What if Wednesday: Manny Pacquiao does not challenge Lehlo Ledwaba
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 02, 2016 04:48 PM
Is Manny Pacquiao an eight-division world champion if he never took the Ledwaba fight on two weeks notice? (AP)
Manny Pacquiao fought many important fights throughout his illustrious career.
His first bout with Marco Antonio Barrera? That made him a star.
His trilogy with Erik Morales? That made him more of a complete fighter.
His division conquests of David Diaz, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito? Those pushed him to the record books.
His "Dream Match" against Oscar Dela Hoya? That made him a global icon.
His awesome rivalry against Juan Manuel Marquez? That made him legendary.
But perhaps Manny Pacquiao's most important fight that often gets overlooked is his US debut agaist Lehlo Ledwaba of South Africa for the IBF super bantamweight world title.
Without that fight, we might have a completely different view of the Pacman today.
Hear us out for a while, what if Manny Pacquiao never accepted the Ledwaba fight on just two weeks notice?
We know the story, Ledwaba had no challengers as fight night approached and Pacquiao, the no. 6 contender pounced on the opportunity.
But what if he didn't? It was an easy decision not to take that fight on such short notice against the most-feared 122-pound champion in the entire world.
While he already met trainer Freddie Roach, if Pacquiao did not take the Ledwaba fight, who knows if their partnership would grow into what is today.
If Pacquiao did not take that Ledwaba fight, we'll go ahead and say that the fighting pride of the Philippines won't win eight world titles in as many divisions.
Instead, Pacquiao would have still found success, he's a great fighter anyway, but not a huge as what he has today.
But the "Manila Ice" right hand never would have developed and he would have lost the trilogy to Morales.
Without Roach and not evolving to the complete fighter he would have become, there would be no dream match against Dela Hoya, certainly no fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and no political career for the Pacman.
He would have been right there with the number of great world champions we have like Gerry Penalosa and Flash Elorde although he would not have been considered as the greatest Filipino athlete of all time.
There are many factors as to why Manny Pacquiao became what he is today, but it would have been so much different if he did not take that fight against Lehwa Ledwaba.
HBO announcers certainly would not struggle trying to pronounce his name.