In a dazzling display of speed and strength, boxer Manny Pacquiao dominated Antonio Margarito on Saturday to capture the vacant junior middle weight crown — his eighth title in eight weight divisions. In the process, Pacquaio left his opponent badly injured, and burnished his reputation as the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world. Pacquiao's dominance against a taller, heavier opponent also prompted some boxing observers to go a step farther, and ask: Is Pacquiao the best boxer of all time? (Watch highlights from the fight)
Yes, he is the best: "Manny Pacquiao should be declared the greatest fighter of all time, even greater than Muhammad Ali," says boxing analyst Dennis Principe, as quoted in ABS CBN News. What sets him apart is his versatility. While other boxing legends established their greatness by "beating fighters in the same division, in the same weight level," Pacquiao demolishes "great champions who are heavier and supposedly better than him," and he does it over and over again.
"Why Pacquiao is the greatest, classiest fighter ever"
No, but he is one of a select few: "Manny Pacquiao, surely, has every right now to be considered among the top two or three greatest fighters of all time," says Kevin Mitchell at The Guardian. What the "little man" did on Saturday night to a much bigger opponent was "extraordinary in many ways" — his commitment to his craft went "beyond mere boxing." Sugar Ray Robinson was "probably" a better figher, but Pacquiao is "already worth his place among boxing's all-time elite."
"Manny Pacquiao takes his place among the greatest fighters of all time"
There is one man he still needs to face: "It's hard to argue" against Pacquiao's sparkling record, says Andreas Hale at DrJays.com. But among current boxers, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is still "the man to beat." The troubled fighter's "gaudy 41-0 record and boxing brilliance" could make him too much even for Pacquiao. And since the two have never met — potential fights have been delayed by drug-testing controversies — "the boxing world will have a hard time deciding which one is the best of this era."
"Does Manny Pacquiao need Floyd Mayweather to be the GOAT?"