Popular Italian-American boxer Paul Malignaggi agreed with NYFightBlog.com Monday that WBA, WBC and The Ring super middleweight champion Andre Ward is a more complete prizefighter than the legendary Manny Pacquiao.
The website ranked Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) behind only WBC welterweight king “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather as the preeminent pugilist in the world.
Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), the first boxer in history to win 10 world crowns in eight separate weight divisions, is rated third overall.
“I think he’s a more complete fighter than Manny Pacquiao,” said Malignaggi, 31, a former IBF junior welterweight and NABO light welterweight titlist.
“Pacquiao is more offensive, but he can’t fight going back. He’s more of a killer offensively, and I think a lot of people fall in love with offensive killers. They see a guy who’s an offensive killer and automatically assume he’s a complete fighter. Of course, Pacquiao has generated a lot of positive press for our sport and that is something no one can complain about. But Ward can fight going forward, backward, inside, outside.”
The tough Brooklyn native then solidified his stance.
“I think Ward has a very good claim on number two,” said Malignaggi, who has emerged victorious in 30 of his 34 professional bouts. “It’s a mythical thing, an opinion thing but he’s got a great claim to that.”
Ward defeated two-time WBC super middleweight champ Carl Froch by unanimous decision to win The Super Six World Boxing Classic final last month at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Ward, a Bay Area native who became the first American to capture boxing gold in eight years as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, utterly dominated Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) from the outset.
Despite being an utterly reprehensible individual, Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), who has amassed nine belts in five different weight classes, deserves the accreditation he received.
Mayweather badly outclassed, and essentially embarrassed, WBA, WBO and The Ring lightweight king “Dinamita” Juan Manuel Marquez with a shutout unanimous decision triumph in September 2009.
In stark contrast to “Pretty Boy,” Pacquiao won an extremely controversial majority decision over Marquez (53-6-1, 38 KOs) in their third scrap November 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
At this juncture, Malignaggi is absolutely right that the 27-year-old “Ward has a very good claim on number two.”
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