Well, according to HBO boxing commentator and respected analyst Larry Merchant, the answer is a definite yes! In a recent HBO article, the 77-year-old Larry Merchant says, “Pacquiao is a freak in terms of his punching power. Pound for pound, Pacquiao is the hardest puncher in boxing, and when you can hit like that it sometimes makes up for shortcomings."
In a poll carried out by HBO, fans were asked to rate boxing’s hardest punchers. There were 18,000 hits, and guess what, the 29-year-old Manny Pacquiao came out on top! The Pacman garnered a whopping 29% of the total votes! The Filipino pugilist started out as a light-flyweight (107 lbs) but is now competing as a super-featherweight (130 lbs).
Next in line is heavyweight Vladimir Klitschko with 28%, followed by welterweight Miguel Cotto’s 21%, middleweight Kelly Pavlik’s 15%, and heavyweight Samuel Peter’s 7%. Larry Merchant feels that Manny Pacquiao could carry his punch to the lightweight (135 lbs) class for a possible fight against WBC Champion David Diaz or against welterweights Ricky Hatton (140) or Oscar dela Hoya (154).
Now, let me get this straight as a jab, Manny Pacquiao is expected to punch harder than anybody in the 135 weight class, right? And if the Pacman beats Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15, 2008 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and pummels both David Diaz and Juan Diaz, what then? What then what? Who wouldn’t want to see the Filipino boxer have a crack at either Hatton or Oscar dela Hoya? Now, that is a big-time attraction in my book! There’s money written all over such a possible fight! No kidding!
And if by chance that Manny Pacquiao losses to such bigger men? Pacquiao as the underdog? Hmmm. Better think twice and thrice, my friends! Pacquiao and Hatton are the same age, while Manny and The Golden Boy may possibly be a mismatch, particularly with respect to height (dela Hoya is 5’10 1/2"). However, but Oscar dela Hoya is 6 years older than Manny Pacquiao! Besides, Oscar would be fighting a big puncher, who everyone says is still very much in his prime.
What is important now is that Manny Pacquiao beats Juan Manuel Marquez. David Diaz and Ricky Hatton are possible next. Then it’s the Golden Boy, Oscar Dela Hoya, who I read somewhere is also keen on mixing it up with the Pacman before he (dela Hoya) calls it quits. And I can’t wait for such to materialize! And I kid you not!
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