World Boxing News has been inundated with requests to include Manny Pacquiao in the running for Fighter of the Decade 2010 – 2019.
As the nominees were confirmed last month, Pacquiao’s name did not feature alongside Canelo Alvarez, Andre Ward, and Floyd Mayweather.
Firstly, this led to WBN offering an explanation as to why Pacquiao, who won Fighter of the Decade for 2000 – 2009, was omitted.
Part of this reasoning, in a publication on New Year’s Eve, read as follows:
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.
It’s 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 – to consider.
Two days of the post being shared roundly on social media and beyond have been accompanied by several emails to WBN from worried fans.
Sections of two particular emails championed for the Pacquiao decision to be reversed.
One said: “First of all when you talk about a ‘Fighter of the Decade’, you must ensure that candidates would enter the decade a champion.
“They would continue to fight competitively through the decade, and end up a champion or still be a strong force to reckon with, by end of the decade. Not an inactive fighter through half of the decade.
“If Ward and Mayweather are to be included in your shortlist, I do not think Pacquiao should be excluded from your list.”
A second stated: “In my opinion, the fighter of the decade should only be given to fighters who are active the whole decade.
“Why call a fighter FIGHTER OF THE DECADE when a fighter is partially retired during that decade. That’s funny!”
Secondly, and going back to the original article, one of the major factors to consider is naming the ‘Pacman’ the greatest fighter of the last twenty years.
This is essentially what handing that mantle to Pacquiao would suggest. Something Mayweather would lay dispute due to having defeated Pacquiao convincingly (injury or not) in 2015.
If this ‘fighting the whole decade’ argument was also to be viable, Canelo would surely hold the most weight of the shortlisted trio. Would he not?
For example, Canelo has fought consistently for each year.
Therefore, the debate continues to rage on. WBN is set to reveal the final winner on January 7th.
Without a shortlist, a Women’s winner has already been decided. The victor will be confirmed at the same time.
Pacquiao has enjoyed an unbelievable career in the ring. The legend may well be taking home the WBN Fighter of the Year trophy for 2019.
Unbelievable an achievement in itself as Pacquiao celebrates being a world champion for a fourth successive decade.
The 1990s. The 2000s. The 2010s. 2020. Amazing. Pacquiao.