MANILA, Philippines – Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao sees his upcoming welterweight fight against Shane Mosley not only as a title defense but also a chance to affirm his status as the top pound-for-pound (P4P) boxer in the world.
With rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. on inactive status, boxing observers see Argentine champ Sergio Martinez’s steady rise to stardom as a threat to Pacquiao’s standing.
This is why the Filipino superstar is highly motivated going into the Mosley fight.
"Inspirado ako dahil ang pound-for-pound rankings ang nakataya sa aming laban (I’m inspired to fight since my pound-for-pound ranking is at stake)," Pacquiao said in his Philboxing.com column, "Kumbinasyon."
"Ang tawagin kang pound-for-pound king ay isang napakalaking karangalan para sa isang boksingero. Lahat ay naghahangad, pero bibihira ang nagkakamit niyan," the 32-year-old boxer added.
(To be called pound-for-pound king is a big honor for any boxer. Everyone tries to get it, but only a select few have).
Pacquiao remains No. 1 in most P4P rankings, including those of The Ring Magazine and Yahoo! Sports.
However, the Argentine boxer now looms over Pacquiao after his recent victories against Paul Williams and Serhiy Dzinziruk.
Martinez knocked out Williams in just 2 rounds to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight title in November last year.
After being stripped of the title, he stopped Dzinziruk in 8 rounds for the WBC Diamond middleweight crown.
He is ranked No. 1 by Ring Magazine and No. 2 by Yahoo! Sports.
Pacman eyes KO
Pacquiao is currently training in Baguio City for the Mosley fight.
"Ganado ako sa darating kong laban... nakataya ang aking WBO welterweight belt (I’m very much motivated for the fight… my WBO welterweight belt is at stake)," he said.
Pacquiao said he wants to be known as the first boxer to knock out Mosley.
The Filipino said he cannot afford to underestimate the 39-year-old Mosley because of his speed, punching power and vast experience.
"Hindi ko maaaring maliitin ang aking kalaban. Lalo na ang gaya ni Mosley, bukod sa dati siyang kampeon, beterano na, mautak pa. At kailanma’y ‘di pa na-knockout," he said.
(I never underestimate my opponent. Especially Mosley, who’s a former champion, boxing veteran and intelligent fighter. He has never been knocked out.)
"‘Yan ang mga motivation ko sa labang ito (That’s what keeps me motivated)," he added.