Manny Pacquiao’s chance of writing a feel-good underdog story ended May 2 when he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas. The fight produced two narratives: The undefeated American Mayweather solidified his case for being the best pound-for-pound fighter in history, and the fight took a toll on Pacquiao’s punching speed and power.
In fact, Pacquiao sparring partner Shawn Porter recently declared that the fight showed Pacquiao is a shell of his former self. He pointed to Pacman’s Round 6 knockout loss in December 2012, to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez, as the beginning of the decline.
“One reason obviously being that Manny had recently been knocked out in the last few years and he wasn’t the fighter he once was. I just think that Floyd had a great night and he’s proven himself to be a great fighter,” Porter told On The Ropes.
Although the 36-year-old Pacquiao proved he recovered from the Marquez punch with wins over Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri, his loss to Mayweather all but concluded his decorated career. Many still say Pacquiao's shoulder injury was largely to blame for the loss, but Porter stressed that Mayweather won the supposed “Fight of the Century” because of his defensive brilliance. He added that Mayweather's ring instincts and overall defensive knowhow outclassed Pacquiao.
Meanwhile, Porter has been making a name for himself, winning a unanimous decision over Adrien Broner in the “Battle for Ohio” tiff in Las Vegas. The fight was controversial due to a number of Broner’s wrestling tactics, but the 27-year-old Porter survived a last-round knockdown to take home the unanimous decision. With just one loss in his professional record, Porter (26-1-1) hopes he will eventually get a chance to challenge Mayweather.
“When I beat Adrien, the way that I do it, people will only be able to look at that and say, ‘Adrien’s got the same style as Floyd, he can be the one to beat Floyd,’” Porter said.