an apt name because he is a pressure figure. But I agree that Pacquiao is the current pound-for-pound best.
George Austin, Texas
George, I agree with you when it comes to the titles. If you're going to fight for a super welterweight title, the opponent HAS to be allowed to weigh up to the limit. I quizzed Pacquiao about this at the prefight news conference and he dodged the question. It's happened before in boxing history – Sugar Ray Leonard forced Donnie Lalonde to come in at 167 in a bout for the light heavyweight title in 1988 – but that doesn't make it right. I think it's a remarkable feat that Pacquiao could so regularly and so easily handle men so much bigger, but it doesn't mean he has to get a world championship for it unless the opponent is allowed to weigh the division maximum.
I think it's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to put a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight together. I want to correct you, though, on your comment about the Mosley fight. I think Mayweather showed a good chin and a lot of heart. He got hit flush with a huge punch and he wobbled but didn't go down. He very quickly recovered his senses and boxed well. That, to me, is extraordinarily impressive.
My guess is that Pacquiao will fight Shane Mosley, who attended the fight with his new adviser James Prince. (By the way, Mosley made it a big point to emphasize that Prince is an adviser, not his manager, and asked me to make that known.) I agree with your assessment of the speed issue and I wrote: "Pacquiao still has to face the ultimate test, the fast, speedy, in-his-prime opponent that Mayweather would be … ." I agree that fights with Martinez or Berto would be interesting.
Charlie S. Arlington, Texas
This was a failure of both the referee and the trainer, but I put more of the blame on Margarito trainer Robert Garcia. The ringside doctor did not have the ability to stop the fight, only to advise the referee. It's rare when a referee bucks the doctor's opinion, but it has happened and the sole responsibility for stopping it falls on the referee, who in this case was Laurence Cole. Garcia's job as a trainer is to protect his fighter, and he failed miserably. It's ridiculous that Garcia allowed him to take the punishment he did over the last three or four rounds when it was clear he was defenseless and couldn't win the fight. The referee and trainer share equal responsibility, but one of the reasons Eddie Futch was considered one of the great trainers ever is because he would take responsibility and stop a fight to protect his man. Garcia should have done the same.
- Manny Pacquiao
- Antonio Margarito
- Sugar Ray Leonard