Manny Pacquiao will take on WBA champion Lucas Matthysse this weekend in the winding down of a career that has spanned 23 years leaving a trail of devastation in his wake.
He is the only eight weight world champion in the history of the sport accumulating eleven major world titles, as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes.
Pacquiao, in a nutshell, is a modern-day legend, eagerly awaiting his 69th contest I thought I would look over his career to date and try to pick out a few of his greatest hits, here is the outcome:
On November 2009, the boxing world stood still in anticipation of seeing two of the sports best go head to head. Cotto although slightly gaunt from making the 145 pound catchweight was still favoured by some to give Manny the toughest fight to date. This didn’t happen, In a tremendous display of brutality, Pacquiao launched forward his attack at full speed which swept away any thoughts of a Cotto victory. Pacquiao dazzled under the lights of the MGM Grand, dropping Miguel in the third and fourth rounds before a heavily beaten Cotto was finally saved.
Oscar De La Hoya
I’ll never forget the look of defeat on the face of Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008, it was the look of a man who was all out of ideas on how to deal with the extraordinary fighter that was put in front of him.
Its crazy to think that people actually counted Manny out of the fight because of the elevation in weight that he went to in order to face De La Hoya who had fought at a time as high as Middleweight.
Regardless, Pacquiao tackled the issue head-on as he tore through De La Hoya in eight one-sided rounds, battering the ‘Goldenboy’ until he succumbed to the punishment, staying on his stool, dejection written all over his face.
Pacquiao always dared to dream, no task too big, no mountain unscalable. his introduction was in the 112-pound division but due to his ability always sought new challenges, roaring through the divisions north of his own.
On his way he encountered an interesting proposal at 154lbs for the vacant WBC title, again some thought it was a step too far even for Manny to face the hard-hitting Antonio Margarito but undeterred he served up a treat for the 41,000 fans in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium that night, throwing an amazing 1,069 punches on route to a unanimous decision victory.
If you’re a fan of Knockouts then I’m sure you would have seen this one countless times. Manny’s only world title contest at Super Lightweight brought Ricky Hatton to the table, well momentarily as it turns out. Hatton had been beaten a couple of years earlier by Floyd Mayweather so it was imperative of Manny to do the job better than his nemesis.
We knew that Hatton would employ his aggressive come forward style but on the night, He came into the bout fired up, looking to show his quality perhaps frustrated at his showing against Mayweather, Pacquiao used all that aggression against him, walking him on to his shots until BOOM a right hand rendered the Manchester man motionless for a few scary moments.
Marco Antonio Barrera
Manny Pacquiao is the only man to ever stop Marco Antonio Barrera who at the time was riding a wave of wins over the likes of Nassem Hamad, Erik Morales and Johnny Tapia. The fight was made as a non-title affair and Barrera was simply no match for Pacquiao, falling short of surviving the onslaught as the Mexican was stopped in the eleventh round.
These are just some of my favourite fights involving ‘Pacman’ to which there are countless others, his series with Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales will always have a special place in my heart when referring to Manny but the picks above are mainly based on the odds that were stacked against him or for the sheer way in which he beat the aforementioned fighters.
Let me know your picks by tweeting me @TOPCLASSBOXING as we await another that could potentially be added to our lists.