As inspiring as Many Pacquiao's 2008 boxer of the Year campaign was, his 2009 campaign exceeded it.
In 2008, he frame the best challenger of his career,Juan Manuel Marquez,at junior lightweight;moved up to lightweight and beat a top-10 man in the partition,David Diaz;then jetted up two more weight classes to bang out the most famous challenger of his career,Oscar De La Hoya.His year was compared to what one of the top five or so best fighters ever,Henry Armstrong,achieved by hopping from featherweight to welterweight in 1938 and holding the championships in all those divisions at once, and the comparison wasn't extremely foolish.That's a good year.
But it wasn't as excellent as what Pacquiao did in 2009.And when you compare better and worse, you have to come up with reasons for how something's better or worse. It's true that many, me included, don't think Pacquiao beat Marquez, even though it was a close fight and I have no grievance with the outcome.It's true that Diaz was an under talented overachiever who didn't even have to "win" his alphabet title belt it was handed to him because a sanction organization just flat stripped someone else of it and it's the least exciting of the many belts Pacquiao has won. It's true that De La Hoya was weight-drained and aging.That's still a really nice year. Beating Marquez ain't easy.De La Hoya was the betting favorite,and Pacquiao retired him. Diaz -- OK, not greatly there, but Diaz did better than De La Hoya,so there's that.
posted by Boxing Articles at 9:55 PM