Sunday, November 1, 2009

Manny Pacquiao's Ten Greatest Fights

By Lee Payton

I have a feeling I'll need to revise this list in a couple weeks and find a spot for what takes place at the MGM Grand on November 14, but for now these are my top 10 greatest Manny Pacquiao fights.

Photos © Ray Kasprowicz

10. Won TKO8 Chatchai Sasakul - December 4, 1998- The fight that started it all. Manny traveled to Thailand and was being dominated by a respected champion until his freakish power came through. It was his very first world title.

9. Won TKO6 Lehlohonolo Ledwaba - June 23, 2001- Pacquiao made his debut on American TV as a late replacement. On just two weeks notice he crushed the South African veteran, and took his world title belt at 122 lbs in the process. His amazing speed and frightening power made the big boys at HBO take immediate notice.

8. Won TKO9 David Diaz - June 28, 2008- This fight is significant because Pacquiao earned a championship in his fifth weight class. There was never any doubt as to who the better fighter was, but the way he tortured a strong, rugged lightweight raised some eyebrows.

7. Won TKO8 Oscar De La Hoya - December 6, 2008 This was not a prime De La Hoya, but the thorough beating the Pac-Man delivered was still a big deal because it introduced the entire sports world to Manny Pacquiao. Going into the fight most fans and media people thought that the little man had finally bitten off more than he could chew. Instead, he put an end to The Golden Boy's career as a boxer.

6. Draw Juan Manuel Marquez - May 8, 2004- During the early part of their first epic encounter Manny's devastating power was on full display. If you watched him rip through Marquez' chin, dropping him 3 times in the very first round, you could hardly believe what was happening. Later on, it became obvious that the kid still needed some work. Pacquiao went from invincible to human right before our eyes. Only his indomitable will allowed him to hold onto the featherweight crown.

5. Won SD Juan Manuel Marquez - March 15, 2008- By the time these two warriors met again Manny had added a few new wrinkles to his already blistering arsenal. A thicker and tidier Pacquiao was taken to the brink once again by the great counter punching skills of his pesky adversary, despite nearly ending matters at the end of the third round. He was cut badly and had been hurt several times throughout the contest, but after 12 more rounds of tactical Hell, the fiery Filipino earned a very narrow victory.

4. Lost UD Erik Morales - March 19, 2005- I had a bit of a hard time finding a place for this fight, but decided on the #4 spot because, for my money at least, it was the most entertaining from start to finish. For the first time ever, he saw Pacquiao in with someone who could stand up to his explosive fists. He came out on the short end in this fight, but many times it's the losses that reveal the most about what a fighter has on the inside. When many pugs would have folded, Manny just dug deeper. Imagine how loud it was in the Philippines during that unforgettable final round...

3. Won KO2 Ricky Hatton - May 2, 2009- While Hatton is not on the same level of Morales or Marquez, he was the legit champion at 140 lbs. A former flyweight champ decimated the jr. welterweight king in 2 rounds. Let that sink in. One blast from his famous left fist finished what was already a hideous beating. The brutal conclusion made one thing clear- when it comes to Pacquiao, the supposed "laws" of boxing do not apply.

2. Won TKO10 Erik Morales - January 21, 2006- In many ways this was Manny greatest performance. It's not just the fact that he knocked out a legendary hard ass, it's how he went about it. After enduring a familiar cuffing in the early going, Pacquiao proved he was the best in the world by hanging in, and making the progress he made in the gym count for something under the lights. The "Baddest Man" torch was officially passed that evening.

1. Won TKO11 Marco Antonio Barrera - November 15, 2003- The Mexican icon was on top of his game. He had successfully switched from vicious attacker to a clever, heavy-handed boxer who was considered 1 of the 5 best fighters in the sport. In late 2003 Barrera put his World Featherweight Title on the line against a skinny Filipino not many people had heard much about. Hardcore boxing fans knew the kid was fast as lightning and fun to watch, but no one expected him to treat the future Hall Of Famer like a sparring partner. He assaulted Marco mercilessly, forcing the corner call a halt to the savage beating. Manny Pacquiao had exploded onto the scene suddenly and he's been blowing our minds ever since.

e-mail Lee Payton

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

"He was cut badly and had been hurt several times throughout the contest, but after 12 more rounds of tactical Hell, the fiery Filipino earned a very narrow victory."

