Other than the most freakish fans of Floyd Mayweather Jr., nearly everyone regards Manny Pacquiao as the pound-for-pound king -- and for good reason. Pacquiao, the idol of the Philippines, is an active fighter who has regularly faced the best available competition for the past several years.
Pacquiao, with speed and power in both hands, has done everything a fighter can do -- and done so in electrifying style. He has also personified the notion of "pound-for-pound" by winning even as he has moved way up in weight. From flyweight to junior middleweight, Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win belts in eight weight divisions, including a record four weight classes in which he has also claimed the lineal title. There are a lot of titles and divisions these days, but if it was so easy to do, wouldn't everyone be doing it? So far, only Pacquiao has.
His accomplishments have earned him three fighter of the year nods in four years from ESPN.com, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. The BWAA also voted Pacquiao as its fighter of the decade (2000-09), a most deserved honor.
Maybe he can't actually go back in time and fight the greats of yesteryear, but Pacquiao would at least be competitive with any fighter in history in his weight classes. And as a consolation, he can at least give us the one fight we all want to see, against Mayweather. Now we just need to get Mayweather to agree to it.