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A look at Manny Pacquiao’s title success

James Tonks

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On 13 November 2010 in the Cowboys Stadium, Texas, Manny Pacquiao defeated Antonio Margarito to win the vacant WBC super-welterweight crown. Margarito was a grizzled Mexican warrior who had been mixing at world class and winning titles since 2001 (he turned pro in 1994). The most remarkable thing about this dominant victory is that it represented a world title win in Pacquiao’s eighth division, pushing the Filipino star further in to the history books. Pacquaio now finds himself in the Guinness Book of World Records due to this extraordinary feat as the man to win titles in the most weight categories.

Let’s look at some of the other divisions he has held titles, and peruse some notable scalps.

Manny bounced back from a knockout loss relatively early on in his career to gain success at regional (OPBF) level before winning the WBC Flyweight belt by knockout. He lost that title on the scales before his first defence, which he was knocked out in. Weight making at such a lowhad become impossible.

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Such was the weight struggle, Manny skipped a couple of weight classes and moved straight up to super-bantamweight. America came calling and he claimed the IBF super-bantamweight title off South African champion Lehlo Ledwaba, by knockout, in 2001.

Two years later, following a successful run of defences, he moved up to box Marco Antonio Barrera at featherweight. Pacquiao stopped Barrera in the 11th round, picking up the Ring Magazine award in the process. Even though Barrera was not technically a world champion at the time, he had refused to accept the WBC title after beating Erik Morales in their 2002 rematch.

Pacquiao’s first world level movements at super-featherweight did not go as smoothly as planned when Erik Morales beat him on points. Manny regrouped, won a lesser strap, avenged the Morales loss twice over, beat Barrera again and defeated Juan Manuel Marquez on a split in 2008 to take the WBC title at 130 pounds. The pair had previously fought to a draw, down at featherweight.

With world titles at four weight classes under his belt “Pacman” wasted little time after bettering Marquez. He moved up to lightweight to take the WBC title off unexpected champion David Diaz. Diaz was a grafter but he got brutalised and cut to pieces for nine rounds before a mercy stoppage. The bout led to the famous Diaz post-f-ght interview where he described Manny as simply being too fast to deal with.

Pacquiao won the lightly-regarded IBO and Ring light-welterweight titles when he knocked out Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas, 2009.

He then won the WBO welterweight title by defeating Miguel Cotto in 2009. The win over Margarito rubber stamped his historical achievements as Manny became an eight-division world champion.

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