You forgot to add, "courtesy of a gift from the judges."

isidro said...

Yes ,all of those fights are Pacquiao's great fights.But i would rather pick his Hatton fight as the greatest.The reason,it was supposed to be a very tough fight countered by a dedicated real hard training and two fisted Pacquiao of unsuspecting foe.Isn't that great to defeat an opponent without being in near trouble?for me that's great.

Anonymous said...

Well very nice list of manny's greatest fight... here's mine...

#1 Marco Antonio Barrera VS PACMAN 1st fight --- Burst to the american boxing scene... He beats the Top 3 Lbs 4 lbs fighter...

#2 ODLH VS PACMAN who would think that MAnny would win by tko... maybe only his trainer... he he he...

#3 Erik Morales VS PACMAN 1st fight.. Shows Pacman got some balls...

#4 HATTON VS PACMAN- Shows that Pacman truly a one of a kind fighter... who would ever think that a former flyweight can win by KO against a jr. welterweight fighter not on your wildest dream...

#5 JMM VS PACMAN 1--- thats when Mr Larry Merchant called PACMAn the typhoon across the pacific... he he he...

Anonymous said...

i am a fan of pacquiao but for me the best fight of pacquiao is his lost to erik morales. it is one of the most entertaining fight of pacquiao.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to add, "courtesy of a gift from the judges."... <---

The writer would have to add "a return gift from the judges after robbing him of the first fight..."

Anonymous said...

good list but not in order.
for me the best of pacquiao was when he knocked out elizer julio. there you can hear the punch of pacquiao how strong it was.
as one announcer said... we have some prospect.

Anonymous said...

#10, he wasn't dominating sasakul, the Thai champion was schooling Pacman through 8 rounds. But Manny kept hounding Sasakul and finally caught him with a heavy left straight in the 9th.

Anonymous said...

i'll take out the diaz fight and put in the 3rd morales fight, a win over a faded morales still means more than a championship win over a bigger and younger diaz, especially when you consider the manner in w/c that morales beating was administered and the atmosphere of that 3rd fight, from the anthems, to the ringwalk, up to the explosive finish, lots of animosity in that fight, diaz meanwhile had that happy just to be here vibe. Also, I will rank the dela hoya fight closer to the top,that's pacquiao's only fight where people got concerned, and rightly so, about his physical safety and wellbeing.

Anonymous said...

...that is correct, sasakul was winning that fight, and manny just tried to walk through the thai champion's punches to land his bullet straight left, pacman got lucky because he got that one punch in while chatchai's back was on the ropes, causing him to absorb the full brunt....

Anonymous said...

About the Sasakul Fight,... that is correct, I think until that fateful left hand, Manny has not won a single round. His face was just catching all of Sasakul's combination. It was a gusty fight for Manny.

rampadoralindog said...

the fight of pacquiao that is very well interesting to watch when he made quit Barrera and K.O. Diaz.

mpar1 said...

Pac-Morales 1 is my personal favorite. And I say that as a fan of bith guys.

Prod, I agree that you will have another fight to add to this list in 2 weeks, courtesy a highlight reel KO of Cotto.

dondon said...

pacquiao-morales 3, best pacquiao fight ever.its the first knock out in morales hall of fame career

Anonymous said...

you morons ,the writer said " Manny went to thailand and was being DOMINATED by a respected champion" not manny dominating sasakul...

Anonymous said...

...(sheepish grin)...i stand corrected, misread that one....the writer is correct, he did write manny "was being dominated by a respected champion" in thailand before he landed that left and not the other way around, sorry........

Anonymous said...

I saw that figh in thailand too. If it was judge by points, pacquiao was way behind. Sasakul was too fast and excellent boxer. PAcquiao that time was nothing but a punching bag with limbs. But he sure can take punches though.
Manny's face was too tough for sasakul's punches.
But sasakul could not bare a sigle lucky punch that send him to the canvas for the first time.