Fighter of the Decade 2010’s: Trio shortlisted, why Manny Pacquiao is NOT

Manny Pacquiao

Stephanie Trapp

World Boxing News revealed the shortlisted candidates for Fighter of the Decade with the previous winner, Manny Pacquiao absent from the trio.

Prior to the holiday break and ahead of the official announcement on January 7th, Canelo Alvarez, Andre Ward, and Floyd Mayweather got the nod.

Pacquiao was the fourth man of the initial ten selected, which also included Nonito Donaire, Gennadiy Golovkin, Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Deontay Wilder.

Despite a resurgence in recent years, the Filipino legend suffered four losses (two highly debated) through the ten-year stretch. Others, like Ward and Mayweather, remained undefeated.

Canelo only lost to Mayweather and has been one of the most active world champions of the period.

In 2010 at the turn of the new decade, Pacquiao was in formidable shape. Rightly recognized as the number one in the world.

Amazingly ending the year campaigning at 154 pounds after beginning his career at 105, Pacquiao beat Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. He looked invincible in the process.

Following it up with victories over Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez for a second time, Pacquiao would then endure a terrible 2012.

One of the most shocking robberies of all time against Timothy Bradley in June was followed up by THAT avenging knockout by Marquez.

‘The punch heard around the world’ put an end to a four-fight saga which gave Marquez the satisfaction he deserved for his efforts in the quadrilogy.

Bouncing back to defeat Brandon Rios, Pacquiao would then prove how much of a fluke it was that Bradley got the decision. Pacquiao dominated the rematch before sewing up and tying in a bow his trilogy with Bradley due to an 8-4 win across the board in 2016.

Before that, the mega-fight that took far too long to come to fruition meant Pacquiao had now suffered six losses. Floyd Mayweather eased to a points win in 2015 as Pacquiao nurse a shoulder injury in the most lucrative event of all time.

Since the reverse, and apart from another judging aberration against Jeff Horn, Pacquiao has gone from strength to strength like a fine wine.

Triumphs against Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman have Pacquiao riding high in the P4P rankings once again.


TWENTY YEARS

Just not enough to make the final panel of candidates.

There’s also the reasoning of labeling Pacquiao the best fighter of the last twenty years by handing him the award once again – consider.

So, without the presence of the ‘Pacman’, who will take over his mantle?

Find out on January 7th.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay