Saturday, March 13, 2010

History of Manny Pacquiao

PACQUIAO (50-3-2, 38 KO's), the -700 favorite to beat Joshua Clottey in the boxing betting odds, continues to cement his status as the mythical "pound-for-pound" champion, as well as the most massively popular athlete in the Philippines. Pacquiao got his start very early, turning pro at age 16, and won a decision over Edmund Enting Agnacio. He was only 106 pounds. Without an extensive amateur background, he did a lot of his learning on the job, and it showed. The future superstar took a lot of lumps early in his career, as after eleven wins he got stopped in three rounds against Rustico Torrecampo, whose record was only 11-4-4 at the time.

A little over a year after that, however, he won the OPBF (Oriental & Pacific Boxing Federation) flyweight title, and captured the WBC flyweight crown in 1998 when he knocked out Chatchai Sasakul. he only made one successful defense of that belt, and in September of 1999 he was knocked out in three rounds by the undefeated Medgoen Singsurat. That precipitated a move all the way up to 122 pounds, where he knocked out seven straight foes, culminating in a sixth-round stoppage of Lehlo Ledwaba to win the IBF title in a U.S. debut that got everybody's attention. He became a pretty hot property, and a favorite of the HBO people.

Boxing Betting Odds:
WBO Welterweight Title (12 rds. - 147 lbs.)
March 13 -- Arlington, TX

Over 9.5 Rounds -180
Under 9.5 Rounds +150

Boxing Props:
Manny Pacquiao by KO, TKO or Disqualification -150
Manny Pacquiao by Decision or Technical Decision +140
Joshua Clottey by KO, TKO or Disqualification +750
Joshua Clottey by Decision or Technical Decision +1000
Draw or Technical Draw +3500
Let's take a look at the story of Manny Pacquiao:

After four defenses, it was time to go into the featherweight division, and in a non-title fight in November of 2003, he scored an eleventh-round stoppage of Marco Antonio Barrera in which he beat up Barrera pretty decisively from beginning to end. That announced him as a major contender for the world title. When he got that chance, in May 2004, he floored Juan Manuel Marquez three times in the very first round, but couldn't put his man away. That allowed Marquez to get back into the fray, and he whittled away at the lead. The thrilling fight went to a decision, and at the end, John Stewart had it for Pacquiao by five points, while Guy Jutras had Marquez the winner by five points. The third judge, Burt Clements, scored it 113-113, and so the fight was a draw. There was no doubt by now that Pacquiao was going to be a major action star in boxing for years to come.

His plan for world domination hit a speed bump ten months later, however, as he was outboxed and outsmarted by Erik Morales in moving up yet again, this time to 130 pounds. Pacquiao beat Hector Velasquez to win the WBC title at super featherweight in September 2005, and used it to defend successfully in not one, but two rematches with Erik Morales, knocking him out both times, then in a one-sided rematch with Barrera, in which he scored a near shutout on two judges' cards. Then it was time to fight Marquez again, this time in March of 2008, and after another very interesting fight he came away with the WBC super featherweight title on a split decision, where Tom Miller's 114-113 card in his favor made the whole difference.

Then it was time to move up again, this time to the lightweight class, and he scored a ninth-round stoppage over David Diaz which came only three months after the win over Marquez, capturing the WBC-sanctioned belt at 135 pounds. He didn't stop, however, moving up again to fight Oscar De La Hoya, who had held the WBC 154-pound title just the previous year, weighing 142 pounds to Oscar's 145. Pacquiao never let Oscar get out of the starting gate, beating De La Hoya to the punch time after time, landing with absolute impunity, forcing a retirement of De La Hoya at the conclusion of the eighth round. Pacquiao had won all eight rounds on two of the scorecards when it ended.

Pacquiao fought Ricky Hatton for the IBO junior welterweight title in May 2009, and he just pummeled the outgunned Hatton for two rounds before Ricky finally went down and out. It was a pretty devastating performance, and left people wanting more. They got it on November 14, when he started slowly against Miguel Angel Cotto, but came on like a freight train, knocking Cotto down twice and rocking him to the point where people were calling for an end for several rounds before it was finally stopped in the 12th. The fight the world wants to see, against Floyd Mayweather, may still come. And by then Pacquiao might be a congressman; he is running for office to represent the Sarangani province, with the election coming in May.


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