Manny Pacquiao dispatching Antonio Margarito to win his eighth world title was barely a surprise. And neither is the renewed call for a Pacquiao fight against Floyd Mayweather.
The long-rumored megafight would be the biggest bout in boxing in a decade or more, and would rescue Pacquiao from a string of fights against lesser competiton that have seen the Filipino champion dominate his opponents despite giving up weight and reach. "Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito" or "Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley" is the hallmark of a good fight featuring an already legendary athlete; "Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather" would pit two modern titans in one of the biggest sporting events in recent memory.
Watch video of Pacquiao-Margarito, and it's clear that while Margarito is very good and was game all night, Pacquiao is the king of this moment in boxing, with only Mayweather a threat to his throne. And if Mayweather, facing four felony charges, can stay out of jail and avoid making off-color statements in Ustream rants, he remains Pacquiao's only worthy rival.
Mayweather is rightly protective of his undefeated record, earned against opponents who couldn't pierce his impregnable, magnificent defense. But if Mayweather continues to shrink from a fight against Pacquiao, he won't be able to defense his legacy from charges of cowardice fueled by vanity and arrogance.