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Posted at boxinginsider.com
By Scoop Malinowski

The legendary New York Daily News columnist/cartoonist Bill Gallo passed away this Tuesday at the age of 88.
Boxing was the favorite sport of Gallo, who, amazingly was still contributing work to the tabloid he has worked at for an astonishing seven decades.

Gallo wrote a column after watching the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito clash last November and was dazzled and awed by the performance of Pacquiao.

Here are some excerpts from Gallo’s column three days after the fight in Dallas, Texas: “…As soon as the bout started, it was amazingly apparent that the difference in weight would have nothing to do with the outcome. Nor did the 4-inch height advantage Margarito had over this brash Philippine Piston. All right, are you getting a bit of the picture? You want more, like how good is he as a fighter? Here it is, and you can quote: This is one hell of a fighter, the likes of which I haven’t seen since Willie Pep and Sugar Ray Robinson. Yes, those two whom I’ve always regarded as the best ever.”

“By the second round, Pac already had figured out how to beat this big man, who had his right hand cocked to throw at an unprotected chin,”  Gallo wrote. “Never happened. Nearly every time Margarito threw that right, Pac, with his shifty, inventive head moves, eluded the punch – the same one Margarito had used to score 27 knockouts.”

“It seemed so natural for Pac – every time Margarito would miss, like a flash came two pumps of Pac’s right to Margarito’s jaw, followed by a nice left half-hook, half-uppercut. Those were the kind of moves Pep and Robby used to make. To the eyes of a fight buff, it was an artful and beautiful performance. Round by round, the slaughter continued.”

Gallo, an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and winner of the prestigious James J. Walker Award from the Boxing Writers Association of America, was ready to compare Pacquiao with great prizefighters from other generations:

“With every good – let’s make that, great – fighter there are always comparisons. It goes way back to Jack Dempsey: Was he as good or better than Joe Louis? Was Joe Louis better than Muhammad Ali or Rocky Marciano? Who really was the greatest? Was it Ali?”
“Some fight guys might say Ali, but most still won’t hand him that special title. The thing in boxing is that when the greats are compared, it always winds up in some kind of a fierce barroom argument.”

“So now we have a gym full of great lightweights – we’ll just stick with this division for now – to compare with Pacquiao. Take these: Is he as good or better than: Tony Canzoneri? My opinion – better. Barney Ross? Better. Roberto Duran? As good or even better. What about Henry Armstrong, who held three titles at the same time? Wasn’t he in the same class in throwing punches in multitudes? Didn’t Armstrong fight somewhat like Pacquiao?”

“My answer: No. They are different fighters. While Armstrong would bury his head into his opponent’s chest, firing lefts and rights to the body and head, Pacquiao is a thinking, deliberate puncher who rarely misses. I see Pac as the better fighter.”

Gallo, then, in his column, asked himself the toughest question of all – if Pacquiao is the best boxer his eyes have ever seen?

“I’m going to wind this up by asking myself this question: Okay, Mr. Boxing Man, are you telling me this Philippine Dynamo is the best you have ever seen? Yes, in a very long time. And he might just be the man who will eventually put boxing back in the upper deck of sports. Believe me, this kid who aspires to be big in Philippine politics, with his perpetual smile and special brand of punching ability, is indeed the goods.”

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