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To Manny Pacquiao Opponents: If You Knew Then What You Know Now

Updated on May 18, 2011

Manny Pacquiao Featured In 60 Minutes

Manny Pacquiao on the cover of Time Magazine
Manny Pacquiao on the cover of Time Magazine

Manny Pacquiao Wins Again!

May, 2011

YES, what else is new in the world of boxing?

Since deceptively small Manny Pacquiao moved up to Lightweight in 2008, he has convincingly won seven straight fights in four different weight divisions (mostly being the shorter, smaller and ligher fighter).

In fact, he has been so dominating, he has probably won each and every round since that time (close to a total of 70 rounds).

Before that he had won seven more consecutive fights but all in the Superfeatherweight, the closest one being a Split-Decision win over arch-nemesis Juan Manual Marquez.

TODAY, each and every boxer in and around the Welterweight Division wants a piece of Manny, hoping to be the first one to put down the current Pound-for-Pound King or at least snatch a big payday trying the almost impossible.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao?

For the last couple of years, boxing fans have been clamoring for a Mega-fight between previous Pound-for-Pound King and still undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. and current Pound-for-Pound and the only boxer to hold Eight Titles in Eight Different Weight Divisions, Manny Pacquiao.

But despite the hoopla, the anticipated record-breaking money fight and because of countless reasons, this fight still is still very much in limbo and in danger of not happening at all.

In the meantime, as we now know, 13 different boxers (Erik Morales he beat twice) fighting in five different weight divisions have tried and failed, going back to 2005. [Erik Morales was the last boxer to win over Manny back in 2005. Prior to that Manny won 13 times since he last lost in 1999. During this time, he also drew with two other boxers.]

BUT today, the question beckons, and it is a hypothetical one.

IF we can go back in time to ask the boxers and their camps who have fought Manny Pacquiao all these years, this one question:

If you knew then what you know now will you still have climbed up the ring to fight Manny?

What would they say?

Let Us Try To See What their Answers Could be

1. Olympian and Former 112 lb World Champion, Chatchai Sasakul:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny who first started fighting at 106 pounds, just sixteen years old and barely weighing 100 pounds at his first fight night?

I am thinking at the time, he would say definitely yes, but now he would probably say “Next!”

2. Former 122 lb Champion, Lehlohonolo Benedict Ledwaba:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny who was a very late replacement to challenge you for a sixth time for your championship belt?

Again I am thinking at the time, he would say, of course yes, he had no time to prepare, no time to strategize and he merely the International Champion as compared to me a World Champion.

But now, he was probably thinking he thought he was bigger than him but he wasn’t.

Wrong Assumption?

And surely that would be the wrong assumption of most boxers that Manny would eventually take their world titles from. Manny started very young and he was still growing both in height and in heft.

Besides, he’s Asian and Asians are normally aren’t that dominant in boxing, except for the lower weight divisions that is. They are generally shorter, have smaller bone structures and have less mass. But then Asians have been known to have the bigger hearts.

And one thing I know, Manny’s normal weight like many boxers is one maybe two weight divisions higher than the weight class they are competing in. That is why some boxers starve themselves before weighing day or systematically lower their weights until that day. And then they balloon to their normal weight at fight night (5 to 15 pounds more).

So Manny is deceptively smaller than most of his opponents but in reality he might have been always the heavier fighter come fight night plus the one with the bigger heart, soul and fighting spirit with the strength of his God and the 90 million Filipinos in his home country and who are scattered in almost all the nations of the world.

3. Legendary and arguably among the Greatest 50 Boxers of All Time: Former 126 lb Champion Marco Antonio Barrera:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny not just once but twice?

At the time definitely yes for he even wanted a third fight but then because Manny has once again gone up another weight class, he needed to meet him at the heavier weight division.

4. Another Boxing Legend, among only a handful of proud Mexican boxers who have won in three weight divisions and then 126 lb Champion: Juan Manuel Marquez:

Again like Barrera, if you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny not just once but twice?

And again the same as Barrera’s, at the time definitely yes for he still clamoring for that third fight even right now but we all know he also need to go up in weight class. But we all saw that in his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

5. Also arguably among the Greatest 50 Boxers of All Time at least according to ESPN, also a three division Champion and then 130 lb Champion Erik Isaac Morales:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny twice after winning your first fight with him?

Again, I’d say definitely yes. Once to prove to him that he really won the first one and then again for the rubber match after he was beat, so that we would know who’s best 2 out of 3.

Of course in the ring and before that third fight ended, he probably was asking himself, “What was I thinking, fighting this guy a third time?”

You see Manny at that time has become a better fighter after he lost to Erik. Freddie Roach, Manny’s trainer had vowed to do just that. But Erik had no idea that he was fighting an almost totally different Manny each and every time they met on top of the boxing ring.

6. Moving up some more to Former 135 lb Champion, David Diaz:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny to defend your champion belt?

Well of course at the time, he would also say yes. He would argue I am bigger, I am stronger and he might be faster and quicker and more agile and more active and younger and have trained harder and yes you know what… right at the time when I was being hit in the face by two, three, four, five even six combination punches within a split-second of each other… I should have just said no.

Quote (David Diaz after he just relinquished his championship belt to Manny): “I know he was fast but he was just too [expletive] fast. I thought Freddie (former boxer and Manny’s trainer) was also in there on top of the ring throwing punches at me.”

7. Boxing Great Six Division World Champion 147 lb, Oscar De La Hoya(who even fought at 160 lbs):

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny at 145 lbs and be beat like that?

Of course at the time, definitely yes for everything was working for him. He had superior talent and boxing experience, he had superior trainers and equipment, he had more money and more fans and besides he was a lot taller and whole better looking (one could watch their HBO 24/7 shows leading up to their fight and see why).

