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Mailbag: Pacquiao's inspiring political punch

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

It's not quite all Manny, all Floyd, all the time in the mailbag here at Yahoo! Sports, but it's getting close. Manny Pacquiao's inauguration as a congressman in the Philippines brought another flood of Manny-related email to the inbox, as did the latest Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings.

Find out what I have to say about Pacquiao's future and my answers to criticism on my choice of Mayweather as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world in this week's edition of the boxing mailbag.

Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao on being sworn in as a congressman in the Philippines. I can't help but think that now is the time for him to retire. Such demanding political responsibilities will surely detract from his training for his tentative November fight, especially should that fight be against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Manny will need to prepare with more determination and focus than ever and I don't see how he can do that realistically while shouldering the burdens of a congressman. Do you?


I do believe he can, Jon, and here's why: He operates best when he's got a million things going. He has dozens of people who live with him when he's training for a fight. If there's chaos around, Manny seems to zone in on the task at hand. Plus, it's not a year-round job and he'll be able to train as normal for the fight.

Manny a great person

Kevin, I can feel that these words you wrote about Manny Pacquiao are coming from your heart, not as a sports writer but as an ordinary person who respects decency and is willing to salute a man who has accomplished something significant in his profession. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a great fighter, but Manny is a great person and a great boxer. Yes, Manny will lose interest in boxing eventually because there is no point of proving anything and the $40 million prize money is only a dream. Boxing will be sleeping again for years because it has no drama as great as Manny and Mayweather in starring roles.

Jim Caronilla

I have no illusions that a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will save boxing. It will make a lot of already very wealthy people a lot of money. But it will be a great fight and can have a very positive impact upon the sport. If the men come to fight hard, as I know they would, and the outcome is fair, as is not always the case, it will be a boon. If promoters pack the undercard with world-class fighters in highly competitive fights and make it a boxing version of WrestleMania, it can serve as an example of what boxing can be at its best. New stars will develop and the world's attention will eventually move past Pacquiao and Mayweather, but the phenomenally intense interest in the bout should be proof to all who incorrectly try to suggest boxing is dead.

Trying to make the fight

I read about all the praise given to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather and I admit that we as boxing fans are so eager to see the fight, we're willing to shell out $80 for the pay-per-view. What I want to know, Kevin, is what are your efforts to make this fight happen? I saw your Facebook page pushing for the fight, but is that it? How about those sports writers who voted for Mayweather and Pacquiao as the number one pound-for-pound boxer? They just wanted to write who should be a better fighter or they want to write who is a better fighter. What are your and their efforts to make the fight happen or do you just leave it to the promoters' hands?

Mark Bacon
Passaic, N.J.

Mark, I'm not a promoter. I'm not a manager. I'm not a boxing agent. I have no direct contact with either guy. Plus, it's not my job to make the fight. I know the readers of Yahoo! Sports desperately want to see this fight. That's why, since November, I've written dozens of stories about a fight that hasn't happened yet. I've attempted to put public pressure on the promoters and the fighters to get the match done, but at the end of the day, I'm a journalist and I can't do any more than that. Nor should I.

Manny inspirational

Kevin, I have to share with you that this is probably the "most inspiring" post you've had to date. Manny Pacquiao has been an inspiration and leader for more than his people and the boxing world. He's down to earth and approachable. His story of self-determination has been and continues to be a model for success. I am inspired by this recent column. Your column reminded me I'm more than just a boxing fan, mixed martial arts fan, or sports fan in general. It helped remind me I as a person can aspire to be and do more in life. I, like many people, have a tendency to focus on my past, my past aspirations and goals, my past failures and missed opportunities, which adds no promise to my future and what I can do with it. Manny Pacquiao has set and reached goals that used his impoverished past as a stepping stone to greatness. I'm sure there will be a movie or book written on him someday. I just wholeheartedly wanted to share with you that I appreciate your latest column.

Scot Reyes
Aberdeen, Wash.

Thank you, Scot. That's much appreciated. It's easy to write when you have such a compelling subject as Manny. He's the one who deserves the praise. Good luck to you in your endeavors.

