For fighting steadily despite the occasional loss for the past 40 years, Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum has chosen eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao as Fighter of the Decade over undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 88-year-old international boxing promoter, who has been at his job since the 1960s, said no fighter comes close to the Filipino ring icon in terms of accomplishments for the past 10 years.
He picked Pacquiao despite his unanimous decision loss to Mayweather in May 2015.
“Fighter of the decade? I say Manny Pacquiao… because of [his] body of work throughout the decade, when he fought regularly; he fought all those fighters. He was the one guy that [during] the years that Mayweather retired or didn’t fight carried the sports,” Arum told The Manila Times in an overseas call.
“I don’t even think it is close; I don’t think anybody can compare to Manny as fighter of the decade.”
After losing to Mayweather, Pacquiao went on beast mode, winning five of his last six fights, including his conquest of Adrien Broner (unanimous decision) last January and Keith Thurman (split decision) last July under the Premier Boxing Champions of Al Haymon.
Under the wings of the Top Rank Promotion, Pacquiao won over American Timothy Bradley (unanimous decision) in April 2016 and Jessie Vargas (unanimous decision) in November 2016 before losing to Jeff Horn in a controversial unanimous decision in July 2017 in Australia.
But Pacquiao came back again with a spectacular seventh round technical knockout win over Lucas Matthysse in July 2018 in Malaysia.
“It is still Manny Pacquiao fighting. And that’s the important thing whether he’s fighting for Top Rank or fighting for another promotion, it’s still Manny Pacquiao in the ring. Clearly, he’s the fighter of the decade,” Arum explained.
Arum added that Mayweather did not fight so often unlike Pacquiao, and at the same time, Pacquiao has stayed competitive in the last four decades and expects himself to become a future member of the boxing hall of fame.
“Manny Pacquiao belongs to the greats and will go down with the greats,” he concluded.