Pacquiao, career and defining fights
By Tom Drury: This article is a follow up to my most recent (Floyd Mayweather Jr, career and defining fights). As a fanatic and intense follower of the sport and fighters, my view is these two fighters and there achievements should not be compared as Mayweather’s skills and achievements are so much greater. This article is for the fans who posted comments in regards to my opinion on Manny Pacquiao’s career defining fights so here it is.
1. Marco Antonio Barrera – this fight took place in 2003 at featherweight. Many believe this is Pacquiao’s most defining fight and set the tone for the rest of his career (I agree). The fight was action packed, hard-hitting action. Many notable exchanges took place in this fight leading to Barrera being stopped in the eleventh. Pacquiao’s pace and firepower was just too much for the old school Mexican warrior. Pacquiao handed Barrera the only knockout loss of his career taking the lineal and (The Ring) feather-weight championship titles in the process and becoming the first Filipino/Asian fighter to become a three-weight division world champion.
2. Erik Morales II – Pacquiao was defeated by Morales in their first outing. Morales took the fight by a well deserved unanimous decision. 2006 was the year this rematch was made. Again, it was a ferocious fight. Fans were witness to the cyclone Pacquiao is in the ring totally outgunning Morales knocking him down twice, once in the second round and once in the sixth. Morales was totally overwhelmed and was knocked out in the tenth.
3. Juan Manuel Marquez II – 2008 we saw the rematch between these two modern day warriors billed as “unfinished business”. When we as fans talk about equals we are talking about Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez inside the ring and outside. Again a war, Pacquiao took the fight to Marquez from the off. Marquez accepted the challenge gladly taking the fight right back to Pacquiao. The fight turned out to be a classic, a fight that will live long in the memory of fight fans across the globe. Pacquiao won the fight by UD. The official score cards 115-112 (Paquiao) 115-112 (Marquez) 114-113 (Pacquiao) Pacquiao picked up the WBA and (The Ring) super-featherweight titles and becoming a four weight division world champion.
4. Oscar De La Hoya – 2008 the fight was made at the 147lbs welterweight division. Pacquiao’s first outing at the weight. Boxing experts and pundits speculated before the fight the 147lbs could be too far above Pacquiao’s natural weight against the larger De La Hoya. However, De La Hoya went into the fight weighing less than Pacquiao and 20lbs under his natural fighting weight. De La Hoya was a multiple world champion and one of boxing’s most followed fighters. This fight was billed as “The Dream Match”. Pacquiao tee’d off on De La Hoya from the early rounds. There is no way to describe the fight other than a terrible beating handed out by the Filipino fighter. Oscar De La Hoya’s corner threw in the towel after seeing there fighter endure eight brutal rounds of punishment. The fight was uncomfortable viewing.
5. Miguel Cotto – This bout was sanctioned as a world title fight at the welterweight limit, which is 147lbs. Cotto agreed to a catchweight at 145lbs. Why the catchweight was imposed or needed is unbelievably confusing to me. Again, it was a dominating brutal performance from the Filipino fighter. Cotto suffered badly in this fight and the fight was stopped at 0.55 of round twelve. Paquiao became the first fighter in boxing history to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions.
As you can see this list does not possess the detail of the Mayweather article. To be completely honest, I struggled compiling career defining fights for the Filipino Pacquiao. In my opinion the career defining fight was that against Barrera in 2003. I don’t believe career defining fights are made at catch weights especially when the catch weights just aren’t viable. I mean look at Pacquiao-Cotto made at welterweight but Cotto agreeing to 145lbs? De La Hoya, dead at the weight. I remember Freddie Roach’s comments post-fight: “We had him after the first round, he had no legs, he was hesitant and he was shot”? Now a question for the fans. I would enjoy feedback and your point of view on this thought of mine. Pacquiao-Marquez two; the scorecards were 115-112 for Pacquiao and 115-112 for Marquez, for 114-113 Pacquiao. How is it possible to win a fight by one point? If there is any of you out there that can justify or enlighten me on that third scorecard, I would welcome the explanation. I am a big fan of Pacquiao as he leaves everything in the ring and puts it all on the line a modern day warrior, but unfortunately his skills as a boxer are limited and open to exposure. This article was for the fans that wanted to compare the career defining fights of Pacquiao to those of Floyd Mayweather Jr. As I expected and knew the facts tell a story and prove no comparison should be made, this list is only my opinion if anyone sees other fights of Pacquiaos as career defining. Feel free to post them on the forum.