WHO’S THE NEW “POUND FOR POUND” CHAMPION OF BOXING?

MANNY PACQUIAO AND DAVID DIAZ FROM PRESS CONFERENCE AT MANDALAY BAY IN LAS VEGAS THIS WEEK

Manny Pacquiao and David Diaz fight for the WBC lightweight championship in Las Vegas this weekend. That fight will go a long way towards determining the new mythical “pound-for-pound” champion in boxing.

With the recent retirement of Floyd Mayweather, many boxing fans and experts are picking Pacquiao as the heir apparent to the title. Writer Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports recently received a ton of critical e-mail when he picked both Joe Calzaghe and Miguel Cotto ahead of Pacquiao on his best pound-for-pound list.

Pacquiao has not been as dominant in recent fights. He was mediocre in a split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in March. Nonetheless, Pacquaio defended his WBC super featherweight title. And, if he defeats Diaz tomorrow, it will be his fifth title at five different weight classes.

Pacquaio is the more experienced fighter (46-3-2, with 25 KOs) and has fought the bigger name opponents. He has won nine fights in a row despite fighting hall-of-fame competition. Pacquiao has not lost a fight since March of 2005.

Surprisingly, at 29, Pacquaio is actually three years YOUNGER than Diaz, With Pacquaio though it’s not so much the age. It’s the mileage. He has fought a lot of rounds with a lot of great fighters.

MIGUEL COTTO AT A RECENT PREFIGHT WEIGH IN 

Meanwhile, with the retirement of Mayweather, Miguel Cotto looks to become the world’s top welterweight fighter. He takes on Antonio Margarito at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas next month.

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