The Five: The National sports team looks at the best and worst of Manny Pacquiao



Ahead of Manny Pacquiao’s final fight this Saturday against Timothy Bradley, The National’s Steve Luckings and Jon Turner look back at some of the best and worst of the boxing legend’s career.

• More: Luckings on Pacquiao's legacy

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1. Best knockout: Ricky Hatton

There are plenty of alternatives but in terms of two fighters ideally suited to face each other, Pacquiao’s two-round destruction of Ricky Hatton just edges it. Both knew only one way to fight: On the front foot and swinging. Pacquiao had Hatton down twice in the first round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas before a monster left hook finished the Briton off in Round 2.

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2. Worst designation: Eight-weight world champion

Winning a world title sanctioned by The Ring magazine should never carry as much weight as one sanctioned by one of the four major governing bodies: the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF. As confusing as the alphabet soup list of organisations is, the legitimacy of Pacquiao’s claim to be an eight-weight world champ deserves further scrutiny when you consider that the WBC Super Welterwight title, won via a majority decision against Antonio Margarito, was vacated by its previous incumbent.

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3. Best quote: On hooking up with Freddie Roach

Pacquiao’s alliance with trainer Freddie Roach has brought the Filipino fighter untold success. In his biography, he recalled his serendipitous first meeting: “My first time in United States, we came to San Francisco. And we decided to ride a greyhound bus going to LA. When we get to LA, my manager is looking for a gym that we can work at. And somebody told us that ‘Oh, there’s a gym there. The Wild Card Gym’. We went to the gym and we met Freddie Roach on that day. After that, that’s the beginning.”

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4. Best payday: $120m v Mayweather

Before the so-called “Fight of the Century”, Pacquiao was already making serious bank. He earned a reported US$23m (Dh84.4m) for his lopsided 2014 points win against Chris Algieri in Macau. But those figures are comparative peanuts to the cheque he cashed for fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 2, 2015, a 40 per cent share of an approximate $300m. A defeat would have hurt Pacquiao but the money he took home must have softened the blow.

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5. Biggest shock: v Timothy Bradley

Pacquiao entered the 2012 bout as the No 1 pound-for-pound fighter, undefeated in six years, and the WBO Welterweight champ. Bradley, an unbeaten American, was meant to provide a test but was not expected to win. Pacquiao dominated from first bell to last, only, that is not what two of the ringside judges saw, remarkably scoring it 115-113 to Bradley to hand the American a split decision victory. Pacquiao got his revenge in their 2014 rematch.

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