Steve's Rant Of The Week: Manny Pacquiao Is Totally Overrated.

Steve IrwinCorrespondent IJune 18, 2009

LAS VEGAS - MAY 02:  Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines hugs promoter Bob Arum after knocking out Ricky Hatton of England in the second round during their junior welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Is Manny a bit overrated?

Fighters with fanatic support often get over hyped. As opinions on boxers comes from the fans, and the more fans you have, the better boxer you generally are in their eyes.

Manny Pacquiao has lots of fans.

On the flip side, if you’re a neutral, who doesn’t really like or dislike him, it’s very easy to distinguish actual boxing fact and actual boxing hype.

Myth becomes fact.

So I thought I’d maybe give my take on his career, and the areas in which I feel he is overrated.

Firstly, Manny turned pro at 15 or 16. Which is a big problem I have with his “multiple weight” claim that he gets so much undue credit for.

He wasn’t only adolescent, but he was also fighting in the Phillipines, against club fighters. They were right on the fringes of being professional bouts, in terms of their class.

So Manny’s exploits at the very low weights amount to a child, fighting second rate club fighters.

I wouldn’t say Manny fought a living breathing opponent until he was 19, when he was fighting at Flyweight.  And that success was short lived, as he was blasted into next week by Medgoen Singsurat, 18 months later.


He skipped Bantam, to Super Bantam, and was nearly on the losing side again against Agapito Sanchez. The fight stopped in the 6th, because of an accidental cut, and declared a draw.


The cold truth being Manny was behind on 2 of the 3 cards at the time. And under today’s rules, he should have lost.


My real point about weight is his age. Most western fighters are amateurs as teens. Manny was never an amateur.


Aged 16, Floyd Mayweather was also fighting at 106 pounds. Aged 19 he was fighting at 125.  Aged 21 he was fighting at 130.


Guess what. Aged 16 Manny was fighting at 106 pounds. Aged 19, he was fighting at 115. Age 22 he was fighting at 125.


The differences aren’t huge. More the fact one guy was an amateur an amateur 16-19, the other was pro.


I think we can maybe call the 215 weight champion myth, debunked.

Secondly, I’m just not sure a lot of fans actually pay too much attention to a lot of his fights.

He probably should have lost so Sanchez. He probably should have lost to Marquez (1),  he was taken to school by a very good, but not peak Morales.

The justification it seems comes from the fact that he beat up on a shot Morales, and a shot Barrera.  Two guys that were pretty much finished at the real top end of boxing when he faced them.

The bread to his “has been” sandwich was Marquez, and again in the second fight, he probably got s bit of a lucky, “home” decision.

So if you look at Marquez’s actual record, below lightweight, in terms of peak opponents I’d say he probably lost to Sanchez, drew with Marquez, lost to Morales, and probably should have lost to Marquez again.

At the very minimum, they all could have gone either way. His exploits at the lower weights are therefore highly overrated.

So what’s he done since he spent most of the night walking into Marquez counters?

Well, he chose to face David Diaz at Lightweight. Without doubt the worst world champion I have ever seen.

Then came the Oscar fight. On paper, it seemed competitive. Bearing in mind that Oscar was probably going to be 20 pounds heavier than Manny in ring.  

The equaliser to the fact Steve Forbes nearly beat him a few months earlier.

But no, stop the press. It’s revealed that Roach has requested that Oscar steps into the ring no heavier than 147 pounds, as a pre-requisite to the fight.

A notion so ridiculous, even a year later I can’t believe it. Bearing in mind Oscar didn’t even enter the ring at 147 as a Super-Featherweight, 14 years earlier.

So what we had was the pfp number 1 taking on a shot fighter, who had been boiled down, so he was basically in the ring at the same weight as David Diaz 6 months earlier.

A guy who had struggled to even make the weight at 150, months earlier.

Next Hatton. A guy thoroughly exposed at the very top end by Mayweather, and who had 6 months before nearly been stopped by the great Juan Lazcano.

I just find it amazing how Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Ricky Hatton, De la Hoya are deemed “cherry picking” for one PFP number 1. But when another one comes along and fights even worse opponents, he’s setting the world alight!?

In conclusion, in terms of real peak, top fighters, I’d give Pacquiao:

Marquez 1

Barrera 1

Morales 1

Marquez 2

He drew and probably lost to Marquez. He beat Barrera. He was destroyed by Morales. And he got another boxing lesson by Marquez in the re-match.

Since then, he’s fought little of real top end quality.

And his reign as PFP number 1, has probably been a step below even Mayweather, in terms of level of opponent.

One of the most loved fighters of all time. But also one of the most overhyped.

He's come up short against most of the elite guys he has faced.


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