Manny Pacquiao's Top 10 Knockouts
Manny Pacquiao geat Antonio Margarito on Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium to win the vacant WBC light middleweight title, adding to his legend. Amazingly, victory for Pacquiao means he has more wins at the stadium this year than the Dallas Cowboys themselves, but that is a conversation for another time.
While his fans will hope his career extends for a long time, the events unfolding on the HBO 24/7 series suggest it may not be long before the great Filipino fighter is lost to the political world. Here, we look back on his career and highlight the top 10 knockouts with the help of video footage where possible.
The criteria for this list was that the fight must have counted as a knockout victory on Pacquiao’s record; therefore Oscar De La Hoya retiring on his stool at the end of the eighth round is eligible for the list.
10. Manny Pacquiao TKO 2 Dele Decierto: July 1, 1995
“You never forget your first,” the old saying goes. If that is true, then Manny Pacquiao will forever remember this summer night in Metro Manila. As shown in the video, a young-looking Pacquiao had not packed on the muscle his current frame carries, but the fast hands and vicious flurries of punches were all there at a young age.
This knockout of Decierto was less the product of one vicious punch as the result of a relentless accumulation of stinging blows. This was only Manny’s fourth professional fight, and it is unlikely the crowd realized that they were watching the first knockout victory by one of the greatest fighters of our era.
9) Manny Pacquiao KO1 Shin Terao: May 18, 1998
This fight was an important step in the career of Pacquiao. While Manny entered the fight with a 22-1 record, this was the first time he competed outside of his native Philippines. He travelled to Japan to face Tokyo native Shin Terao in his own backyard.
This first-round knockout saw Manny display heavy hands and a finishing touch. Terao was floored three times within a round, and once he went down for the first time, Pacquiao jumped on him with vicious attacks and did not let up until the fight was over.
8) Manny Pacquiao TKO2 Jorge Eliecer Julio: June 8, 2002
While this may have been a routine defense of his IBF super bantamweight title, this fight was arguably Manny Pacquiao’s introduction to the big stage he now dominates. This fight showcased Manny in Memphis, Tenn., on the undercard of the Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson mega-fight.
From the opening bell, Manny overwhelmed Julio with an assortment of body shots and straight lefts and rights. The frequency of punches landed caused the referee to wave off the punishment in only the second round. Pacquiao had showcased his speed and power in front of millions of watching eyes.
7) Manny Pacquiao TKO 11 Marco Antonio Barrera: November 15, 2003
This victory over future Hall of Famer Barrera in Texas gave Pacquiao the biggest victory of his career to that date.
In an exciting fight, this was another knockout that was the result of accumulation rather than one single vicious blow.
Pacquiao landed repeatedly to the head and body of Barrera, and the referee stepped in to save the visibly worn-out Mexican fighter towards the end of Round 11. Barrera was awarded a rematch four years later that Pacquiao won by unanimous decision.
6) Manny Pacquiao TKO9 David Diaz: June 28, 2008
This fight at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas saw Manny Pacquiao win the WBC lightweight title. Diaz was a three-time Golden Gloves winner, but his hands were nowhere near fast and good enough to compete with Pacquiao.
Manny was first to the punch throughout the fight and in the ninth round sent a bloodied and battered Diaz face first to the canvas for the win.
5) Manny Pacquiao TKO8 Oscar De La Hoya: December 6, 2008
Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya was billed as "The Dream Match" and was supposed to be a clash for the ages between two modern legends. Instead, this turned into the execution of a legend.
De La Hoya showed fatigue early on and was forced to absorb some vicious combinations from Pacquiao. De La Hoya was not quick enough to land, and unable to defend himself for long periods. The fight culminated with the sad sight of De La Hoya pulling out on his stool at the end of the eighth round.
4) Manny Pacquiao TKO10 Erik Morales: January 21, 2006
Manny was defeated by Erik Morales in March 2005 in a very exciting brawl. Almost a year later, Pacquiao gained revenge with a crushing knockout of Morales.
After nine attritional rounds, Pacquiao put the fight away. Pacquiao's barrage of punches repeatedly floored Morales, and the referee stepped in to save the Mexican fighter in the 10th round.
At 2:06 in this video you will see the referee yelling into the face of Morales like he is hopped up on 1,000 cups of coffee—just what you need when you are on the wrong end of a beating!
3) Manny Pacquiao KO3 Erik Morales: November 18, 2006
Pacquiao-Morales is considered by many as one of the greatest trilogies of all time. In the third and final meeting, Manny achieved victory in the series in dominant fashion.
Manny stalked Morales from the opening bell and walked forward while delivering his familiar flurries of lefts, rights, body shots and uppercuts. A dejected Morales was counted out at the end of the third round, and said after the fight, "Maybe I should not be doing this any more." He was not the first to think that after a clash with Pac Man.
2) Manny Pacquiao TKO12 Miguel Angel Cotto: November 14, 2009
This meeting with Cotto was supposed to be a titanic clash. The speed of Manny contrasting with the size and power of Cotto to create a vicious battle that would dish out punishment on both ends—except, that is not quite what transpired.
Like so many Pacquiao fights, this turned into a one-way procession. Cotto had no answer for the speed of Manny, and punches landed from so many angles it must have felt at times like he was fighting an octopus.
Towards the end of the fight, a disorientated Cotto asked his corner how man rounds were left. At the end of Round 11, Cotto's father wanted to stop the punishment and pull his son out. He was talked out of it by his fellow cornermen, and you have to wonder why.
The bloodied and battered Cotto was sent out for another round of punishment until the inevitable stoppage came.
1) Manny Pacquiao KO2 Ricky Hatton: May 2, 2009
This is one of the fights that elevated Pacquiao to seemingly superhuman status. Ricky Hatton came into this fight as the IBO Light Welterweight Champion, carrying with him a 45-1 record.
British hero Hatton had survived some bloody wars, gone the distance repeatedly and was notorious for his toughness. In his only defeat, Hatton succumbed in the 10th round to future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather Jr. Whichever way this fight went, it was sure to be a long-winded and punishing affair.
Rather than the battle he had hardened himself for, Hatton instead received the shock of his life, as he ran into a human buzz saw. Manny landed at will from first second to last and the Englishman Hatton was down twice within the first three minutes.
In the second round, Pac Man landed one of the most vicious blows of his career, a shuddering left hand to the jaw that laid Hatton flat out and sent a shudder down the spines of his fans.
Heading in Pacquiao's dismantling of Margarito, many fans believed it would be a tough fight and the size of Margarito would trouble Manny. However, as you see on this list, others have thought that before.