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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pacquiao now in rare ring company

HOLLYWOOD - FROM POUND-FOR-POUND king to an all-time great.

That’s the giant leap Manny Pacquiao took on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) when he knocked out Ricky Hatton in their showdown for the Briton’s International Boxing Organization light welterweight crown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pacquiao needed just two rounds to clinch his fifth world title and become the only boxer—living or dead—to have fought in four divisions in succession and won them all.

Not even the great Henry Armstrong, the only boxer to hold world titles in three divisions simultaneously, was able to match what Pacquiao has accomplished.

Showing an uncanny ability to hop from one weight division to another with ease, Pacquiao dethroned super featherweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez at 130 pounds, knocked out lightweight king David Diaz at 135 lb and stopped Oscar De La Hoya at 147 lb.

Then, in his very first fight at 140 lb, Pacquiao again defied the odds by knocking out Hatton, who was previously unbeaten at that weight for 12 years and 43 fights, with only a second to go in the second round.

As soon as the thunderous left hook landed on Hatton’s jaw, Pacquiao said he knew Hatton was out cold.

“Solid na solid,” Pacquiao told sportswriters near the back of the 56-seater luxury bus emblazoned with his image that brought back Team Pacquiao here from Las Vegas.

Top Rank head Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao’s fights, wants to pit him against Puerto Rican world welterweight champ Miguel Angel Cotto in November at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Other star fighters like welterweight Shane Mosley, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Humberto Soto and Edwin Valero all want a piece of Pacquiao.

Also on the list are former pound-for-pound best fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. who is coming out of retirement to fight Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18.

Actually, Pacquiao doesn’t mind who his next opponent will be, but said he would prefer to fight again in October.

“Anybody will do,” Pacquiao said in Filipino. “I can fight at 140, 147 or even at 135.”

Awed by Pacquiao’s mastery of Hatton, many ring experts have begun labeling him as an all-time great.

Boxing historian Bert Sugar, in an interview with Philboxing’s Hermie Rivera, said Pacquiao is definitely the best Asian fighter ever.

Sugar puts Pacquiao in the company of Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.

And Pacquiao thinks he remains as a work in progress.

“I feel I can still improve my game,” said Pacquiao, who was in high spirits throughout the 320-km trip that lasted five hours.

Source: inquirer.net


Anonymous said...

Someone should tell the writer that Manny doesn't speak "Filipino." He speaks Tagalog.

Anonymous said...

someone should have told you that manny really speak "Filipino" languages. "Filipino" is our nat'l. language.. manny can speak different kinds of philippine dialects..