Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao may have won his third match against Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez last November 13, but he lost his pound-for-pound king title in two sports media outfits.
In the recent rankings published by ESPN and Sports Illustrated—posted on the web on November 17 and November 14, respectively—Pacquiao has dropped to second place.
He was replaced by undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
ESPN's Dan Rafael noted Pacquiao's performance in his match against Marquez:
"Pacquiao looked confused at times and lacked snap on his punches in a less-than-stellar outing. It just wasn't the kind of performance we have come to expect from Pacquiao, especially in light of the fact that Marquez had been wiped out by Mayweather in 2009 in his only other welterweight fight."
On the other hand, the sportswriter praised the "hits" made by welterweight titlist Mayweather when he knocked out Victor Ortiz in September.
Rafael wrote, "Even after 16 months out of the ring following his near shutout of Shane Mosley in May 2010, Mayweather returned to action on Sept. 17 and showed not the slightest bit of rust. Still fast and possessing great defense and underrated power, Mayweather knocked out Victor Ortiz (albeit in controversial fashion) in the fourth round to reclaim one of the titles he had previously given up."
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix wrote, "the inconclusive outcome undercut [Manny's] standing in SI.com's pound-for-pound ratings."
Mannix added, "Bob Arum says a fourth Marquez fight should (and could) be next, but most fans would rather see a showdown between the fighters who rank 1-2 on virtually every pound-for-pound list."
He was, of course, referring to the long-anticipated match between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr.
STILL NUMBER ONE. While Pac-Man slipped to second place on ESPN and Sports Illustrated, he also "barely" retained the top spot in the pound-for-pound ranking of The Ring magazine.
In an article posted on The Ring website on November 15, Michael Rosenthal argued, "Pacquiao has accomplished more than Mayweather in recent years. The Filipino is 9-0 against big-name opponents since the beginning of 2008; Mayweather is 3-0 in that time."
Rosenthal added, "And you can't say that Mayweather should supplant Pacquiao because he defeated Marquez more easily. That doesn't take into account styles and strengths. Plus, Pacquiao beat Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya more easily than Mayweather did."
The three media outfits may have different opinions on who the real pound-for-pound king is, but they all hope that the issue between Pacquiao and Mayweather will be settled inside the ring.
Rafael said, "Mayweather should be next, and it's going to have to be up to Pacquiao to stand up to Arum and tell him to make a deal. Period."