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Pacquiao Over Mayweather in Legacy Battle?

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By now, everyone knows about Filipino icon and multi-division world champ Manny Pacquiao taking on Errol Spence this coming August 21.

It’s an incredibly gutsy move by the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who is easing out the boxing door, into retirement, with his legacy as one of the all-time greats very well established. The man could’ve fought anyone in his last couple of fights, but he chose Spence, who is regarded by many as the top welterweight in the world and, at the very least, one of the two best. 

He totally didn’t have to bring the big, strong, prime Errol Spence into his life, but did so anyway.

Now, let’s turn to Pacquiao contemporary great and long-time arch-rival Floyd Mayweather and what HE is up to.

On June 6, the 44-year-old Mayweather, who’s been retired since stomping the UFC’s Conor McGregor in 2017, will be facing YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition pay-per-view. 

So, yeah, there’s kind of a big difference between Manny’s world and Floyd’s world right now. 

While Manny readies himself for a true battle with one of the present tense greats, Floyd is still fuming over getting the cap snatched from his head by Logan Paul’s brother, Jake, at a recent press event. 

All of this begs the question of legacies and of which fighter trumping the other when it comes to legacy left behind in the sport.

Mayweather holding a win over Pacquiao in direct competition makes a strong case for Floyd over Manny in the legends’ legacy competition. But post-prime Mayweather over post-prime Pacquiao is not necessarily the be-all, end-all factor in the “who has the greatest fighting legacy” debate.

Since the two faced off in 2015, Mayweather’s only fights have been against Andre Berto, Conor McGregor, an exhibition blow-out of a Japanese featherweight kickboxer, and now this Logan Paul fluff event. 

Pacquiao, meanwhile, has beaten Keith Thurman, Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthysse, and Adrien Broner. His lone loss in the post-Mayweather run was against Jeff Horn via what many see as a very controversial decision. And now, of course, he’s signed on to face Spence. 

If he manages to score the upset over Spence, there will be a very strong argument for changing that modern date greats pecking order and placing Manny over Floyd, regardless of what happened back when the two fought. Even a dignified loss to Spence could make that argument, honestly, as he’d get much credit for just signing on to try and topple the 11-years-younger two-belt welterweight champ. 

Mayweather, meanwhile, is clearly not trying to add on to his competitive legacy anymore. Now, it’s all about the victory lap for him, using his name to build up his retirement nest egg even more with nothing but easy money fights. 

That’s totally okay. Floyd has every right to enjoy his retirement however he likes and pick up paydays wherever he wants. He just shouldn’t expect to remain no. 1 of his generation if the no. 2 keeps adding heft to his own legacy.

And can you imagine if Mayweather somehow gets clipped and stopped by the nearly 20-years-younger and 40 lbs.-heavier Logan Paul? Or even if he has a tougher time than expected against the YouTube personality and novice boxer? That would be a disaster for the Floyd Mayweather legacy.

Mix that in with a Pacquiao upset victory over Spence and there’s definitely a direct path to Pacquiao overtaking Mayweather, definitively, as the top fighter of this modern era. Something like that was not much of a realistic possibility a few years back. 

Yet here we are at that point, just a couple of tweaks in reality away from that happening. There are some murmurs among fans and media that it’s already happened.

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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

15 comments

  • Apollo Francisco says:

    American view: Mayweather beat Pacquiao…
    The rest worldwide perspective: Pacquiao really won despite shoulder injury…
    and as to legacy: Pacquiao’s honor is intact, Mayweather’s hilarious and contemptible; that’s why the world loves Manny in and out of the ring…

    • Dustin Todd says:

      Does anyone recall how many of these goofy fights Ali had? Joe louis had? Rocky marciano had. But Floyd only one getting killed over it. He is retired he is not a professional boxer anymore he has said that time and time again. And Pacquiao did not choose spence. He chose Mickey Garcia and another guy 2 weight classes below him. Pac man’s plate getting empty so he ended up with Spence people need to look at the truth of these stories

  • burningfeet says:

    Pacman has earned the greatest debate between he and Mayweather in my mind! Mayweather seems to have allowed his desire for “easy money”to have got the best of him! Logan Paul, really?!?!?!

  • Victor Olaiya says:

    Mayweather can not be compare with Manny. Period

  • Kenneth Carter says:

    Manny’ can have that title…but Manny will have to live with the fact that mayweather beat him unanimously …..also Manny has 7 LOSSES and 2 draws and a brutal knockout……. FLOYD? 50-0 ….NO BRAINER

    • Jiv says:

      the thai retire with 54-0. I doubt Mayweather won the with Pac. Money just ran counter ran counter and ran. Pac was all over him the whole fight. though it may look that money was having him. but no. Review the fight so many times.

  • Threeline says:

    Floyd is 50-0 and has beaten the best. There is no more comparison of the two. If Pav wants to keep fighting then that’s on him but that doesn’t mean Floyd can’t he doesn’t want to. You going to have people who will always say Floyd and some that always say Pac. It’s great barber shop talk just like LeBron vs MJ.

  • Lorenzo Ortiz says:

    Mayweather beat a few of the best, decisioned Mosely, De la Hoya, but not at their best. Decisioned Canelo when Canelo was young and new to world class competition. Great management, yes. Decisioned Paquiao, yes, an injured Paquiao. Decisioned Castillo, well . . . Mayweather GOT decision, yessss – on judges’ choice. Is he a Greater fighter tha Paquiao? Are you kidding? Get real.

  • Brian says:

    You can’t compare Floyd Mayweather to Pacquiao because he has beaten the best & never lost unless you just hate him for the successful career.

  • Zingisa Cawe says:

    Lol!…. Your hate of Floyd must cloud your judgement….. What else must Floyd do to prove himself?…… Please give Floyd a break…… He has retired from boxing and onlyy do exhibition fights…. Cmon?!

  • Dean Wilkinson says:

    Manny is still and will always try to fight good fighters … He wouldn’t go no wear near those 2 Joker’s no matter how much money was on the line … Manny gives so much back to his people so Manny has it for me

  • Wex says:

    Only those who doesn’t know anything about boxing says that Mayweather is better than Pac. Nuff said.

  • Amadeo Emmanuel says:

    Floyd is the clown or joker of boxing he makes himself hilarious choosing unheralded or accomplished fighters. College graduate vs Kindergarten imagine

  • Trav says:

    Floyd cemented is legacy by beating his archrival in decisive fashion. Nothing Manny has not done or will do will ever change that. There are Manny worshippers and some media that would love to change that fact. But they can’t

  • Mayweather beat Pacquiao, and the current pound for pound number 1 in canelo and Pacquiao has been knocked out

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