Thursday, 13 September 2012 23:43

Manny Pacquiao | Why PacMan was Demoted in the Pound-for-Pound Ranking

Written by has placed WBC/WBA/RING Super Middleweight Champion Andre Ward in its No. 2 spot on its pound-for-pound list, demoting Manny Pacquiao to No. 3.

For the first time in 3 years, the No.2 pound-for-pound spot is not occupied by a fighter named Mayweather or Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather sits atop the list while Manny Pacquaio is now No. 3.

Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters ever and a true ambassador of the sport. However, the great PacMan, perhaps the most beloved active fighter in the world, has slipped a bit and we'd be remiss without taking action.

Some would contend the legendary Pacquiao, while occasionally showing flashes of his former self, no longer possesses the ring tenacity that helped spawn his meteoric rise.

Why Was Pacquiao Bumped?
The answer is simple. He hasn't been nearly as impressive as the unbeaten Andre Ward in both fighters' three most recent bouts.

Not long ago, Manny Pacquiao was a ball of furious fire who reeked havoc on opponent after opponent in division after division, slicing and dicing his way to boxing immortality.

However, the fighter known as 'Pac Man' hasn't scored a knockout since 2009 nor has he looked terribly impressive since 2010. Have we seen the last of the "blood-thirsty gentleman" who ended Oscar De La Hoya's career?

Pacquiao UD 12 Mosley, May 2011... Lackluster
Shane Mosley was competitive with Pacquiao until the Sugar Man was floored in the 3rd Round. After getting a dose of the explosive Filipino's power, Mosley went into 'survival mode,' refusing to engage with the onrushing Pacquiao. And while some argue the retreating Mosley's defensive posture was purely to blame for the lackluster bout, PacMan and trainer Freddie Roach blamed the Filipino's dismal performance on a injury.

I couldn't move because my left leg got tight" Pacquiao said. "It's a problem I have been having." Added trainer Freddie Roach: "He came back in the fourth round with muscle cramps in his left leg... It was a very gutty performance in my mind because of his leg."

Although Manny Pacquiao pot-shot Mosley on occasion and engineered a one-sided win over the Sugar Man, PacMan was unable to lay the smackdown on an outdated Sugar Shane.

Despite the uninspiring performance, Manny Pacquiao remained No. 1 in FightSaga's pound-for-pound ranking. After all, everyone is entitled to a poor showing and despite his age (40), Shane Mosley was a fighter of tremendous guile and, at 147 lbs, is not easy to look good against.

And unlike Alvarez vs Mosley a year later, an exciting, albeit one-sided bout where both fighters took risks, Pacquiao vs Mosley ended to a chorus of boos.

But despite the uninspiring performance, Manny Pacquiao remained No. 1 in FightSaga's pound-for-pound ranking. After all, everyone is entitled to a poor showing and despite his age (40), Shane Mosley was a fighter of tremendous guile and, at 147 lbs, is not easy to look good against.

Manny Pacquiao still No. 1

Pacquiao MD 12 Marquez, Nov 2011... Controversial
The time had come for Manny Pacquiao to convincingly defeat his arch rival, Juan Manuel Marquez - once and for all.

A top 10 pound-for-pound fighter himself, Marquez gave the Filipino slugger all he could handle for twelve rounds. And although Pacquiao won a close majority decision, many in attendance and in the media believed the Mexican deserved the nod.

Juan Manuel Marquez appeared to have Pacquiao off-balance multiple times during the bout and 'Marquez's punches appeared more accurate and and eye-catching than his foe's. And during the the middle rounds, Manny Pacquiao looked as tentative as he's looked in years, unwilling to engage Juan in an all-out assault and seemingly content to stay out of harm's way.

Marquez on the other-hand, jolted Pacquiao several times in the 4th, 5th and 7th Rounds. And while Pacquiao showed tremendous heart and a fantastic chin, he seemed to lack the tenacity he possessed in bouts one and two against Marquez.

Perhaps if Pacquiao had been victimized by another no-knockdown knockdown (a la Shane Mosley) we would have seen what an angry Pacquiao was capable of... at least for a round or two.

