We all know that Manny Pacquiao is a company man and that he's loyal, through and through, to the company that currently takes a good chunk of his boxing revenue. Being a dedicated Top Rank man, however, has affected his career and has limited him in many ways.
There's no doubt that Top Rank and Bob Arum have done a good job in guiding the Filipino sensation through a Hall of Fame career and have also helped pave the way in choosing the right fights to make his considerable abilities look even more impressive.
But what would've happened if Pacquiao had flexed his muscles and insisted on making his own career choices?
First, the mega-bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. would likely have happened already. Who knows, we could even be working on part three by now. Bob Arum, with plenty to lose should Mayweather win, is one major obstacle that has always stood in the way of Pacquiao-Mayweather. An independent Pacquiao, one not being re-directed into fighting other Top Rank fighters, would've been much more likely to come to terms for the one fight all fans want to see.
Other than a possible Mayweather bout, a free agent Pacquiao would've been free to make the best fights when they made the most sense.
Miguel Cotto would've been met head on, without a catchweight stipulation. Shane Mosley would've been fought following his Margarito win, when he was riding high-- not over two years, one loss and one draw later. In his bid to win a world title at junior middleweight, Pacquiao would've had to fight a true challenge at the actual weight limit and not a disgraced Antonio Margarito at a catchweight. Manny against a true, elite 154 lb. fighter, like James Kirkland or Alfredo Angulo, would've been an instant classic.
By removing all of the Bob Arum manipulations and back-stage maneuvers, Pacquiao would've been forced into some truly memorable battles, not one-sided romps, and his detractors would have no case for complaint.
As it stands now, Pacquiao is obviously a first ballot Hall of Famer, but things could've been even better. His conquests could've been so much more complete and, believe it or not, his star could've been even brighter. Like so any great fighters of the past, he may have lost a couple of times during this run, but Pacquiao's ability and heart would've made him a universally beloved figure and not one-half of the perpetual Pacquiao-Mayweather fan clash.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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