Game Over: Is the PacMan Era Finished?

Is Pacquiao’s Sub-par Performance The Beginning of the End?

Another option we considered was to declare the No. 1 position vacant and demand that the principals fight one another to determine the pound-for-pound king, which would’ve been the easiest way to deal with this dilemma.”

Michael Rosenthal, The Ring Magazine

Manny Pacquiao under trainer Freddie Roach has enjoyed an historic run of high profile victories.

Pacquiao’s exceedingly divisive majority decision triumph over indomitable Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez Saturday was remarkable on numerous levels. Marquez managed to turn in the pugilistic recital of a lifetime – at fully 38 years of age – Dinamita was simply splendid in waging an ultra-effective multi-pronged attack against the fighter who entered the MGM Grand as the consensus pound-for-pound #1 boxer in the world. Having said that & noting too that Marquez was always bound to cause Pacquiao a certain level of frustration stylistically on the evidence of their prior two meetings – something was unmistakably amiss with the Fighting Pride of the Philippines.

Forget largely non-instructive direct comparisons of the manner of & ease with which Floyd Mayweather saw off the JM Marquez challenge with the unambiguously less comfortable evening endured by Manny Pacquiao against the same opponent – boxing is always as much a stylistic clash as it is an athletic one. No, what concerns me more – from Pacquiao’s perspective – was the nonappearance of the explosiveness which was the hallmark of his historic roll call of victories over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey & Antonio Margarito.  This violent explosiveness rendered the aforementioned anthology of former world champions little more than extraordinarily well remunerated punching bags.

Twenty four years ago a similarly dormant classically expert pugilist strategically bided his time whilst an

Floyd Mayweather Junior

Floyd Mayweather was given much cause for optimism from Saturday's events at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

incumbent, reigning champion of the brawler/slugger vintage underwent the inevitable waning of his powers – a consequence of facing the entirety of the premium competition his historic epoch had to offer one after the other. One suspects Floyd Mayweather Junior may have undergone a qualitatively analogous internalized epiphany to that Sugar Ray Leonard had experienced ringside at Hagler vs Mugabi as he witnessed a formidable champion secrete signals suggesting his biological clock of sporting prominence was pulsating to its all too mortal conclusion.

Matt Hamilton, for ESNewsReporting!

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