Manny Pacquiao had never been better: Never faster, never quicker, never more powerful on Fox PPV Preview, never more dominant on PBC Fight .” data-reactid=”15″ type=” text”>LAS VEGAS — There was a five-bout stretch in his career, from Dec. 6, 2008 until Nov. 13, 2010, in which Manny Pacquiao had never been better: Never faster, never quicker, never more powerful, never more dominant.
Promoter Dmitry Salita sees both sides of the sword this weekend with Franklin and Potapov’s decisions. Dougie’s Monday mailbag Pacquiao-Thurman, Daniel Dubois, Shakur Stevenson. No longer at his peak, Manny Pacquiao is surprisingly not that far off.
It was an “interesting” weekend for promoter Dmitriy Salita, who experienced both sides of the sword.
His hitter Jermaine Franklin got the W in a heavyweight scrap Friday evening on a ShoBox card co-promoted by Salita, from Tacoma, Washington, against underdog Jerry Forrest.
Did Franklin, a Michigan-based boxer, “deserve” the win? Seemed like the internet didn’t think so.
Oscar De La Hoya, which boosted Pacquiao’s stardom into the stratosphere.” data-reactid=”16″ type=” text”>It was a span that began with a stoppage after eight brutally one-sided rounds against Oscar De La Hoya, which boosted Pacquiao’s stardom into the stratosphere.
I hope everything’s well with you and your family. I’ve been thinking about Manny’s legendary career and what a win over Thurman would mean. Yes, at his age it’s a huge accomplishment to beat a younger champion who’s supposed to be in his prime or at least near it, but let’s not kid ourselves, Keith Thurman is not “great”. He’s a good champ who’s managed to stay like a champ because he hasn’t faced the elite (Errol Spence and Terence Crawford) and has actually taken a lot of time off.
Then, the sword flipped over. On Saturday, in Newark, New Jersey, on a Top Rank card topped by Shakur Stevenson, Salita’s fighter Nikolai Potapov (20-2-1; age 29) did good work against the favored Joshua Greer Jr (21-1-1; age 25) in a bantamweight mashup
He’s been buzzed by two average fighters, Luis Collazo and Josesito Lopez, and his victories over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter weren’t that impressive. Don’t get me wrong, this fight could catapult Keith into the next level, and if he beats Manny and then ends up fighting and beating Spence or Crawford then I’ll eat my words.
It included a stunning one-punch second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton on May 2, 2009, and the most thorough and complete beating Miguel Cotto ever absorbed, on Nov. 14, 2009.
But the judges didn’t as much agree. Greer won an MD-12, and so Salita today waffles between smiles and frowns, and rips up his membership card in the Judge Lindsey Page Fan Club (Page had it, 116-112 Greer).
As of right now though, Thurman is just another alphabet champion who really hasn’t proven to be great. So, I don’t know, do you think a victory vs Keith, especially coming off a shaky performance vs Lopez, puts Manny’s career at another level? Also, I wasn’t thrilled to hear that there was no VADA testing for this. Why?
The hope was that compelling victory over Cotto, who is likely to be elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2023 on the first day he’s eligible, would lead to a 2010 showdown with Floyd Mayweather. It would, sadly, take more than five years for that mega-bout to be put together. Neither man was nearly the same in 2015, when they fought, as they were in late 2009 when their camps seriously engaged in discussions about a fight.
I asked Salita, who also handles Claressa Shields and Jarrell Miller (with Greg Cohen), about that. Not overly surprising, he thought more of Franklin’s showing than it seemed the masses who weighed in on social did.
Now the fact that I favor Manny to win this might be the same kind of thing that happens to a lot of us when we see a great older fighter matched with a younger one, we think of him as if he was still in his prime. Against Adrien Broner, Manny looked good, but he was nowhere near the fighter he was even when he fought Tim Bradley the third time; the Lucas Matthysse fight was also a mirage as Lucas was way past his prime.
With Mayweather going elsewhere, Pacquiao continued his onslaught, rolling through Joshua Clottey on March 13, 2010. He finished the five-fight skein by battering Antonio Margarito in an even more brutal beating than he’d given De La Hoya.
He was 5-0 with three knockouts and moved up to compete in three weight classes.
”I felt that Franklin won a close fight and Potapov lost a fight he dominated,” the Ukrainian-born and Brooklyn-based deal-maker said.
I still do like the style matchup and I think Manny has enough speed to at least make Thurman uncomfortable (given that ever slower fighters have been able to touch him). Coaching will also be a factor, I know Freddie sees something in Keith and that’s the reason they accepted this fight and would never ever even look at a guy like Crawford (even though they had everything perfectly set up for that).
The counter to this argument is that Manny doesn’t throw as many punches than before and that his legs have seen better days, yet, even at this stage of his career his movement is difficult to emulate and most fighters keep having trouble with his natural strength and ability.
It was without question Pacquiao’s greatest stretch and one of the most dominant stretches any fighter ever had. It was a period of one year, 11 months and eight days that has been unmatched in the last 25 years. Rarely has any fighter come remotely close to being as good or as dominant as Pacquiao was in that stretch.
You all can watch both the tangoes if you haven’t already, and make up your own minds.
Fight-writer Keith Idec pulled no punch in opining that he saw Forrest doing more in the heavyweight scrap.
It’s an interesting matchup on paper, Juan. Pacquiao is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, arguably an all-time great, but he’s eight-to-10 years past his prime. Thurman is an accomplished, unbeaten world titleholder who should be at or near his physical peak, but he’s only fought three times in the last three years.
Both welterweights are known for their speed, power, and mobility. I think their boxing styles and athletic abilities will mesh for a competitive, maybe dramatic crossroads match. I don’t think it will be an all-action bout because my hunch is that Thurman will box the same kind of power-punch-on-the-fly strategy he employed vs. Porter and Garcia. I also think that kind of fight is all wrong for Manny at this stage of his career.
De La Hoya is already in the Hall of Fame and Cotto will soon join him. Hatton has a shot to make it, and while Margarito and Clottey won’t, both were among the toughest competitors of their day.
That win over Margarito was nearly nine years ago, and Pacquiao paid a brutal price for that victory and the title he earned with it.
“I didn’t think it was that close,” Franklin (19-0; age 25) said after. “I won more rounds. I think you could give him a couple of rounds, but it wasn’t that close. Even when they said split decision, I knew it wasn’t that close. I wasn’t worried.”
But if Pacquiao defeats Thurman (as most fans and media believe he will), and he does so clearly or in dominance fashion, it would be a significant accomplishment.
I don’t think it would rank as his best victory, but it would be notable due to his age and I think fans, media, and historians will include it with his other elite-level “statement” performances (the stoppage of Marco Antonio Barrera, the draw and split-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez, the rematch stoppages of Erik Morales, the obliteration of Ricky Hatton, and the retiring of Oscar De La Hoya).
Margarito was far bigger — the bout was a physical mismatch, in Margarito’s favor — and he did his share of damage.
“Never again,” Pacquiao said to his team after that bout about fighting opponents that much bigger than he was.
This is a guy whose reputation has been built on his ability to leapfrog weight classes and appear as if he’d been in them all of his life.
“You heard the crowd,” Forrest said. “I don’t have to say what I think of the decision. Look what the crowd thought. He missed a lot of shots, but he threw a lot of shots and they gave it to him. He was supposed to win.”
Thurman’s speed and mobility will trouble Pac in return, and when Keith nails him, it will be with considerably more power than Broner, the faded Matthysse, Jessie Vargas or Tim Bradley hit him with.