Pacquiao, Pep & Wilde Boxing’s Little Big Men!
By Ken Hissner: Prior to Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao were two other “little big men” in boxing. Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde was from Tylorstown, Wales, United Kingdom. He turned pro on January 01, 1911, and was referred to as “the ghost with a hammer in his hand!”
Though the record books say he started in 1911, it was said he may have started four years before that. He fought at about 106 pounds and was 5’2 ½ and ended with a record of 131-4-1 with 98 knockouts. He had eight no contests no decisions.
In Wilde’s third fight, he fought his lone draw. He was 43-0-1 when he won the 98-pound English title in January 1913, defeating Billy Young Padden, 22-6-3 by stoppage in the 18th round in Glasgow, Scotland.
Wilde was 94-0-1 when he lost in January 1915 in London, fighting for the vacant European title to Tancy Lee, 17-1, of Scotland, by TKO in the 17th round. In June of 1916, in a rematch, Wilde knocked out Lee, 24-2, for the European title.
In Wilde’s next fight, he added the British title knocking out Johnny Hughes, 115-64-22, in London. In December 1916, he won the world title by stopping Italy’s Young Zulu Kid, 29-21-10, when he was 117-1-1.
In December of 1919, Wilde made his USA debut losing to Jackie Sharkey, 31-34-11, by newspaper decision in Milwaukee, WI, dropping his record to 127-2-1. He won his next four fights and, in March of 1920, re-gained the world title defeating Frankie Mason, 109-15-39, in Toledo, OH.
In May of 1920, Wilde knocked out Battling Al Murray, 48-23-13, in Philadelphia, PA. After his second win in Canada, he returned to London, being stopped by Pete Herman, 87-27-13, in January of 192 in a non-title fight. In his next and final fight, he lost to Filipino Pancho Villa, 66-6-3, at the New York Polo Grounds in June of 1923 at the age of 31.
Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep, from Rocky Hill, CT, won the New York State Athletic Commission world Featherweight title in November of 1942, defeating Chalky Wright, 143-33-17, at Madison Square Garden, New York, improving his record to 44-0.
In March of 1943, Pep lost for the first time to Sammy Angott, 69-17-5, dropping to 62-1. In June 1946, he won the NBA World title, stopping Sal Bartolo, 71-17-6, at Madison Square Garden. In August of 1947, he won the world featherweight title, stopping Jock Leslie, 58-9-4, at Flint, MI., improving his record to 115-1-1.
In October of 1946, Pep lost his world title to Sandy Saddler, 86-6-2, but in February of 1949 won the rematch and the title back. In September 1950 lost to Saddler, 115-7-2, in their third meeting and again in September 1951 in their fourth meeting.
In September 1958, Pep lost back-to-back fights to Hogan Kid Bassey, 65-11-4, and Sonny Leon, 56-9. He would retire for six years before coming back at the age of 42, winning nine straight before losing his final bout to Calvin Woodland, 8-4, in March of 1966. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 stoppages.
Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao was from General Santos City in the Philippines. In December of 1998, he won his first world title, the WBC Flyweight title knocking out Chatchai Sasakul, 32-1-1, in Thailand, improving to 24-1.
In June 2001, Pacquiao won the IBF World Super Bantamweight title, stopping Lehlo Ledwaba, 33-1-1, in Las Vegas, Nevada, improving to 33-3. In March 2008, he won the WBC Super Featherweight title with a split decision over Juan Manuel Marquez, 48-3-1, improving to 43-6-2.
In June, in his next fight, he won the WBC World Lightweight title, stopping David Diaz, 34-1-1, and six months later stopped Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, 39-5.
Next, Pacquiao stopped Ricky Hatton, 45-1, for the IBO Super Lightweight title in May 2009. In November, he stopped Miguel Cotto, 34-1, for the WBO Welterweight title. In November 2011, he defeated Antonio Margarito, 38-6, for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight title. Then he won a pair of defenses of the WBO Welterweight title defeating “Sugar” Shane Mosley, 46-6-1, and again Marquez, 53-5-1.
Pacquiao was then robbed, losing to Tim Bradley, Jr., 28-0, by a split decision.
Next, Pacquiao suffered a knockout against Marquez, 54-6-1, in December 2012. Two fights later defeated Bradley, 31-0, in their rematch in April of 2014. Two fights later, he lost to Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., 47-0, in May 2015. After winning his third fight with Bradley, he defeated Jessie Vargas 27-1. In July 2017, he lost to Jeff Horn, 16-0-1, in Australia.
Pacquiao won his next three fights defeating Lucas Matthysse, 39-4, in a WBA Welterweight defense, Adrian Broner, 33-3-1, and Keith “One Time” Thurman, 29-0, by split decision in July of 2019. Then in his final bout, he lost to Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas, 26-4, in August 2021. His final record is 62-8-2 with 39 stoppages.
“Pac Man” has defeated Marco Antonio Barrera twice and Erik Morales twice.
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