By: Sean Crose
Frankly, it lasted longer than anyone probably could have imagined. It seems like ages ago that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally answered the bell and battled a full twelve rounds (Mayweather, for those who don’t know, was awarded the decision win). That was supposed to be the high point, the climax of an entire age of boxing dominated by the two men. Mayweather, however, went on to fight UFC star Conor McGregor just a few years later in a bout that was nearly as big as the bank breaking 2015 affair with Pacquiao. And Pacquiao – well, he actually kept going until he beat a much younger man who was supposed to be one of the heirs to the throne he and Mayweather held.
Although he had one more fight after surprising a whole lot of people by besting Keith Thurman in 2019, Pacquiao can rest assured that he’ll be seen as one boxing’s elites for as long as people show interest in the sport. Pacquiao’s final loss – at the gloved fists of Yordenis Ugas this past summer – was also his final match. For the fighter known as PacMan announced Wednesday that he was moving on to greener pastures, namely the upcoming Filipino Presidential election. Fans will of course wish the man the best with whatever he does. His exit, though, symbolizes the end of an era. With Mayweather engaging in lucrative exhibition bouts, and Pacquiao looking to lead his nation, boxing can finally say farewell to two of the best in the game, and the period that defined him.
To be sure, the Mayweather-Pacqiuao era was frustrating. Fights, major fights, took forever to be made, if they were made at all. It was also an era where a new breed of fan appreciated the wheelings and dealings of money-first boxers than they did boxing itself. It’s something the sport deals with to this day, though fighters like Canelo Alvarez, and Anthony Joshua are hopefully signaling a desire among other fighters to buck the trend.
With all that being said, it’s impossible to deny the greatness of both Pacquiao and Mayweather in the ring. Both men were absolute masters, all time greats, and those who watched them fight were fortunate to do so. And, lets face it – Pacquiao in particular has been a hard man not to like. No one is perfect, but Pacquiao has always proven to be a true warrior – and a gentleman.
The guy will be missed.
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