Manny Rules The World

So yeah, Floyd Mayweather says he’s retired. Floyd’s arch rival Manny Pacquiao, however, is said to be coming back. Yes, Manny had a significant shoulder injury before, during and after the Floyd fight, but it looks like the guy is feeling well and is ready to get back in the ring soon enough.

But what then? Where can one of the greatest of his generation, if not of all time, go from here? He’s already fought, and lost, the biggest, if most certainly not the best, fight in history. What can the man possibly do for an encore?

Well, he could fight Floyd again, something that’s not out of the realm of possibility at this point. I know, I know. You don’t want to see the rematch. Nobody seems to. Except everyone is going to watch it if Floyd and Manny actually agree to do battle again.

Believe
Believe it or not, we could end up seeing this again soon.

Oh, a rematch wouldn’t be near the financial success the first bout was, but it would still do enormous business. What’s more, there might even be a bit more interest in a rematch now that it’s obvious that some odd stuff was going down at Chez Mayweather after the May 1st weigh in. Like it or not, #MayPac II would be a big deal.

Still, Floyd may – “may” being the operative word here – stay retired. Even if he doesn’t, it’s worth wondering if he’d actually end up in the ring with Manny again anyway. So, what happens if PacMan never gets his chance to avenge that loss?

Well, there’s certainly a plethora of boxers out there who would love to face the guy. One, of course, is Amir Khan, who appears to be nearly as eager to face Manny as he was to face Floyd not long ago. Manny, though, is no kid anymore. The guy’s nearing 40. Could he still beat a Khan? Or a Bud Crawford? Or a Kell Brook for that matter?

Hi. My name is Amir Khan. Floyd Mayweather dicked me around for ages. Sure hope Manny doesn't!
Plan A: Floyd Plan B: Manny

Frankly, these are questions well worth asking. For what happens if Manny loses again? The answer to that is quite simple, really. Manny will either retire immediately or just fade away, Douglass MacArthur style. There are worse things that could happen to the man, of course.

Joe Frazier, after all, is rightfully still seen as an icon, even if he came up short two out of three times against Ali. Frazier didn’t end up going out in epic fashion, he just quietly left the sport after a failed comeback in 1981. No one could take away Frazier’s accomplishments then however, just like no one can take away Manny’s accomplishments now. It must be pretty nice to have such massive achievements to fall back on, when you think of it.

But who out there is to definitively say Manny will fall apart in the ring from here on out? What if he comes back and wins early next year? And what if he keeps on winning after that? What if Manny actually does the extraordinary and starts beating far younger men who by right should handle him easily? What, in short, if Manny becomes the next Bernard Hopkins?

Hopkins Push Ups
Could Manny be the next ageless wonder?

Is such a feat even possible? Perhaps, though it seems unlikely. Hopkins, after all, has been a defensive wizard while Manny has been a high speed human wrecking ball. And wrecking balls hit things. Hard. So hard that they unquestionably start to mark up after a while.

Pacquiao has taken some bruising shots in his time, most famously from Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth go round. That sort of thing leaves marks on a fighter – and not just on the outside. Hopkins may be grizzled, but it’s hard to argue that he’s taken nearly the punishment Manny has. An old car in prime condition is still a car in prime condition. It’s just older. But an older car with serious wear and tear on it is another story.

Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez
Did this leave permanent damage?

Regardless of what happens at this point, though, Pacquiao clearly does not want to go quietly into that good night. That sort of thing may have worked for a guy like Marvin Hagler, but it’s just not for Manny at this point. Plus, let’s face it, Hagler’s loss to Leonard was controversial. Manny, on the other hand, clearly got bested by Floyd. Hagler could still say Leonard never really beat him and roughly half the public would agree with him. Unless it comes out that Floyd was seriously doping before the May 2nd matchup, Manny will have no such luxury.

One luxury Manny does have, however, is the knowledge that people love him. And I mean, really love him. His fun fighting style, his unique demeanor, his seeming humility, it all just works with the general public. If there was one thing that was true in the insane hype leading up to Manny’s battle with Floyd it was this: the two men are completely different from one another.

People want (or, rather, wanted) to see Floyd be beat. Manny, on the other hand, was – and still is – a fighter people love to see in action. Floyd, let’s face it, is amazing to watch. Yet Pacquiao is fun. Unless you’re the guy on the receiving end, Manny at his best makes you smile and shake your head in a kind of awe.

