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Pacquiao: The Best Fighter In History?

Pacquiao: The Best Fighter In History?

11/16/2010

In the wake of Manny Pacquiao's dominating win over Antonio Margarito Nov. 13th at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, many boxing analysts have begun to wonder whether Pacquiao is more than the best fighter of his generation. They're beginning to wonder whether he is an all-time great.

Although it's tough to judge the historical implications of the fighting Filipino congressman, of the Sarangani Province, in the midst of his phenomenal career, one thing is clear: The eighth title in eight divisions Pacquiao won Nov. 13 puts him in a class all his own. Nobody has ever accomplished such a feat, and it's very likely no one will.

Here's a look at what some boxing experts are saying about Pacquiao's place in the history books:

-- ESPN's Dan Rafael opened an essay on Pacquiao's historical import with the question on everyone's mind: "Is there anything Manny Pacquiao can't do?

"Filipino congressman by day, legendary prize fighter by night, Pacquiao climbed another yet mountain and did it easily.

"When you watch Pacquiao ply his trade, you are not only watching the best fighter in the world -- and there is no question about it at this point -- you are watching one of the greatest fighters of all time."

-- Yahoo's! boxing guru Kevin Iole leads a think piece on Pacquiao's legacy with the following anectdote: "When Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said last November that he considered Manny Pacquiao the best fighter he’d ever seen, it seemed at the time as little more than promoter hyperbole.

"A successful salesman like Arum is always pitching and conjuring new ways to sell his next fight. Arum began promoting boxing in 1966 and handled legends like Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Julio Cesar Chavez.

After watching Pacquiao decimate opponent after opponent over the last two-plus years, perhaps Arum isn’t as batty as we all thought."

-- Fightwriter.com's Graham Houston observes in his post-fight wrap-up: "The win made Pacquiao the WBC’s 154-pound champion (although the match weight was 150 pounds) but clearly he could still make 140 pounds. He is a marvel to be compared with old-time great Henry Armstrong, who simultaneously held titles at three weights — 126, 135 and 147 pounds — in the 1930s."

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