Being tall does not mean that you have a large frame by default. It just means that you have long bones. There are many people who are quite tall, but have thin bones small in diameter. There are many people who were taller than Mike Tyson and yet competed in much lower weight classes. Tyson had the skeleton to box in the heavyweight division and could take a ton of punches from very big guys. A popular example of a tall guy with thinner bone structure would be Antonio Margarito. At 5’11” he competed in the 150 lbs class while Tyson was a heavyweight at 5’10”. Bone structure also plays a role in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. The popular powerlifter Ed Coan has a super thick bone structure, but is also quite short. This gives him enormous advantage over people who are tall and have thin bones. Coan is a perfect representative of good genetics which found the right place to shine.
The point I hope is becoming evident is that "how big" a fighter is should not be based solely on height (which in many occasions is what happens). Referring specifically to the case of Pacquiao, Nazeem Richardson said it best: "The best trick Pacquiao has pulled is making you believe he is smaller than you are." Sure the man is short compared to most if not all top fighters in the 147lb division, but if you were to look at x-rays of every fighter in the division, I'd put money down that he has the biggest skeleton in the division (in overall bone volume).
A "maximum muscular potential" calculator can also give an idea of what this post is about. Most of these calculators only use height to determine overall size, which is flawed because there's no way George Roop has the same frame as Cain Velasquez, despite both being similar in height. Since wrist circumference is a good indicator of frame size, I've found a max potential calculator that uses both height and frame, as you can see below:
Note how a 5'5 man with 8 inch wrists is actually bigger than a 6'0 man with 6-7 inch wrists. Now bear in mind that I've seen 6'0 men claiming they had 6 inch wrists and are well under 200 lbs, yet people treat them as "bigger" due to their above average height.
Obviously these formulas can't be 100% accurate due to human diversity, but they still prove the general point: a large framed short man is bigger than an average or small frame tall man (unless the latter is way above average height). For a big framed short man, look to Bert Assirati, who was a heavyweight catch wrestler and lifter. His measurements made him bigger than 6'4 men with average wrists:
On the other hand, a good example of big boned tall guys are those 350+ lb strongman competitors, but at that point the stamina isn't too great for cardio intensive activities, like combat sports or running. Even relatively smaller strongmen have to drop excess weight for fighting, let alone the giant ones, so bigger isn't always better. Speaking of which...
While I'm not an advocate of bowing down to size in today's civilized society, I would still like some logic from those who spew it, which is ultimately the point of this post. Many people would respect a small framed 6'1 man more than a bigger framed 5'6 man. Then they often claim the 6'1 guy is "bigger," and since humans respect bigger people more, they respect him more.
No, he clearly isn't bigger. Even when people try to use the "bigger is better" card (which wouldn't fly as an excuse for sexism), they can't play sizequeen correctly. It's only with height where size becomes a two-dimensional concept rather than three. Again, a little education never hurts, or else some people go through the rest of their lives believing the following:
"Taller individuals come with bigger frames that can accommodate greater weight and strength. The same training regimen will yield different results for a tall guy vs a short guy. No matter how strong a short guy can get, a tall guy can eclipse him with enough effort."I'd better get my short ass back to work, before my 6'0 125 lb friend with low testosterone and skinny bones eclipses me. In all seriousness, I politely educated the person I quoted above about this, so it's not all bad.
P.S. There are other factors in this equation, like lower testosterone or faster metabolism. If a tall guy has either or both of those traits, that would also hinder his size against a shorter man who has the opposite. Not like this or the frame size thing would stop people from assuming all tall men have more potential than all short men.