3 Novem­ber fights that made Pac­quiao a leg­end

Manila Times - - SPORTS - BY ED­DIE G. ALINEA

ON a cold night of Novem­ber 15, 2003 in San An­to­nio, Texas, Manny Pac­quiao, fight­ing for his fourth fight in the United States, TKOed Mex­i­can leg­end Marco An­to­nio Barrera in the 11th round to crown him­self the RING MAG­A­ZINE feath­er­weight cham­pion.

That was the then soon-to-be 25-year-old third world ti­tle in as many weight di­vi­sions fol­low­ing his con­quest of the World Box­ing ex­pense of Thai Chathai Sasakul In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion su­per-ban­tamweight plum over in the Amer­i­can soil 2001.

That, too, ac­tu­ally was the of Pac­quiao’s grea tes t fights that oc­curred in this month o Novem­ber.

Fo r the Pac­man, as he is also known , would win f i ve more world cham­pi­onships in five cat­e­gories the rest of his jour­ney, two more this month the World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion wel­ter­weight com­ing on Novem­ber 14, 2009 and Novem­ber 13, 2010.

Pac­quiao took the147-pound world di­a­dem from Miguel Cotto, whom round of a bru­tal con­fronta­tion at the MGM Grand in ac­tu­ally his only sec­ond bout in the wel­ter­weight class af­ter which he climbed to the su­per-wel­ter­weight di­vi­sion he fol­low­ing year and dis­posed An­to­nio Mar­gar­ito off for the ti­tle.

held in Las Ve­gas the Filipino pound-for-pound king wannabe was the un­der­dog against Barrera ( 1- 4), then considered as the world’s best feath­er­weight, in that Novem­ber 15 en­counter, which he and the na­tion is com­mem­o­rat­ing its 14th an­niver­sary today.

The soon-to-be eight weight di­vi­sion world belt-holder had moved to a new weight class su­per- ban­tamweight to feath­er­weight against the dan­ger­ous Barrera, the lin­eal cham­pion and an elite pound-for-pound fighter who was just com­ing from a great win­ning run af­ter beat­ing Naseem Hamed to at­tain the lin­eage.

In an­other sen­sa­tional per­for­mance rem­i­nis­cence of his sim­i­lar show­ing against Led­waba, he dropped his fel­low fu­ture Hall of Famer in the third and 11th rounds that forced Barrera’s corner to throw the towel stun­ning most every­one else. That the Filipino the recog­ni­tion as a ring leg­end.

Six years later on Novem­ber 14, 2009, the for­mer twotime con­gress­man now sen­a­tor would claim the WBO 147- pound crown by send­ing Cotto on the seat of pants for good fol­low­ing 12 rounds of seem­ingly un­end­ing ex­changes of power hit­ting sel­dom seen in fights in any di­vi­sion nowa­days.

This ti­tle show­down was Paquaio’s sec­ond in the wel­ter- Pac­quiao vs Barrera Pac­quiao vs Cotto weight cat­e­gory af­ter send­ing leg­endary Os­car De La Hoya to re­tire­ment a year prior and this, too, could be the most im­pres­sive per­for­mance in his en­tire ca­reer.

The husband of Sarangani Ex-Gov. Jin­kee, knocked Cotto down in the third and fourth can­tos butted him up, walked him down and stopped him sec­onds be­fore the en­counter ended in a tremen­dous show of box­ing prow­ess which, to many spelled the apex of his ca­reer.

“Miguel Cotto came as the - ity,” Pac­quiao told this writer af­ter the gru­el­ing grind. “In­deed, it was a very phys­i­cal bat­tle. Un­doubt­edly, Cotto was one of the He forced me to dig deeper than I ever had to pull through.”

“Manny Pac­quiao is the best ever saw,” pro­moter Bob Arum de­clared af­ter the bout. Or some­thing to that ef­fect. “Bet­ter than Muham­mad Ali!

Pac­quiao though never stopped any of the suc­ceed­ing fighters he danced with atop the ring since then, in­clud­ing arch- en­emy Juan Manuel Mar­quez, big strong man An­to­nio Mar­gar­ito and Ti­mothy Bradley, world cham­pi­ons all, among moth­ers.

He cut Mar­gar­ito to pieces a year later though on Novem­ber 10, 2010, in 12 rounds for the his­tory- mak­ing and un­prece­dented WBC ju­niors mid­dleweight gon­falon, his eighth at the cav­ernous Dal­las Cow­boy Arena in Ar­ling­ton, Texas.

The for­mer pound-for-pound pounds un­der­weight but to the sur­prise of 50,000 plus spec­ta­tors, still man­aged to give the ex-In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion, World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and WBO wel­ter­weight ti­tlist a sav­age beat­ing.

That was a dom­i­nant per­for­mance that should have been stopped in the later rounds and awarded the Filipino what could have been his 39th KO tri­umph. Pac­quiao, in fact, so stream­rolled Mar­gar­ito by in­flict­ing him with a ca­reer­al­ter­ing eye in­jury and break­ing his ri­val’s or­bital bone in em­pha­siz­ing his su­pe­ri­or­ity.

He did take some heavy shots though from Mar­gar­ito, lead­ing him to de­clare af­ter the pun­ish­ing ex­pe­ri­ence he di­vi­sion. “This was my most Mar­gar­ito had such a reach and weight ad­van­tage over me. My ribs ached for a long time af­ter

“Once was enough for me at that weight,” he sur­mised. “Some­one asked me if I wanted to de­fend the ti­tle and I said, no thanks. I thought that in that terms of weight class.”

“I fought a good fight and the at­mos­phere at the Cow­boys Sta­dium was so mem­o­rable. I think the fight should have been stopped. Mar­gar­ito took a lot of pun­ish­ment,” he said. Pac­quiao vs Mar­gar­ito


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.