by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress
LOS ANGELES – Famed Ring Magazine proclaimed Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao the No. 1 fighter pound-for-pound in boxing, according to their latest rankings.
The announcement by what is hailed as “the bible of boxing” was made on the heels of Floyd Mayweather’s recent retirement. Mayweather had held the throne since 2005.
With stellar wins against Mexicans Juan Manuel Marquez (twice), Erik Morales (twice) and legendary Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), the pound-for-pound label has long been attributed to Pacquiao over the years by most boxing pundits. However, the recent announcement validates his ring dominance.
“I’m so happy that I’m [named] pound-for-pound [the best boxer] right now,” said Pacquiao to the Asian Journal after a recent workout. “It’s because I have a lot of people supporting me especially my countrymen and of course, God. If it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be here.”
Pacquiao with a record of 46-3-2 (35 KO) currently holds the World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Featherweight Championship, and The Ring Junior Lightweight Championship. Second on the Ring rankings list is Super Middleweight Champion Welshman Joe Calzaghe, and third is Pacquiao’s nemesis Marquez. Bernard Hopkins and Israel Vazquez round up the Top 5.
Roach said upon hearing the news, he wasn’t stunned that his fighter topped the rankings.
“I always thought he was the best fighter anyways so it’s really no surprise,” added Trainer Freddie Roach to the Asian Journal. “He’s the most exciting fighter in the world.”
Pacquiao is training in Roach’s Wildcard Boxing club in preparation for his June 28 championship bout against WBC 135-pound title holder Mexican American David Diaz at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
A win would solidify the 29-year-old Filipino icon to even greater heights. He would become the first Asian and Filipino fighter to win four championship titles in four different weight classes.
Roach is not thinking about that historical significance. Roach expects Diaz to come out swinging come the night of the fight.
“We’re just working on the game plan right now,” he said. “David Diaz likes to fight… he’s a durable guy, who gets stronger as the rounds go by. We have to break him down, work the body early. It’s a process.”
Roach said he doesn’t expect the fight to go the distance.
“I’m expecting a late knockout.”