Can Manny still
Does Manny still have his magic?

That sort of thing hasn’t been common since the prime of Tyson and people aren’t going to be willing to see it go away so soon. In other words, the public, by and large, will be eager to see Manny return. Will he be as popular as he was? Of course not. He was bested by another fighter who was clearly more skilled (at least on that particular night, the only night that mattered). Still, the man can thrill when he’s on, and people like thrills when they tune into a prize fight.

In the end, Manny can probably stick around for as long as he can entertain an audience. And even when he’s unable to do so any more, the guy will remain in the public’s good graces. He may have lost to Mayweather, but there’s little doubt that, in many ways, Manny Pacquiao still rules the world.    — Sean Crose

10 thoughts on “Manny Rules The World

  • September 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm
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    Great article. Manny is an attraction as long as he’s around. He has an Ali like aura and charisma. And as long as Bob Arum can keep boxing interesting in China, there’s still money to be made.

    But fighters like Brook, Khan, Crawford, Garcia, even a guy like Provodnikov are younger, bigger, and stronger. In Lee Wylie’s Tao of Roberto Duran video, he pointed out how Duran went from brawler to a defensive and cerebral boxer. Could Manny do the same? Does Manny have the legs or, more importantly, the boxing IQ to stay on the outside or even use a southpaw Philly-shell maybe? Manny can wear guys down with his hand speed, footwork, and angles. In the Floyd fight, Manny was actually more successful catching Floyd reaching while feinting and darting in and out of range. What if he had decided to let Floyd take lead and he had stayed on the backfoot?

    I’d like to see it. Would his legend grow even bigger if he beat the rest of the young soldiers who are looking to take the last king off his throne? Or he could start his comeback with some unfinished business with Marquez and make a statement? Whatever he decides to do. It’s all eyes on him now.

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    • September 17, 2015 at 11:19 am
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      MANNY IS A DISGRACE TO BOXING! HE’S A CATCHWEIGHT KING, PED SHAKE DRINKING FAKE! PREACHING COMPLAINING LYING LITTLE MIDGET CONTROLLED LIKE A ROBOT BY BOB ARUM! HE’S SPITEFUL ABOUT LOSING AND GETTING CLOWNED BY FLOYD AND KO’D BY MARQUEZ AND NOW HE KNOWS HE CAN ONLY FIGHT REMATCHES CAUSE BROOK, KHAN, PORTER AND THURMAN WOULD BE TOO MUCH FOR HIM! PLUS, HE STILL OWES A LOT OF MONEY! SO DO US A FAVOR WACKYIAO AND JUST……….. RETIRE FOR GOOD!!!! LOL

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      • September 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm
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        Hi Jay, are you having a bad day?

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      • September 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm
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        You’re an idiot bro, you have no idea what you’re talking about!!

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      • September 20, 2015 at 2:43 am
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        Wow, really? You must’ve been a great fighter in your time. What was your name? I hear your wife calling better get those dishes done.

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  • September 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm
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    manny should come back and fight the guys Floyd dodge because pac is no coward like Floyd.

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  • September 18, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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    Have you just learned how to type? Cuz I’m amazed youre already on the Internet!

    Reply
  • September 20, 2015 at 12:23 am
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    PAC to me, is a great fighter, future hall of famer, and should fight the top fighters. Danny Garcia, Brook, Thurman, and retire…

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    • September 20, 2015 at 1:55 am
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      Let’s say Manny has 2-3 or even 4 at the most fights left in him. What if he finishes his career with fights again Garcia, Thurman, Crawford? Maybe throw Khan or a rematch with Marquez somewhere in there. That’s a strong list of fighters on the back end of a long career. Manny’s the type of fighter who’s constantly looking for the next challenge. I hope his first fight back won’t be a tune-up fight. He has plenty of time to recover and train. Maybe start his return against Khan? Khan’s chin is always a factor and with his new hitting and holding style, I haven’t seen him sit down on any of his punches. Another factor is big money on the table if they held the fight in Dubai. The Prince has been wanting to host a big name fight for quite sometime now. Boxing is back on the rise again. It is far from dying. There’s a world full of talent ready to be showcased. Now that “Money” is out of the picture, boxing can go back to being a gentleman’s sport. Less greed and more game. Manny’s definitely got the bullseye on his back now.

      Reply

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