Putting Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the top spot on your pound-for-pound poll after he beat an aging veteran is way too pointless. You can only put him in the top spot if he knocks Pacquiao out.

Colin G.

Two points here, Colin. First, what should I tell the hundreds of fans who emailed to ridiculed me – and called me all sorts of names – when I picked Mayweather to waltz past Shane Mosley? Those folks told me BEFORE the fight that I was wrong, that Mosley was going to kill Mayweather, etc., etc., etc. AFTER the fight, when Mayweather routed Mosley and proved me correct, all I've heard is that Mosley was too old. Well, was he too old when he beat Antonio Margarito? Was he too old on the day before the fight, when my inbox was flooded with fans who were chastising me for picking Mayweather to rout Mosley? Secondly, I hope you're not serious about the knocking out bit. For the sake of argument, let's say that Mayweather wins an undisputed unanimous decision, say 117-111 or 118-110. Are you trying to say that Pacquiao should still be No. 1 in that case? This isn't a fight to the death, I need to remind you. It's a boxing match and a win by decision is no different than a win by knockout.

Remember pound-four-pound part

You concede that it was essentially a coin flip for you in deciding between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao for the top spot on your personal pound-for-pound poll. If the difference between Mayweather and Pacquiao is razor thin (and you ended up settling for Mayweather due to his defense), then by definition, shouldn't the No. 1 spot go to Pacquiao because he is the naturally smaller guy? My point being that pound-for-pound (the key phrase of the poll after all), Pacquiao has "more" per pound, proportionately speaking. So if a more natural lightweight/ junior welterweight almost has the same amount of whatever quantifiable qualities you are looking for in comparison to a more natural welterweight/junior middleweight, then pound-for-pound, the smaller guy should come out ahead. We're not necessarily talking about head-to-head match-ups here. We're quantifying who is best pound-for-pound. And if that is the case, No. 1 should be Pacquiao.

T. Ericksen
Chapel Hill, N.C.

I guess we're going to disagree on some things here, like my view that Duke has the best college basketball program (I kid! I kid!). You make an interesting argument but it fails on the basis of the pound-for-pound nature evens things up. Pound-for-pound, as I've written many times recently, was coined in the 1940s as the sports writers of the time tried to explain how good Sugar Ray Robinson was (and he was the best ever, believe me). Joe Louis was the heavyweight champion and a star of the highest order. The writers then knew that Robinson and Louis could never meet, so they made the point of essentially saying, if both men weighed the same and brought their same skills with them, who would win? In this case, Manny and Floyd are each welterweights. And yes, Manny is a welterweight. He's beaten Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey, all of whom were welterweights, or bigger. But if you consider Manny smaller, when he moves up, you'd increase his proportion of power, speed, quickness, defense, stamina, etc., by the percent he increased. Ergo, they'd be the same as they are now and I think Floyd's defense would lead him to eke out a decision.

Biased columnist

You are biased and you forced Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be Number 1. I hope Yahoo! finds out about this.

Harry Busacay

I'm with you, Harry. I hope they find out, too. Let me know if you hear anything, will you?

Tarver at heavyweight

After the Andre Ward-Allan Green fight on June 19, I heard Showtime boxing analyst Antonio Tarver state that he plans to move up to heavyweight? Is he crazy? What, if any, impact do you actually think he could make in that division?

Richard Loggins
Shreveport, La.

He'll make zero impact. If he fights anyone with a pulse, he'll be pulverized. He should retire. He has the makings of an excellent broadcaster.

Bradley ranked too high

Timmy Bradley is a decent little fighter, but that's all he is, decent. I saw where you voted him in your poll and that tells me all I need to know about your boxing knowledge. You wouldn't know a good fighter if he punched you in the nose.


Bradley's unbeaten, he's fought good guys, he doesn't pack it in when the going gets tough and he's a very credible boxer. To me, he's one of the elite fighters in the world, but with so much competition for him to face in the next year, we'll see before long who knows what about boxing.

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