i read an article saying pacman's greatness is approaching sugar ray's and ali's... what do you boxing fiends say to that?
I personally see greatness as a hierarchy; "great", then "legend" then "all-time great".
A fighter can prove themselves "great" in one of three ways. 1) Have a great record 2) Win great fights 3) Defeat great fighters. The "legend" combines all three of those into one fighter.
The "all-time great" needs to prove more. I have two criteria; 1) total dominance 2) pound-for-pound.
The most dominant fighter is the undisputed champion who defends against their (true, not alphabet) number one contender once a year. Many would cite longevity, but IMO it comes after dominance. Get to the top by defeating everyone, then stay on top by defeating the next generation of up-coming fighters.
To the all-time great, weight (within reason) doesn't matter. A fighter can prove themselves pound-for-pound in two ways. One is by moving up in weight and defeating bigger fighters. The second is the bigger fighter who stops the smaller fighter from successfully moving up in weight. Every heavyweight fight is automatically pound-for-pound due to the unlimited nature of the division.
Take most any traditional weight division, rank your all-time top ten. The fighters who rank 6-10 will have my 1st three criteria and a some balance between the last two. The 1-5 fighters will clearly have all five...
Manny is not quite there yet. He has a great record. He has defeated great fighters. He has won great fights. He has won alphabet titles at flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. He is the 1st fighter in boxing history who has won titles in four traditional classes.
But he has not yet been an undisputed champion which is tough to do in this era of multiple sanctioning bodies. More importantly, he has never defeated an in-prime rival that appears to be his equal.
A win over Floyd Mayweather would remove all doubt. But will the fight be made? Can the fight be made? In the old forum I talked about how to avoid a fighter. 1) I will fight him...for $100 million dollars 2) I will fight him...in my hometown for an 80/20 split if I can choose the ref and the judges 3) I will fight him...if I can re-write the rules. That last one sound familiar?
In the last post, I talked about potential fights for him. On paper, the Martinez-Williams II winner appears to be the ultimate challenge until you closely examine their losses. They'd be favored on size alone, but they're both beatable. Let's see 112, 126, 135, 147 and 160? Five traditional weight classes? Gull durn!
Outside of those two matches, he can go after the winners of both Khan-Maidana AND Bradley-Alexander. Then if Berto-Mosley can get re-signed, he can fight that winner too. Would that be enough?
He'd be favored over any of the six of them. But will he be around that long and can he stay focused? His dedication to training was discussed in the news by Freddie Roach prior to the Margarito fight, but how much of that was real and how much was psychological warfare?