By Ken Hissner: Though Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao has been inactive since August of 2021, losing to former WBA Welterweight champion Yordinas “54” Milagros” Ugas, he is still being mentioned today about coming back once again. So he can still be considered in the modern class of P4P boxers.
Pacquiao is a six-division world champion, and though 44, he is still talking about fighting again though a political figure in the Philippines. His wife has expressed being against his fighting at this age and has always hated being at ringside when he does, but this has not stopped him from continuing his career in the past.
There have been numerous articles on pound-for-pound (P4P) boxers, and I will mention a dozen of them and include Pac Man not necessarily in any order, and I’m sure those who comment will either add or criticize my list. The point of this article is Pac Man will always be one of the best, in my opinion.
Most people favor “Sugar” Ray Robinson as the P4P best in the history of boxing, with a record of 174-19-6 and 109 knockouts. Like too many boxers, he fought well past his prime and was a 2-division champion when it meant something. He was 41-0 when he lost to Jake LaMotta, 30-5-2, whom he would go onto defeat four times, and didn’t lose until he lost to Randy Turpin, 40-2-1 when he was 129-1-2, which he reversed in his next fight.
3-division champion Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong, 149-21-10, is another who, past his prime, lost to Robinson. First of two heavyweight champions Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-3 with 52 knockouts held the record in his division of 25 defenses.
The other called himself “The Greatest” in Muhammad Ali, 56-5 with 37 knockouts, was an Olympic Gold Medalist and 3-time champion.
One who never became a champion only to draw in a title fight was Sam “The Boston Bonecrusher” Langford, 178-30-38 with 126 knockouts, only second to Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore’s 132 record knockouts was certainly one of the very best.
Middleweight champion Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, 108-8-3 with 49 knockouts and having only one eye, was the only boxer to defeat future heavyweight champion Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney, 65-1-1. Featherweight champion Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep, 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts, was one of the all-time best defensive boxers. On my list, I would include Pac-Man at this time.
Flyweight champion Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde, 131-3-1 with 98 knockouts, was probably the best “little man” in the history of boxing. Though he last fought in 2005, 3-division world champion Julio “J.C.” Cesar Chavez, 107-6-2 with 85 knockouts, is another.
Olympic Gold Medalist and 5-division world champion “Sugar” Ray Leonard, 36-3-1 with 25 knockouts, I would pick over but include in this list 5-division champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., 50-0 with 27 knockouts. I’m sure I will get some flack for saying that. Since Mayweather’s record mainly includes him, then Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, 49-0 with 43 knockouts, would also make the list of “12” p4p boxers.
Let’s get back to the Pac Man and why he is considered one of the all-time best. His record is 62-8-2 with 39 knockouts. In December 1998, he won his first world title at Flyweight. In June of 2001, he won the Super Bantamweight title. In March of 2008, he won the Super Featherweight title. In June of 2008, he won the Lightweight title. In November 2009, he won the Welterweight title. In November 2010, he won the Light Middleweight title.
Among those, he defeated include Marco Antonio Barrera, 57-3, twice, Juan Manuel Marquez, 42-2, three times, and a draw before being knocked out by him. Oscar De La Hoya, 39-5, Rick Hatton, 45-1, Miguel Cotto, 34-1, Antonio Margarito, 38-6, Shane Mosley, 46-6-1, Brandon Rios, 31-1-1, Timothy Bradley in a rematch, Jesse Vargas, 27-1, disputed decision to Jeff Horn, 16-0-1, Lucas Matthysse, 39-4, Adrien Broner, 33-3-1, Erik Morales, 48-4, Jorge Solis, 34-0-2, Oscar Larios, 56-4-1 and Keith Thurman, 29-0.
In June of 2012, I consider it disputed when he lost his welterweight title to Timothy Bradley, Jr., 28-0. He also lost the same title to Mayweather, Jr., 47-0.
I believe Pac-Man has earned being one of the best in any era. He will certainly be inducted into the IBHOF when he retires after five years.