He puts on the kind of exciting performances that make people take note and he certainly has the public support and positive publicity to become an even bigger star, but as Manny Pacquiao achieves yet another milestone with his blow-out against Miguel Cotto this past Saturday, the call to place him among boxing’s all-time greats is louder than ever.
Now that the standing ovation has settled down, we can take a closer look at where Manny stands in history by looking at how his career holds up among his peers.
As a frame of reference, we’ll take a look at Pacquiao’s career compared to the previous Big Man on Campus, Oscar De la Hoya’s. We’ll look at Manny as compared to Oscar in the area of major championship bouts and title reigns, with a breakdown of titles, defenses and attempts at unification:
Flyweight– Beat Chatchai Sasakul
defenses- 1 (Gabriel Mira)
Super Bantamweight– Beat Lehlohonolo Ledwaba
unifications 1- (draw w Agapito Sanchez)
defenses- 4 (Jorge Julio, F. Rakkiatgym, Emmanuel Lucero, Draw with A. Sanchez)
Super Featherweight– Beat Juan Manuel Marquez
Lightweight– Beat David Diaz
Welterweight– Beat Miguel Cotto
Other notable opposition: Marco Antonio Barrera (2 wins), Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales (2-1), Oscar Larios
Record in officially recognized world title fights: 4-1-2
*It should be noted that, although not recognized as official world title bouts, Pacquiao beat lineal champs Barrera and Hatton at Featherweight and Jr. Welterweight respectively for the Ring Magazine title.
Oscar De la Hoya
Super Featherweight– Beat Jimmi Bredahl
defenses- 1 (Giorgio Campanella)
Lightweight– Beat Jorge Paez
unifications- 1 ( w over Rafael Ruelas)
defenses- 6 (Carl Griffith, John Avila, John Molina, R. Ruelas, Genaro Hernandez, James Leija)
Jr Welterweight– Beat Julio Cesar Chavez
defenses -1 (Miguel Angel Gonzalez)
Welterweight– Beat Pernell Whitaker
unifications- 1 (L against Felix Trinidad)
defenses – 7 (David Kamau, Hector Camacho, Wilfredo Rivera, Patrick Charpentier, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ike Quartey, Oba Carr)
lost title to: Felix Trinidad
Jr. Middleweight– Beat Javier Castillejo
unifications- 1 (w over Fernando Vargas)
defenses- 3 (Fernando Vargas, Yory Boy Campas, Ricardo Mayorga)
lost title to: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Middleweight– Beat Felix Sturm
lost title to: Bernard Hopkins
other notable opposition: Shane Mosley (2 Losses), Manny Pacquiao (L), Arturo Gatti
Record in officially recognized world title fights: 24-5
So, is Pacquiao ready to be tossed into the mix with names like Sugar Ray, Armstrong and Ali? The sober truth for the Pacquiao true-believers is “no.”
But he definitely stacks up with De la Hoya and that puts him at, or near, the top of modern day greats…and Manny still has a few fights left in him…Not bad for a skinny kid from the slums of General Santos City.