BOXING analyst Ed Tolentino believes newly crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight Manny Pacquiao is still “70 percent good enough to come out victorious against big opponents in the future.”
On Sunday, the 37-year-old Pacquiao recaptured the WBO welterweight title through a unanimous decision win (see story on C1).
But the eight-division world champion is no longer the fighter he was before scoring knockout after knockout victories six years ago.
“Manny (Pacquiao) is no longer the fighter he used to be but his depreciation has not been that alarming,” the boxing analyst and commentator Tolentino told The Manila Times on Sunday.
The last time Pacquiao scored a knockout was in 2009 against Miguel Cotto.
“He will never be that reckless again after the (Juan Manuel) Marquez holocaust, that is why the knockout didn’t come versus Vargas. But Pacquiao even at 70 percent is still good enough to win fights against some big names,” he added.
Tolentino referred to Pacquiao’s loss in 2012 when he was knocked out cold by Marquez.
Tolentino also agreed that Pacquiao’s dethroned 27-year-old opponent Jessie Vargas (27-2 win-loss record with 10 knockouts) is not in the elite class of boxers or not in the same level of Pacquiao (59-6-2 record with 38 knockouts).
“Jessie Vargas fought the best fight of his career, but he was up against a legend and clearly his best was not enough,” Tolentino said.
He said Vargas’ powerful right hand wasn’t enough to conquer the legend during the fight.
“Pacquiao neutralized the right hand of Vargas with great footwork and back steps. The speed of Manny was evident throughout.”
Tolentino said Pacquiao would be good for at least two more fights next year.
“Several names have been mentioned, like (Terrence) Crawford, Marquez and a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Even Vasyl Lomanchenko has been mentioned. For me, Marquez and Mayweather will do,” Tolentino said.
“Bob Arum said two more fights in 2017. If I were to pick two fights, it would be Marquez and Mayweather. He doesn’t need other names. Manny needs these two names to settle unfinished business in closing out his legacy,” he added.