MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing legend Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao continues to fall in most pound-for-pound lists after his stunning sixth-round stoppage loss to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8 in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao dropped to No. 7 in ESPN's pound-for-pound ratings, putting him behind Marquez and countryman Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire.
ESPN's Dan Rafael notes that despite the loss, Pacquiao was still part of a "great fight that did big business," as the Marquez fight did about 1.15-million pay-per-view buys and generated a gate of over $10 million.
"Pacquiao can find solace in the fact he still leads the series, 2-1-1. Even though Pacquiao... lost in decisive fashion, it just made a likely fifth fight in 2013 that much bigger," Rafael said.
But Rafael also said that "it is clear (Pacquiao's) best days are gone at this point."
"Nothing lasts forever, including the PacMan, whose potential historic mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. went down the drain as soon as Marquez landed that right-hand KO punch," he said.
"Sure, Pacquiao and Mayweather may still someday meet, but the significance of the match and the overwhelming worldwide desire for it is shot to hell."
Meanwhile, Marquez rose to No. 4 in the pound-for-pound lists.
"Marquez wanted the (Pacquiao) fight desperately, and he landed the shot heard 'round the world," Rafael said. "It was a great fight and ended with one of the most memorable one-punch knockouts in boxing history."
Donaire, meanwhile, is ranked No. 6 and Rafael believes “The Filipino Flash” has put together a 2012 campaign worthy of Fighter of the Year honors.
"For the year, Donaire was the busiest elite fighter in the sport, notching four victories against four quality opponents," he said. "And to top it off, he did it all while being the only fighter in the world to embrace 24/7/365 random blood and urine testing."
Mayweather remains the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, followed by world super middleweight champion Andre Ward and middleweight champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina.
Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is at No. 5. Unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. is ranked No. 8, while Vitali Klitschko is at No. 9. Super middleweight champion Carl Froch completes the top 10.