Manny Pacquiao's 5 Biggest Opponents: More Staying Power, More Damage
With the exception of Joshua Clottey who went into hiding at the back of his gloves practically almost the entire 12 rounds in Dallas last March 13, 2010, Manny Pacquiao seemed to have acquired a habit of using his bigger opponent’s face as a human canvas for his boxing masterpieces. Amazingly, his finished products continue to improve and I will not be surprised if they will soon be auctioned.
Alex Ariza must have done a really good job in Pacquiao as it was since the Diaz fight when Ariza teamed up with Roach to make sure Manny would be able to not only carry but even improve further his power and speed against bigger would-be opponents.
People should stop comparing Pacquiao’s performances in the pre-Diaz fight because we all have seen it and we all know it, Manny Pacquiao is no longer the same fighter who had some troubles with Marquez and was out-boxed by Morales in the first installment of their epic trilogy.
While most top boxers no matter how great their trainers are would tend to fight the way they always used to in a marquee fight (case in point Ricky Hatton when he faced Pacquiao), Manny Pacquiao on the other hand have made so much improvement in his footwork, punching accuracy in both hands, defense, power and most of all his ability to execute a game plan to near perfection and to the delight of his trainer Freddie Roach.
So for those of you who think that Manny Pacquiao will now have trouble in the lower weight class as smaller men like Marquez are not as easily hittable as these bigger but slower guys, think again. Pacquiao at 126 lbs. and 130 lbs. downed Marquez four times in their 2 outings. Try to imagine how Marquez will handle if those punches had the same power he used to send Hatton to retirement and broke Margarito’s orbital bone?
As Pacquiao moved to Welterweight and there abouts give and take, his skills and punching power had been phenomenal. The tougher an opponent, the more damage he seems to inflict on their faces. Check out the slideshow to validate.
5. Ricky Hatton
Fought Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2009. Hatton was unbeaten in Junior Welterweight where he was a dominant force and held the IBO and Ring Magazine Belt. He campaigned in Welterweight to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. but was unsuccessful. Defended his title back at JWW and outboxed Paullie Mallignagi. Hatton while bigger than Pacquiao, was perhaps the weakest among Pacquio's bigger foes as he was knocked-out flat on his back in the 2nd round by Pacquiao's lethal left cross.
Staying Power: 2
Facial Damage Incurred: Average
4. Oscar Dela Hoya
Oscar Dela Hoya's showdown with Pacquiao on December 8, 2008 was the first huge challenge for Manny in as far as size differential is concerned. Oscar was the more accomplished, taller and bigger man having won championships in as far as 160 pound division. Fresh from his one and only battle at 135 lbs. against David Diaz, Pacquiao agreed to face ODLH at 147 and pummeled his taller opponent with precision punching for 8 straight rounds until Oscar quit on his stool for the opening of round 9. Pacquiao won all rounds from all score cards.
Staying Power: 6
Facial Damage Incurred: Average +
3. David Diaz
After winning the WBC Junior Lightweight Championship from Marquez, Pacquiao moved south to challenge David Diaz's Lightweight Crown at 135 lbs. on June 28, 2008. The iron-chinned Diaz was tougher than most people gave him credit for as he lasted 9 agonizing rounds before a Pacquiao short left hook crumbled him to the canvas. The kind of punishment Diaz incurred was quite visible in this post fight interview.
Staying Power: 8
Facial Damage Incurred: Above Average +
2. Miguel Cotto
Miguel Cotto was a legitimate Welterweight and one of the toughest fighter - heaviest puncher Pacquiao has faced. Pacquiao squared off with Cotto for the latter's WBO Welterweight belt on November 11, 2009 after Pacman's 2 round destruction of Hatton at 140 lbs. Cotto had his moments in the first few rounds as he traded big punches with Pacquiao but things went bad for Cotto after a flash left hook in the fourth round floored him in an effort to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao. Cotto lost the will to win but his durability made him to the 12th round surviving Pacquiao's flury until the referee stopped the fight a few seconds before the final bell.
Staying Power : 9+
Facial Damage Incurred: Severe
1. Antonio Margarito
Antonio Margarito was 5 inches taller and 17 pounds heavier than the dimunitive Pacquiao at the opening bell in Arlington Texas last November 13, 2010 for the vacant WBC Junior Middleweight Belt. Margarito was believed to be the toughest opponent Manny has ever faced coming into this fight. With a 5 inches reach advantage, a vicious body punch, powerful uppercut and a granite chin, Margarito is no push-over. But Pacquiao's speed and precision punching has once again wethered him from danger against an opponent this size and warrior-like spirit. Pacquiao failed to drop Margarito but beat his face to a pulp and fructuring his right orbital bone in the process.
Staying Power: Perfect 10
Facial Damage Incurred: Worst