Before Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is Signed… Is There a Chance That Manny Pacquiao is Overrated?
The legacy of Manny Pacquiao has yet to be determined. Will he be remembered as pound for pound one of the greatest fighters in boxing history or for his lavish life style? One thing is certain, the Filipino sensation covets the bright lights, whether it’s winning championships in seven different weight classes, traveling with a giant entourage, being on the cover of Time Magazine or having aspirations of becoming President of the Philippines.
The great mathematician Democritus once stated: “I would rather discover one scientific fact than become King of Persia.” I sadly, but admittedly, will never become the King of Persia or President of the Philippines, but after analyzing Pacquiao’s boxing career one fact becomes apparent – a statistically significant argument can be made that the current pound-for-pound kingpin is either slightly overrated or his opponents have been strategically selected.
One fact that cannot be argued is on average Manny Pacquiao has been fighting opponents that are considerably older, have been recently defeated or are statistically proven to be on the decline. Since his last loss, Pacquiao, 30, has gone on an eleven fight winning streak, with his opponent’s average age being 31. During the winning streak, Pacquiao’s average age at the time each respective bout took place was 28. A three year age advantage may seem minute, but boxers that have consistent success in the lower weight classes typically have tremendous speed. Pacquiao is known for, and does have world-class speed in his repertoire, but does consistently fighting opponents in their early 30’s help protect and even boost his speed advantage?
In addition to an age advantage, statistics prove that Pacquiao has been fighting opponents that have been recently defeated or are on the decline. During his present winning streak, the average winning percentage of Pacquiao’s opponents throughout their entire career is an impressive 94%. However, when further analyzing the data it becomes apparent that the average winning percentage of Pacquiao’s opponents during the five fights leading up to the their respective bout declines to 84% and the average winning percentage of his opponents after their bout took place, not including the loss to Pacquiao, drops to a measly 67%. Considering the data at hand, can the argument be made that Pacquiao is consistently fighting opponents that are older, statistically on the decline and have been recently defeated?
Attacking Pacquiao’s opponents is a logical choice to the argument that he is overrated. Why hasn’t the score been settled with a game and willing Juan Manuel Marquez? Why did Pacquiao fight a recently defeated and in some cases “over-the-hill” Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya and Marco Antonio Barrera?
Insiders within the sport will profoundly point out that tougher match-ups exist for Pacquiao, such as Shane Mosley or the much younger Andre Berto. Rumors are swirling that Arum and Pacquiao are even interested in moving up to the 154lb division in an attempt to become an eight division world champion. Pacquiao’s opponent of choice in this dangerous move: of course, the unheralded Yuri Foreman. If Pacquiao wants a challenge, how does a David versus Goliath match-up with the giant Paul Williams sound?
On average Manny Pacquiao’s opponents are older, on the decline or carefully selected – certainly. However, what does that really mean? Pacquiao cannot control that his competition are fighting other champions or top contenders, hence the losses, or that Bob Arum is thinking about money, his fighters legacy, and money again when deliberating on his next bout. One thing is certain, Pacquiao is a great fighter and the only outstanding item worth deliberating is where the Filipino phenom ranks versus the legends of boxing?
Presumably, on January 11th, two fighters will be in New York City to announce a mega fight that will take place on March 13 of 2010 and will not only settle the score of who is pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world today, but where Pacquiao, and even Floyd Mayweather’s, rightful ranks is among the legends of the sport of boxing. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao would be one of the biggest fights of the last 25 years, undoubtedly.
So is Manny Pacquiao overrated? You can decide for yourself. Keep checking in with ProBoxing-Fans.com for all of the news regarding the potential Pacquiao vs. Mayweather super fight.
Image Credit: Mike Gonzalez/Creative Commons 3.0 License