Pacquiao loses little in defeat
I have not met a single person who felt that Timothy Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao in their recent WBO welterweight showdown, proving Abe Lincoln's theory that you can actually fool all of the people some of the time to be correct.
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Pacquiao battered and banged Bradley around the MGM Grand ring, only to come up short on the scorecards.
Quite how C.J Ross and Duane Ford could have watched that fight and had Bradley a 115-113 winner at the end is beyond me. It was a result that did precious little good for boxing. But promoter Bob Arum won't be complaining. Nothing sells like controversy and old Bob of course will no doubt promote a rematch between the pair.
My main gripe with the decision, other than it being absolutely outrageous, was the fact that the lustre has now gone off a potential fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
A few years ago those two could have shared well over £100million for getting it on. However with Pacquiao now 33 and coming off a defeat, and Mayweather currently languishing in a prison cell while serving time for domestic violence, the fight looks further away than ever.
It's a shame as their inability to box each other has hurt the sport that made them who they are today, hurt the fans who have been denied a bona fide Super Fight, and hurt the respective legacies of both men, who are surely now nearing the end of their fine careers.
They will both retire as very wealthy men and God willing will retire with their faculties intact. However they, nor the public, will ever truly know just who was the greatest fighter of their era, a charge that can't be levelled at the likes of 'Sugar' Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali or 'Sugar' Ray Leonard.
As things stand Mayweather and Pacquiao remain at the top table of our 'pound-for-pound' list, and truth be known I was never tempted to demote 'Pac Man' after such a controversial defeat.
Manny just doesn't seem to be able to pull the trigger as he once did in fights, and it's fair to say that he has not looked truly devastating since he pummelled Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Mayweather had his struggles against Cotto last time out, but he still retains his killer speed and those worldly defensive smarts.
Elsewhere Nonito Donaire consolidated his place on our list with a workmanlike win over the game Jeffrey Mathebula recently.
'The Filipino Flash' combines speed, power and athleticism beautifully but he seems to have lost a bit of sparkle up at super-bantam. When he wiped out Fernando Montiel in 2011 Donaire looked to have the world at his feet. However his last three fights at 8st 10lbs have been distance affairs and one gets the feeling he needs another major challenge to get his juices flowing again.
Jorge Arce would be a fun fight while it lasted but the fighter I would like to see him in with is Guillermo Rigondeaux.
The Cuban southpaw has only had 10 fights but he's 31 with a wealth of amateur experience behind him. He's also WBA world champion at the weight after an effortless stoppage win over Teon Kennedy in June.
It would be a fan-friendly fight and given how Pacqiuao and Mayweather have failed to come up to scratch against each other it's a fight boxing's long suffering fans deserve.
Finally, it seems I can ignore Wladimir Klitschko no longer. The opposition may be questionable but the bottom line is 'Steelhammer' is looking unbeatable right now.
He may be 36 but he is ageing like a distinguished Merlot and looked as good as ever as he outclassed Tony Thompson (again) in Switzerland recently. He put on a boxing clinic against David Haye before that and Haye's recent stoppage win over Dereck Chisora makes Wlad's win against 'The Hayemaker' look all the more impressive.
His mechanical, safety-first approach will never win him many fans outside of Germany and Ukraine, but he is a finely tuned fighting machine who looks as though he can go on dominating for as long as he wants to in the sport.
Bradley himself gate-crashes the 'pound-for-pound' party off the back of his 'win' at the expense of Yuriorkis Gamboa, whose career is being ruined right now by contractual bickering and inactivity.
Sportinglife.com pound-for-pound world top 10:
1 Floyd Mayweather
2 Manny Pacquiao
3 Andre Ward
4 Juan Manuel Marquez
5 Sergio Martinez
6 Nonito Donaire
7 Miguel Cotto
8 Wladimir Klitschko
9 Timothy Bradley
10 Carl Froch
Honourable mentions: Chad Dawson, Brandon Rios, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Yuriorkis Gamboa.