Hats off to Boxing’s Manny Pacquiao

I have only good things to say about boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao right now – and not simply because he made it look so easy against Joshua Clottey a few weeks back.

Sure, he ran circles around Clottey, virtually pitching a shutout, but that was expected. After all, Clottey had already lost to Miguel Cotto, a man Pacquiao pummelled. He was an obvious mismatch.

What impressed me most about Pacquiao was his comment after the fight when asked about MMA. Instead of taking the well-traveled boxer route and bashing the sport, claiming he could crush any mixed martial artist, a-la James Toney and Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao honoured the sport.

He claimed that MMA, while too violent for him, is “a sport that should be recognized” and “a great sport.” He may be off about the “too violent” part; I argue that MMA is safer than boxing, as the referees do more to protect the fighters and combatants take far fewer head shots. But I’m thrilled to see Pacquiao give MMA some love.

It’s too bad that we won’t ever see Pacquiao in the cage. Considering that he’s won boxing titles in a zillion different weight classes, it’s only natural to wonder what kind of damage he could do if he learned some grappling and forayed into MMA.

For now, we’ll have to hold out hope for the other legends. Toney is taking the plunge, Roy Jones Jr. has hinted repeatedly that he wants to battle Anderson Silva (in boxing) and, of course, there’s Mayweather. I’ll settle for him and Pacquiao finally putting aside their differences and meeting in the ring, but it sure would be a treat to put Floyd in the Octagon. He’d be dangerous as can be on the feet and impossible to hit – not to mention a good heel for the crowd.

It’s all food for thought. But I think Manny Pacquiao is taking a step in the right direction by implying that boxing and MMA can co-exist.

By Matt Larkin
Guest Writer

Boxing Gym Toronto,  North York, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Thornhill, Vaughan, Woodbridge, York, York Region Ontario Canada.

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