Two idols fell off their pedestals in 2012.
It was a terrible year for Filipino Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO's) and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto (37-4-0, 30 KO's).
Both suffered defeats that brought them down from their virtually fixed spots in the pound for pound boxing's Top Ten.
Pacman, who was considered by many as a holder of the first or second spot on the list of active fighters in the world, lost this place when he suffered two upsets this year, the unpopular decision that favored the undefeated Timothy Bradley (28-0-0), and the knockout loss to Mexican Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Márquez (54-6-1), who got KO number 40 of his career by sending “Pacman” to a deep slumber.
“Junito” Cotto was ineffective against two undefeated fighters. On May 5th Floyd Mayweather Jr.(42-0-0), who many consider as the number one pound for pound fighter, got a clear unanimous decision win over the Puerto Rican boxer.
And on December 1st, the unexpected happened at the Madison Square Garden, where Cotto had been up until then invincible, Miguel Cotto succumbed to Austin Trout (25-0-0), who got a UD win and retained his title as WBA World light middleweight champion.
Pacman, who was also unable to validate his previous invincibility at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, lost his WBO Welterweight belt to Bradley, and on his fourth fight to Marquez he unleashed the demons of speculation on whether he was really deserving of the two wins and one draw on the previous three fights with the Mexican.
At the same time, Marquez became worthy, in all fairness, of the symbolic belt of “Fighter of the Decade” granted by the WBO.
Cotto didn't only lose his WBA World light middleweight belt to “Money” Mayweather but also the WBA Super World light middleweight title.
Pacquiao, at 34 years of age, must be inactive for at least 90 days, per the WBO rules, due to the spectacular KO that he suffered in the hands of Marquez.
It is possible that Pacman, who has given a lot of his attention in the past three years to his political career as a congressman in his country, will give serious thought to retirement as a possibility.
But the experts say Pacman is not done, he could still have a glorious comeback (and make money of course) in possible rematches with Bradley and/or Marquez (for a fifth time)
Cotto, at 32, is also facing the dilemma of possibly giving up the fist sport, at least as an active fighter, although as with pacquiao, a lot of analysts consider there is still a lot of ring history to write on Cotto's career.
2012 was a terrible year for these two idols, who fell off badly from their symbolic pedestals.