The world's greatest boxer is too great for his own good. He can't find anyone who will fight back.
What happens when you're such a good boxer, you can't find anyone else to fight?
Manny Pacquiao, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, is a man who fires punches at angles that many in the sport have never seen. But he is more than a master pugilist--he is a charismatic Congressman in his native Philippines with designs on the presidency. Pacquiao, who grew up in the streets, likes to say that he fights to give people some relief from their suffering. He wore yellow gloves during his bout on Saturday night to symbolize his unity with his country's poor. "He's not a fighter, he's an entertainer," says Freddie Roach, his trainer. But he was frustrated because he hadn't been able to entertain the crowd who were booing the lack of action in his bout with the American Sugar Shane Mosley. Pacquiao won in a unanimous decision and retained the welterweight championship and the mythical pound-for-pound crown, but he had a difficult time getting over the boobirds. "It's not my fault," said Pacquiao, a typically joyful man, as way of explanation. "Of course I am happy that I won the fight but my first concern is the satisfaction of the crowd. I want to give a good performance. I think he felt my power. But what am I going to do if my opponent doesn't want to fight toe-to-toe?"
Mosley, one of America's greatest fighters, had the unfortunate task of facing Pacquiao. They squared off in front of 16,412 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mosley is 39. He has been a professional fighter for eighteen years and he is a future Hall of Famer, but he seemed to forget how to throw punches. Was he past his prime? Yes. But he has always been considered "a warrior," boxing parlance for someone who will risk bodily harm to win and Pacquiao trained harder than for any previous fight with the expectation that Mosley would attack him with everything in his aresenal. The arsenal was empty. His jab was so timid that it looked like a father caressing his child's cheek. He landed 82 paltry punches to Pacquiao's 182. He blamed his performance to Pacquiao's speed and power, which he couldn't handle. Strangely, he also blamed a foot blister, which didn't seem to hamper his frantic backpedaling from the Filipino.