Manny Pacquiao Destroys David Diaz
By Jim Dower: As most people expected, Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 36 KOs) did what he had to do on Saturday night, beating WC lightweight champion David Diaz (34-2-1, 17 KOs) by a one-sided 9th round KO at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight had little in the way of suspense throughout, with Pacquiao 29, beating Diaz like a drum in each round. The end finally came in the 9th round when Pacquiao drilled a badly battered Diaz with a short left hand that dropped Diaz on his back flat on the canvas. Te referee Vic Draculich didn’t even bother counting because it was clear that Diaz wasn’t going to be able to get up from the knockdown. The fight was officially stopped at 2:24 of the 9h round. Moments before, Pacquiao had staggered a bloody Diaz with a right-left combination to the head. Four punches later, Pacquiao finally succeeded in knocking a lumped and cut up Diaz down.
Pacquiao controlled the bout in round one, using his superior speed, power and boxing technique to box circles around the limited Diaz. In fact, Diaz looked positively horrid compared to the speedy Pacquiao, rarely landing more than one shot at a time against the Filipino star at any one time in the round. Using his right hook often, Pacquiao was easily able to control Diaz, 32, with that punch alone, though unfortunately for Diaz, he had a lot more punches in his arsenal to go along with the right hook.
In the 2nd round, Pacquiao cut Diaz on the bridge of his nose from one of the many shots he hit him with in the round. He constantly circled Diaz, not giving him a stationary target with which to land his slow shots. Without a stationary target to attack, Diaz, a slow plodder by nature, was out of his element and hopelessly outclassed. He was forced to follow Pacquiao around the ring, doing a poor job of cutting off the ring, eating punches constantly, and landing very seldom. By the end of the 2nd round, Diaz already looked beaten up, blood all over his face and looking slow and tired.
Diaz was brutalized in rounds three and four, taking big shots from Pacquiao, who looked very comfortable fighting in the lightweight division, five heavier than his previous weight while fighting as a super featherweight. Pacquiao looked only slightly bigger, yet his speed and power was the exact same as it had been in the lower weights. Diaz, slow even by lightweight standards, looked as if he was punching in slow motion most of the time. In the 4th round, Pacquiao cut Diaz over his right eye, a long horizontal cut of over an inch in length which bled badly, as one would expect for a cut of that length.
In the 5th round, Pacquiao began to land almost at will, tagging a helpless-looking Diaz repeatedly with huge combinations to the head, over and over again without anything coming back. Diaz would try to land, but Pacquiao would move quickly out of the way by the time the slow-footed Diaz would waddle over towards him to throw a punch. It was like watching a child against an adult, really. Pacquiao was in full control of the fight and having fun with the limited Diaz, who with his lack of boxing skills and speed, would likely never make in the top 20 in the super featherweight class.
Diaz had a halfway decent round in the 7th round, landing some good combinations to the body and a few to the head. It seemed as if Pacquiao was feeling sorry for Diaz, letting up on him, for by this time in the fight, Diaz’s face was a bloody masque.
As if wanting to make up for his off round in the 7th, Pacquiao stepped on the gas in the 8th round, hitting Diaz hard and often, leaving no doubt who was the boss in the ring. Pacquiao wasn’t about to let Diaz, a walking glutton for punishment, come from behind and score a potential knockout victory. That was Diaz’s only chance at winning by now, as he had lost every round of the fight and could only hope to knock Pacquiao out with something big. The problem was, Diaz couldn’t lay a finger on Pacquiao, not in the 8th at least. It was really ugly in the final minute of the round, with Pacquiao pummeling Diaz with big shots, mostly right hooks and left hands to the head. Diaz was having problems seeing through all the blood on his face, which was completely covered with blood from his many cuts.
In the 9th round, Pacquiao finally put an end to the one-sided slaughter, after first hurting Diaz with combination to the head, then whipping him with right hands, left hooks and then a powerful jab which snapped Diaz’s head back violently. Moments later, Pacquiao nailed Diaz with a short, straight left hand that traveled only about a foot but none the less was packed with dynamite, knocking Diaz to the canvas on his back. The referee then waived off the fight instantly, keeping Diaz down on the canvas for over a minute for the ringside doctor to examine him.
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