And De La Hoya was probably thinking somebody has to stop the Mexicutioner, he had already killed off all the great Mexicans of his time, somebody has to step in and finish this guy off.

Yes, somebody was finished off alright, into retirement but it wasn’t the Mexicutioner. Why? Because at fight night, De La Hoya weighed in at 147 lbs (welterweight) but Manny Pacquiao came in heavier and healthier at 148.5 lbs. And of course faster, if he could be even faster than he already was.

8. Undefeated and Former 140 lb Champion at that time, Ricky Hatton (he did fought at the higher 147 lb weight but didn’t win, even fighting Floyd Jr. himself, although he was undefeated at 140 lbs):

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny to stake your undefeated 140 lbs title and be among the poster boys of his great knock-out wins?

At the time yes, he trained hard and he’s undefeated at 140 lbs but in just less than three minutes, he knew and his trainers knew (Floyd Sr.) that he was in trouble and shouldn’t have agreed to that fight at all. For Freddie was ready for both Ricky and Floyd Sr. And again people saw a totally redefined Manny, who now have Jr welterweight knock-out power with both fists.

9. All heart and Former 147 lb Champion, Miguel Cotto:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny to defend your hard-fought World Welterweight belt and

give him a chance at boxing immortality by possibly winning an unprecedented seven world titles in seven weight divisions?

Of course at the time, definitely yes, he even agreed to the catch weight of 145 lbs. no problem. He was the champ and he was the heaviest boxer still in his prime that Manny will ever face.

But by the second round he knew he made a mistake, for like Oscar De La Hoya, he wasn’t the bigger guy anymore and he wasn’t the more aggressive fighter. He gave everything he had, Manny took them all and he had the scars to prove it but close to the end he was just barely trying to survive twelve rounds (36 minutes) of brutal boxing punishment. And he didn’t even manage to stay on his feet until the final bell. Again welterweight knock-out power with either hand and a well-thought of and executed gameplan.

10. The 147 lb former champion who Miguel Cotto fought bitterly to win the 147 lb World Championship Belt, Joshua Clottey:

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny?

Your guess is as good as mine.

But I believe he only wanted to stay on his feet for the whole 12 rounds, not get knocked out and be added to the film reels of the Pacman Fallen. And besides that was the biggest pay check of his life. He could retire after that and he could give himself and his family a decent life afterwards, so why risk being brutally maimed and not be able to enjoy his life after he retire. I cannot blame him for he was bleeding from both nostrils for all the latter rounds and Manny haven’t even hit him with a solid punch in the face.

11. At that time, the tallest, biggest, heaviest, strongest and probably the most controversial fighters Manny has fought: Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC Light-middleweight title.

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny?

At the time, Margarito was just too tall and too big compared with Manny, he has also fought some of the biggest and strongest punchers in his weight, so I’d say yes, especially with his never quit style, he would say yes.

But in the end, this bravado may have permanently put his boxing career in the freezer, as he took so much beating, his fractured face still has not healed even after several months. So, I’d say, no, he will definitely say, no, if I knew then what I know now, or at least I would have done a Clottey.

11. And last but definitely not the least, the meaniest, baddest and among the tallest, biggest and heaviest fighters Manny has agreed to fight: the Three Division Champion and ageless Sugar Shane Mosley.

If you knew then what you know now would you have fought Manny?

At the time, Sugar Shane definitely thought he can withstand Manny’s punches and he could most probably put Manny down if he could connect with a solid one of his own. So yes, he would definitely go for what could be the most defining moment of his twilight boxing years.

But after the third round and most definitely after the tenth round, Mosley was just trying not survive and not be included in the highlight video reels of Manny’s Knock-out Victims. And so at that time, it would he would definitely be thinking, what the heck did I get myself into.

Infamous List of the Pacquiao Fallen

So now, among these List of boxers Manny has faced, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the only one who could very well put Manny’s Reign to a halt. But, with his unbeaten record on the line and a “potential” knock-down, even a knock-out from Manny will still be pretty much in the back of his mind (yes even if he admits to it or not). He has definitely been asking himself this same question at least since 2009.

Now, if only he can see that he really has a lock in winning this fight over Manny, yes more than all these previous opponents. Then maybe, just maybe, it will be Manny we will be asking this same question.

What’s next Floyd? What’s next Manny?

What do you think?

BUT one thing I’m now sure of now, if I only knew then what I know now, I should have bet on every single Manny Pacquiao fight at Las Vegas all these years, or at least since he started fighting in the US, of course except that single lost to Erik.

Who is Manny Pacquiao?

Okay, who is this Manny Pacquiao guy?

Alright, if you have not been a boxing fan or if you haven’t been watching the sports news or even Jimmy Kimmel, or if you haven’t been reading newspapers or going online or watching Nike commercials or even reading Time magazine, then you probably haven’t heard of him.

Pac Who? (I couldn’t even pronounce that)

But of course if you have, then Manny Pacquiao needs no introduction.

For you would know him by his many nicknames:

Pacman (although he also named his dog the same name, haven’t really gotten the reason why)

the Mexicutioner

the Fighting Pride of the Philippines

the People’s Champ or simply

the First and Only Boxer to Win Eight World Titles in Eight Different Weight Divisions (and yes defeating Six Time World Champion, the Legendary Oscar De La Hoya) just to name a few. 

He is now being acknowledged as the best Asian Boxer, among the best if not the best Southpaw and most probably the Best Boxer of his generation. But then he has to go past Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

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Submit a Comment
  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Southern California

    Thanks for reading Quirinocmianojr.

    And unfortunately, some boxers found this out late or the hard way.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    nice hub. now you know that manny is the best boxer ever.


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