By Wilmar Patino:
Manny Pacquiao came into the states as a replacement fighter vs the champion Lehlo Ledwaba as a 10-1 underdog. Manny Pacquiao displayed his great speed and athleticism and captured the attention of the Boxing world that night by completely dominating Ledwaba. He would soon pummel his way to bigger fights. Facing off with Marco Antonio Barrera and stopping him in scoring a TKO in the 11th round.
Afterwards in what what would become 1 of 4 classic battles Manny Pacquiao went to war with Juan Manuel Marquez and came out with a draw, and 4 years later gave us another classic in winning a split decision. in between those bouts he fought the legendary Erik Morales in a close fight which he lost for the first time in the states. Of course, I can go on in great detail about every big fight he had, but for the sake of not making this article too long I’ll focus more on why we will remember him and the mark he left in the great sport of Boxing.
I may not know what you think of Manny Pacquiao as a fighter or a person, but I do know that he has given us all great exciting fights along the way. He beat Barrera twice and won 2 out of 3 vs Erik Morales. His biggest fight came against Oscar De la Hoya where he was a small underdog once again. As Manny Pacquiao was moving up in weight, and challenging the taller and what was expected to be bigger De la Hoya. Manny Pacquiao proceeded to destroy what was left of Oscar and had him quit on his stool.
In his next bout he took on Ricky Hatton for the lineal title at 140lbs. Ricky Hatton went in to that fight undefeated in that weight class looking to mix it up and make it a hellacious battle. What came after was the Knockout of the Year when Manny Pacquiao scored a crushing left hook to Hatton’s jaw. From the destruction of Miguel Cotto, to throwing over 1,000 punches against Joshua Clottey at Cowboy’s Stadium it seemed the legend would only grow bigger.
Manny Pacquiao had a tough battle vs the much bigger Antonio Margarito in a fight that showcased Manny’s beautiful boxing skills and combination punching. He endured damage but surely gave the fans what they came for. Manny Pacquiao would also become only the 2nd boxer to drop Shane Mosley on the canvas. Then there was the 3rd fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in which he would get a majority decision win. Some would dispute the victory either way the first 3 fights were all very close.
Who will forget the controversial loss to Timothy Bradley in a fight that many ring observers had Pacquiao winning comfortably. Yet he took a loss, and even then he was not afraid to immeditately take on Juan Manuel Marquez for a 4th time in what will become presumably the last fight in their saga. Manny Pacquiao came out very aggressive promising to be the first to stop Marquez. It seemed we were in for another great war as Marquez scored his first knockdown of Pacquiao, and Pacquiao returned the favor. In the 6th round the fight seemed to come ever so closely to Pacquiao scoring a knockout or stoppage of Marquez before Marquez did what he does best, and scored a beautiful counter shot that put Manny to sleep.