The boxing world had to watch with grimace last week as Manny Pacquiao fell short over twelve rounds against Yordenis Ugas. At 42 years-old, if Manny is to continue or retire, his legacy will go down in history as one of the best.
Fighting every one in whatever circumstances, Manny is the definition of a game fighter and holds the record for being the only boxer ever to win a world title in four separate decades.
Looking back at one of the most unique careers boxing has seen, here are a few fights worth watching back for old times sake –
November 15, 2003 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Marco Antonio Barrera I
Already a world champion in the flyweight and super-bantamweight division, at 24 years-old Manny had a chance of becoming a three weight world champion.
The opportunity of fighting Marco Antonio Barrera arose and Manny had the chance of displaying his dazzling skills on the big stage in America. Stopping the prestigious Mexican in the 11th round, the fight would propel Manny into the stars and see him become one of the most popular fighters in the world.
The beatdown saw Manny win The Ring featherweight title while beating down one of the most prestigious fighters in Barrera. It is without a doubt the victory lit the flame for future Manny vs. Mexico showdowns for the rest of the decade.
November 18, 2006 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales III
Having retained his featherweight title twice, in 2005 Manny would face and lose via split decision to Mexico’s Erik Morales in what was the start of one of boxing’s greatest trilogy’s.
Seeking revenge, in the rematch Manny battered and bruised Morales, stopping him in the tenth round.
It came down to the third fight, winner takes all, Manny vs. Mexico yet again. But this time it was a lot different, Manny destroyed Morales. Dropping him three times in three rounds Manny finished the trilogy on his own terms.
Bewildered by what he witnessed across from him after the fight, Morales explained the defeat to Manny –
“He was too fast and too strong… I did everything in camp necessary to win this fight. I didn’t win it. It wasn’t my night.”
December 6, 2008 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya
Billed as ‘The Dream Match’. At the end of 2008, boxing’s torch was passed when Manny stopped the Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya in eight rounds.
In a victory that ultimately retired one of boxing’s biggest attractions, Manny dominated De La Hoya from the opening bell with his blistering hand speed. De La Hoya’s corner was forced to pull him out of the fight to prevent anymore damage to the already swollen face of the Golden Boy.
Boxing fan’s will tell you this night was Manny’s best of his career in which he stapled his name as the biggest fighter in the sport. It was Manny’s 9th consecutive victory in a streak that would last 15 fights with wins over Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
November 13, 2010 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
Having won world titles from flyweight through to welterweight, in 2010 Manny wanted to chase history and become the first fighter in history to win world titles in eight weight divisions.
His opportunity presented itself in Antonio Margarito at a catchweight of 150 pounds for the vacant WBC super welterweight strap. Despite being the noticeably smaller man, Manny dominated the fight with his trademark hand speed and ferocity.
Going the distance, Manny was victorious via unanimous decision. The bloodied Margarito was lucky to see the fight last the way it did after suffering three major cuts. Labelled as his most dominant fight, Manny cemented his name even further in boxing history after becoming an eight weight division world champion at 31.