Editorials

Ranking the Top 10 Asian Boxers of All Time

1. Manny Pacquiao

Photo by: Vincent Yu

Years Active: is a Filipino professional boxer (1995-Current)

Professional Record: 58-6-2

Titles: WBC Flyweight (112), Lineal Flyweight (112), IBF Super Bantamweight (122), The Ring Featherweight (126), WBC Super Featherweight (130), The Ring Junior Lightweight (130), WBC Lightweight (135), The Ring Junior welterweight (140), IBO Junior welterweight (140), WBO Welterweight (147), WBC Super Welterweight (154), First to win five lineal championships

Known as the Pacman, Manny Pacquiao is an aggressive southpaw with tremendous hand speed, explosive power in either hand and impeccable footwork. He is a pressure fighter that attacks from different angles and adapts very well to his opponents’ fighting styles. It is this combination of gifts and strengths that has allowed Pacquiao to win more titles and at more weight divisions than any fighter in history.

Pacquiao is the first and only eight-division world champion, winning 10 total world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes.

Pacquiao was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s (decade) by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). He is also a three-time recipient of the Ring magazine and BWAA “Fighter of the Year,” winning the award in 2006, 2008, and 2009, and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011.

Still considered one of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxers after a long, distinguished career, The Ring Magazine currently ranks Pacquiao No. 7 on top 10 pound-for-pound list and has been on this prestigious list longer than any other active fighter.

Pacquiao captured his first world title on December 4, 1998 by scoring a eighth-round knockout over Chatchai Sasakul, winning the lineal and WBC flyweight championship.

Pacquiao’s big break came on June 23, 2001, when he stepped into the fight as a late replacement against IBF Super Bantamweight title holder Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. Manny scored a sixth-round TKO to win the title, his second major boxing world title

On November 15, 2003, Pacquiao defeated Marco Antonio Barrera by 11th round TKO in a fight that many consider the defining moment of his career. Manny won the lineal and The Ring Magazine featherweight championship, making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a three-division world champion in doing so. He defended the title twice before relinquishing it in 2005.

On March 15, 2008, fought Mexican boxing legend Juan Manuel Márquez in a rematch of their first fight from four years earlier, which ended in a disputed draw.

Pacquiao won via split decision, winning the WBC super featherweight and The Ring Magazine super featherweight titles, making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a four-division world champion.

On June 28, 2008, Pacquiao defeated David Díaz in lightweight division via ninth-round knockout and won the WBC lightweight title. With the victory, Pacquiao had now become the first and only Filipino and Asian to be a five-division world champion.

On May 2, 2009, Pacquiao scored a devastating second-round knockout against Ricky Hatton, perhaps the most spectacular of his career, to win The Ring Magazine and IBO light welterweight titles. In doing so, Pacquiao became only the second man in boxing history to become a six-division world champion.

On November 14, 2009, Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto via 12th round stoppage to win the WBO welterweight title, was awarded the WBO super welterweight championship title and became the first seven-division world champion in history.

On November 13, 2010, Pacquaio outclassed former welterweight and light middleweight champion Antonio Margarito by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC light middleweight title, earning a world title in his eighth-weight class.

In February 2015, it was announced that Pacquiao would fight undefeated American, Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2, 2015.

Billed the “Fight of the Century,” the long-anticipated bout between the era’s two signature boxers brought in a record purse via gate receipts and pay-per-view buys. Despite fighting with an injured right shoulder, Pacquiao gamely went after Mayweather, but was unable to land many effective punches. He lost a unanimous decision to drop his record to 57-6-2.

Pacquiao confirmed that the April 9 rubber match with Timothy Bradley would be his last fight.

Pacquiao was long rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by most sporting news and boxing websites, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Ring Magazine from his climb to lightweight until his succession of losses in 2012.

He has a record of 18-4-2, 8 KOs in world title fights and 20-5-2, 10 KOs against former or current world titlists, including some boxing legends: Erik Morales (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez (twice), Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Marco Antonio Barrera (twice).

There are great fighters and then there is Manny Pacquiao. The only man to win a world title in eight-different weight divisions.

The greatest Asian boxer of all-time? There is no question who should top this list. Pacquiao has no peers. Pacquiao is inarguably the greatest, most talented and accomplished fighter to come from the continent of Asia.

It is very doubtful we will see the likes of him again for years to come.

Photo by Vincent Yu

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