HBO polled a group of boxing writers and experts; 46% saw Marquez winning, 42% saw it a draw, 12% saw Pacquiao winning.

Due to Pacquiao's lackluster performance against Mosley and Floyd Mayweather's 4th Round knockout of then WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz seven weeks earlier, "Money" slipped into the top spot while PacMan fell to No.2

Floyd Mayweather No 1, Manny Pacquiao No. 2...

Bradley SD 12 Pacquiao, June 2012... Controversial Loss
On Saturday, June 9th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, Manny Pacquiao appeared to have successfully retained his title against Timothy Bradley but two of the three judges said otherwise.

Although Pacquiao vs Bradley may be the biggest perceived robbery in boxing history to date, the fight's result is still highly controversial. More importantly, most advocates for Manny Pacquaio, instead of insisting their man steamrolled Bradley, simply assert Bradley didn't do enough to win. In other words stating, "Although Pacquiao wasn't effective, Bradley was much less effective."

Moreover, there's a growing contingent of fans who, having seen the fight again, claim Bradley did enough to win or the bout was too close to call.  A viral video was released that showcases numerous pro Pacquiao flubs made by HBO's commentators leaving some fans second-guessing the competence and/or impartiality of fight analysts as well as the "robbery" that allegedly took place.

Furthermore,  we saw a rather inactive Manny Pacquiao for the first two minutes of most of the rounds morph into a ferocious, worker bee in the closing 45 to 60 seconds of each stanza.

Coincidence? Or was Manny trying to steal rounds by fighting hard the last 45-60 seconds of each stanza

Tim Bradley didn't do enough to beat an elite-level, popular champion BUT did Manny Pacquiao do enough to solidly his No. 2 pound-for-pound ranking?

Yes... At least temporarily.

Floyd Mayweather No 1, Manny Pacquiao No. 2...

Andre Ward

Andre Ward UD12 Arthur Abraham, May 14th, 2011

To begin the semi-final round of the Super Six tournament, the Oakland, CA, based pugilist was scheduled to face former Middleweight title holder "King" Arthur Abraham. Not only would Andre be facing one of the hardest pound for pound punchers in boxing, but he would also be facing a former champion in desperate search of a much needed victory after losing his previous two bouts to Andre Dirrell and Carl Froch.

Abraham came out aggressively and forced the action of the fight. But after the second stanza, the confident and poised WBA Champ seemed to adapt to Abraham's style and coasted to the final bell. Ward had earned another 12 round unanimous decision and improved his record to 24-0.

Andre Ward UD12 Carl Froch, December 17th, 2011
Against Carl Froch in December, Andre put forth one of his most impressive performances to date by consistently beating his elite opponent to the punch and smothering Froch's attack. Andre sat down on his punches more effectively and battered the rugged British fighter with short, compact combinations on the inside.

The 27 year old fighter kept the former WBC title holder at a safe distance when boxing from the outside, but used faster hand speed to beat-up the iron-chinned Brit on the inside.

Ward won a unanimous decision over the super confident, ultra-talented Carl "The Cobra" Froch to become the WBC, Super WBA, and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight Champion, as well as earning the Super Six Boxing Classic Championship.

Andre Ward TKO 10 Chad Dawson
Focused, well-prepared and determined, Andre Ward certainly came to fight against Chad Dawson - another elite, pound for pound fighter. He showcased an incredible will to win and showed fans once again he can effectively adjust to any fighter's style.

Given the caliber of his opponent, this may have been Ward's finest victory to date as he exhibited superior boxing skills and footwork, not allowing Dawson to get much going after Round 2.

In the tenth and final stanza, Ward unleashed a flurry of blows that buckled his foe before sending "Bad" Chad to the deck again. The fight was called off by referee Steve Smoger as Dawson, who arose from the knockdown, suggested he could not continue. Time was 2:45.

Floyd Mayweather No 1, Andre Ward No. 2, Manny Pacquiao No. 3...

Leroy Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.