Manny Pacquiao is no doubt the most popular fighter right now and is considered by many as the best pound for pound fighter. As a result, he stands to make an enormous amount of money in each of his fights because of the respect he’s earned from the fans.
But how did he obtain the respect of boxing fans? It’s not only because of his skills, but his willingness to push himself to the limit and fight the best. Just look at some of the most respected boxers today and they share the same traits such as Shane Mosley and Paul Williams. As a result, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they are all multi-divisional champions.
Unfortunately, many fighters don’t share the same attitude. As a result, many of them are wasting their talents and destined to be on the long list of athletes to never reach their potential.
Sometimes when a fighter obtains a belt, keeping it as long as he can becomes the main goal. They become blinded by the fame and benefits that comes with being a champion and enhancing their legacy no longer becomes the priority.
But boxing fans are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans and usually spot a phony pretty quickly. The fans know that undefeated records, the number of belts or how long you keep them means nothing when it’s accomplished by beating mediocre opponents. Do the losses of Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali and Marvin Hagler diminished their accomplishments and legacy?
Although there are cases when a fighter is willing to fight the best, but is not willing to take more responsibilities as far as directing his career towards the right path or not willing to make concessions. He becomes too contented on relying on others such as the promoters and advisers to control their career and forget that at the end of the day, they are working for them.
Below are talented fighters, who must soon re-evaluate their career and stir it in the correct direction.
He may not be as explosive or physically gifted as Manny Pacquiao, however he shares some of the same attributes as his countryman such as speed, power and quickness. Also it can be argued that he is a better all around fighter and can definitely make a mark on the sport if given the chance to fight the best fighters in his division.
Nonito is on this list not because of his lack of desire to fight the best, but due to his inability to do anything significant since his win against Darchinyan. Since his win against the Darchinyan, he has spent his time fighting mediocre opponents and as a result, he remains a relative unknown even to many Filipinos.
Sure, Top Rank has failed to promote him correctly, just proven by the fact that he has not been included in any of Pacquiao’s undercard, which is easily the best method to display his skills to a wider audience and entice a top contender to share the ring with him. But at the end of the day, the fighters must also be held responsible for the direction of their careers. There are times, when fighters must ignore all the voices around them and make the decisions that they think is right for their career.
Nonito must be willing to make some concessions in order to convince another top caliber opponent to face him in the ring. Many fans are already frustrated by the constant breakdowns in 'supposed' negotiations with other top caliber opponents. According to some sources, many of the negotiations broke down because of money issues. If true, then Nonito might need to consider accepting less money to obtain the fights he wants because he will reap more benefits in the future. He is not a young prospect, who can afford to waste many of his prime years.
Holds the record of longest winning streak by winning 55 bouts in a row, but most of his victims were mediocre opponents at best. He is probably one of the biggest reason that many in the Philippines are asking the Games and Amusement board to be more proactive and alert in regards to Filipino 'patsies' being sent abroad to be slaughtered by top foreign fighters. When the best opponent in your resume is Hussein Hussein and Koki Komeda, it will be difficult for many to consider you as one of the greatest fighters of your generation. In fact, he may be the most protected fighter of his generation as proven by the fact that he fought three fighters in their pro debut from late 2008 to early 2009.
Can you imagine Pacquiao fighting a newcomer in the prime of his career? What made it worse was they were not even high quality prospects. He had no excuses either like Hopkins who toiled for many years in a division that lacked quality talent. Pongsaklek could have fought Parra, Arce and Darchinyan, who all had challenged him at one point or another.
Humberto Soto is currently the WBC lightweight champion and is considered one of the top fighters in his division. But since his loss to Joan Guzman, he has only fought one solid opponent in David Diaz. His list of opponents the past two years includes Francisco Lorenzo, Benoit Gaudet, Jesus Chavez and Ricardo Dominguez. Even hardcore boxing fans may not even be familiar with any of those fighters. With fighters such as Funeka, Guerrero, Katsidis and DeMarco, there are no excuses in him constantly fighting mediocre opponents.
Felix Sturm is a decent fighter, who is a three time world champion and currently the WBA middleweight champion. He once fought Oscar but lost via a controversial division. But he hasn’t gotten the respect usually given to three time world champions because many assume that he has been protected by Universum and avoided fights with the elite of the division. It’s hard to argue against the criticism since with the exception of Javier Castillejo and Sebastian Sylvester, he has faced no one notable in recent years. If he wants to be respected then he needs to fight the elites of the division including Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik, Sergio Martinez, Anthony Mundine and even Roman Karmazin.
David Haye is an exciting fighter no doubt with bricks on both hands, but he is nowhere the great fighter that he thinks he is. He boasted to everyone that he will bring the heavyweight division back in the forefront and bring excitement to the division. But so far, all he has done is contributed to the continuing disappointments in the division. He had a chance to fight each of the Klitschkos and backed out both times.
Instead he fought Valuev and the washed up John Ruiz. Now he is facing Audley Harrison, who has done nothing but underachieve in his professional career. He embodies the typical 'trash talker' all talk and no action.