Manny Pacquiao has ascended to the top of the boxing world, making history by becoming the only man to ever hold major titles in eight different weight classes. He became a mainstream phenomenon in 2008 with his destruction of Oscar De La Hoya, and shook the world with his spectacular one-punch, second round knockout of Ricky Hatton five months later. Since then, the Filipino star has fought three times, all victories, with each one further cementing his dominance. Here’s a look at PacMan’s last three fights ahead of his welterweight clash this Saturday against Sugar Shane Mosley. Fights in chronological order.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto – November 14, 2009 (Pacquiao TKO-12)
This was Pacquiao’s first title fight at welterweight (his match against De La Hoya was at 147 as well, but was not for a belt), but was fought at a catchweight of 145 pounds. Either way, PacMan was coming up in weight, and still, maybe people thought that eventually, the rise in weight would catch up with him as he fought bigger guys. Against Cotto, Pacquaio proved that not only could he fight with welterweights, he could take their shots too. Cotto hits hard, and hit Pacquiao early in the fight, but Manny remained relentless as ever. He dropped Cotto in the third and fourth rounds, and by the time the fight was stopped less than a minute into the final round, Cotto’s face was a bloody mess. The night also proved the star power of Pacquiao who drew in over 1.25 million pay-per view buys, making it the most-watched boxing event of 2009, a year in which Floyd Mayweather came out of “retirement”.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey – March 13, 2010 (Pacquiao UD-12)
What was billed as “The Event” wasn’t much of one, but that wasn’t Manny’s fault. After his victory over Cotto, the negotiations opened up between Pacquiao and Mayweather for a superfight in March at Cowboys Stadium. The fight fell through for different reasons depending on who you talk to, but Top Rank head bob Arum’s replacement was Joshua Clottey. The Ghanaian had some decent performances including a narrow split-decision loss to Cotto in his last fight, and he had a reputation of being tough as nails, and was a former belt holder. Well, he sure was tough that night, but showed no interest in actually fighting. Pacquiao battered Clottey all night, while Clottey hid in his shell all night. It looked like Clottey’s goal in the fight was to be able to tell people that he went 12 rounds with Manny Pacquiao once. Well the fight did go 12 rounds, and Pacquiao won every one of them in a dominant unanimous decision. The fight is probably best known for HBO announcer Jim Lampley’s hilarious “BANG! BANG! BANG!” rant as Pacquiao unloaded on Clottey. Clottey must have also been quite pleased with the money he made in the fight, as he has yet to step in the ring since.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito – November 13, 2010 (Pacquiao UD-12)
He couldn’t go up in weight again, could he? The difference in size between Pacquiao and the much bigger Antonio Margarito was both shocking and hysterical as Pacquiao moved up to the 154-pound division. The disgraced former welterweight champion Margarito got his first fight since being suspended for loading his handwraps prior to his fight against Mosley in January of 2009. At super welterweight, the difference in weights on fight night was staggering. Margarito came in at 165 lbs, while Manny was at 148. It didn’t matter at all, as the lumbering Margarito was an easy target for Pacquiao’s furious hands. The Filipino tagged Margarito up and down the ring all night, and did take some pretty good shots in the meantime. At the end of the night, Margarito’s face was literally broken, and Manny cruised to a unanimous decision win. The fight was for the WBC’s vacant Super Welterweight trinket, so Pacquiao broke his own record and became boxing’s first eight division champ.
If you compare the past performances of Pacquiao and Mosley, its not even close as to who’s more at the top of their game right now. No one is mowing through people the way Manny is, so that may be a little unfair to Mosley. But Mosley hasn’t won a fight in over two years. That’s a tough thing to have going into a fight with the world’s pound-for-pound king. Mosley says he’s feeling great and has had an excellent training camp. Then again, Pacquiao has said the same thing. We know what Pacquiao will bring. It’s up to Mosley to dust off his better self and bring it on Saturday night.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a full fight preview ahead of the weigh-in.