SEVEN WORTHY FOES TO CHALLENGE PACMAN
By Reni M. Valenzuela
Boxing should have learned its lessons even before history repeated itself.
Except for some greedy and carnivorous pockets, what is something good for the sport and fight fans that can come out of a ring brush between a living legend in his prime and a future hall-of- famer at the tail-end of his boxing career?
We are back to the fundamentals of sport after all is said and done reviewing the just
concluded May 7th farce at the MGM Grand.
Boxing as a sport must not lose it’s element of competition for competitiveness is one
of few things that cannot be compromised in any sport with the worship of King Darius’
bust or even a reverent bow at any alluring altar of the Golden Calf down the hill of
senseless revelry in the arena of game or fight mismatches.
Before Manny Paquiao would fully waste away as the emerging best and greatest boxer
ever (without questions), let him fight a good fight every time against a deserving
opponent who would pose a legitimate threat to his throne, at least in the people’s mind.
The fighter who would challenge the Pacquiao dynamo in the future need not be a
perfect goose with a paranoid “perfect” record like the extremely perfect dud Floyd
Mayweather Jr who does everything to run amuck in order to avoid the man who would
put a blot on his highly cherished and “unblemished” performance or non-performance in
The Pacman should be pitted against a respectable boxer who may even be actually
less competitive than his previous opponents yet can be regarded as an excellent choice
to bring suspense, thrill and excitement because of the fighter’s previous impressive
wins and outstanding resume sans awful “Sugar Shane-like” performances in his two
immediate past outings. One who is among the top and best in the current crop of
fearless gallant warriors, budding or veteran, until exposed otherwise as a meek boar after
figuring in a true mega battle with the pound-for-pound king animal of the ravenous
On such measurement, therefore, here qualifies Juan Manuel Marquez who in the past
fiercely engaged Pacquiao in two contested and controversial fights and who has been
chasing the man whom he thinks robbed him of two important wins in his boxing
career. But should they face each other again and tangle for a trilogy match-up, it must
be in a weight level somewhere between 137lbs and 142lbs or else the fight would be
another “bore one sided show” in favor of Pacman.
The boxing Bruce Lee has virtually outgrown almost every fighter in the welterweight
category and down the lighter levels. Thus here lies the wonder and succession of the
Pacman phenomenon. It is destiny’s beckoning therefore that Pacquiao has to move on
or move up and take some risk to face some real competitive challenges to his greatness.
David had no other choice but to fight and slay the giant monster Goliath at a time when
he encountered no dare in his lifetime bigger than tending a flock prior to the Goliath
Sergio Martinez, Mike Jones, Kermit Cintron, Victor Ortiz, Saul Alvarez and Marcos
Maidana or the knockout punching-ghost of Edwin Valero may likewise be worthy future
opponents for Pacquiao at varying appropriate times and weights.
Some “brave” souls within the circle of Team Pacquiao may shiver at the mention
of Martinez, Jones and even Cintron as prospective challengers for Pacman, but I
am confident nonetheless as a coward fight fan that Pacquiao would beat them all in
Outside of the seven or eight names mentioned above, any Pacquiao fight coming up
wouldn’t be any different to deflect from table scrapings to serve the continuation of
the sorry saga of a dying sport and cause the demolition of a legend’s underpinning to
declare him history’s best.