By Mike Casey

The one curiously eternal strength of professional boxing is its ability to produce an exciting torch bearer in desperate times of need. That one special fighter can be of such charisma that he is able to single-handedly pluck us from the doldrums and restore our faith in the old game that we frequently love and hate in equal measure.

Thank goodness we have such a tour de force in our midst right now in the electric Manny Pacquiao. Such is my admiration for Manny’s swashbuckling style and commitment that I wish I could stop writing at this point and not venture into the guts of where he rates in an all-time perspective. Alas, to do that would be to ignore my editor’s brief. No, I am not about to shoot Pac down and tell you that he would have drowned without trace in an earlier era. I think he is a wonderful little fighter who has compiled a stellar set of achievements. I simply believe that there is a need to curb our enthusiasm and assess his current and future standing with a cool and objective brain.

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