Remember the outpouring of concern from a nation when Manny Pacquiao was pitched against Oscar De La Hoya back in 2008? One desperate leading Filipino politician decreed that the bout should be outlawed because the fight would endanger the life of Pacquiao.
Yet Pacquiao hammered De La Hoya into retirement. It was a one-sided drubbing. Bob Arum, his promoter, believes Pacquiao’s rematch with Timothy Bradley, in Las Vegas on April 12 – after the American won a highly controversial points victory in their first meeting – is Pacquiao's “most important fight since he faced De La Hoya”.
Arum offered some poignant thoughts to me one month ago on the 50th anniversary of Muhammad Ali defeating Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Arum promoted Ali in the Sixties.
Into his sixth decade in the sport, Arum has a close relationship with the Filipino, and believes that there are parallels between Ali and Pacquiao, who have both moved nations.
“I don’t think anybody could become as extraordinary as Muhammad Ali but in his way, for his time, I think Manny has the opportunity and the chance to be an extraordinary person who really affects millions and millions of people,” he told Telegraph Sport.
Click here to read the full story from Gareth A Davies, the boxing writer for The Daily Telegraph.