Pacquiao Snubbed For Pound-for-Pound Recognition

Take the “expertise” of the boxing media with a grain of salt. Take pound-for-pound ratings with an even larger grain of salt. But the exclusion of Manny Pacquiao from pretty much every major pound-for-pound Top 10? That’s worthy of some righteous scorn.

The Filipino icon and multi-division world champ (and still WBA welterweight champ) was nowhere to be found in the ratings of Ring Magazine, ESPN, or the immensely self-important, self-deferring Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. Of the major media outlets, only Yahoo has Pacquiao in their pound-for-pound rankings at a conservative, but alright no. 7.

So, what gives?

These “experts” could make the case that Pacquiao hasn’t fought in 17 months. But that would make their universal inclusion of guys like Gennadiy Golovkin and Saul Alvarez, who’ve been inactive nearly as long, seem more than a bit hypocritical. And, honestly, in this age of Covid and considering all the craziness that has been going on the last 10 months or so, how can inactivity be held against anyone right now?

Could they be dissing Pacquiao for his recent body of work? If so, they’d be wrong. Pacquiao’s last fight was a victory over Keith Thurman, a consensus Top 3 welterweight at the time. He’s 4-1 in his 5 fights before that, with dominant victories over Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas, and Timothy Bradley. His lone loss in that span was against Jeff Horn and, if you cared to be honest about that one, it was a robbery– a dubious home field decision for the Australian. Meanwhile, fighters included in the Top 10, across the board, have done noticeably less. Not to point any fingers, but Oleksandr Usyk, for example, has done nothing but beat two heavyweight journeymen in dull affairs in two year’s time.

They couldn’t be disregarding and downplaying Manny’s pound-for-pound worthiness for his in-ring ability and/or performance. While there’s bound to be some slippage in a 40-year-old-plus fighter, Pacquiao has hardly looked old or tired in recent performances. As a matter of fact, he looked razor-sharp against Thurman and nearly impeccable against Broner and Matthysse.

Was it the loss (on paper) to Horn that did in his pound-for-pound status for the media folk? It can’t be that. Vasiliy Lomachenko just suffered a loss, yet remains on everyone’s Top 10.

With Pacquiao snubbed, it is especially egregious in the Ring Magazine rankings where Josh Taylor sits in the no. 9 slot, existing in the Top 10 rather than the first-ballot Hall of Famer. Taylor got that spot on the weight of a razor-thin decision victory over Regis Prograis last year and a small, small handful of quality victories over solid– but not illustrious by any stretch of the imagination– opposition.

The answer as to why Pacquiao is not ranked by these people may be painfully simple. These media “experts” know less about the sport than what they presume to know and are chronically swayed by whatever prevailing popular opinion that seems to be floating along among so-called boxing intelligentsia. They are distracted and distractible by any proverbial shiny object, “next big thing” that pops up in their line of vision. And, to make matters worse, they are almost all victims of lazy-minded group-think when it comes to what they feel and hold dear as “knowledge.”

Pacquiao Snubbed: Bottom Line

The bottom line, though, is that they’re wrong. If pound-for-pound is a “thing” and worthy of some level of seriousness, Manny Pacquiao deserves a spot on all Top 10 lists. Period.

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Paul Magno
Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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7 COMMENTS

  1. SCOOP MALINOWSKI a polish american boxing writers knew about AMERICAN BOXING CORRUPTIONS in general..Senator MP isnt an AMERICAN if so statue of Liberty long gone replacing a gigantic PACQUIAO statue with his LEFT arsenal.stretching towards mother RUSSIAn direction telling the whole world that PACQUIAO is indeed the True G.O.A.T. of BOXING…its all about AMERICANIZED citizenship No wonder why WEDDING RING MAGAZINE always at Snubbing mode vs PAC..let the heart of Billion fans around the Globe dictate whos legit P4 P GREATEST BOXER OF ALL TIME!!!

    PAUL MAGNO

    i respect you…for all.American Boxing Writer there in the US youre almost alone with your sincerity and real dedication of this Blood Sport. long live sir.PAUL!!

    • What is a general rule of p4p? for my take..an athlete who overcome an osbtacle greater than him ….meaning defeating an undefeated boxer, bigger then him and ten years younger, at age 40. Name a boxer in their list who have this criteria….none. It seems Pacquiao is mocking the sport of boxing due to his accomplishment at the age of 40 and those writers would not want to acknowledge his greatest……..The only writer who knows the sport of boxing and once acknowledgement is Mr.Magno

  2. It is safe to assume that these “experts” each have their own criteria of Top 10 selection, which, ultimately serves their personal agenda. There must be a clear unbiased standard rules to guide the selection process. It is a bit similar to the craziness of having a world boxing champion, but hey, there are other champions!! So which is which?

  3. Recognize that we are at the age of the internet where information, misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and lies proliferate. Unfortunately many “distinguished” writers have fallen into its web and happen to be in the position to propagate the “virus”. To rate the fighters, one must rely on checking the fighter’s accomplishments and fight resumé. Only there could you assess a more accurate rating than anything else. Paul Magno scores on this one.

  4. Paul Magno got it right. A lot of dirty politics in boxing and I am not surprised that it also happens inside the Ring Magazine P4P list. Manny deserves to be in the Top 10.

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