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By Eddie Alinea

Pacman?s win dedicated to 489th anniversary of RP discovery
Tue, 16 Mar 2010

Today marks the day the Philippines was discovered 489 years ago by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan marking the start of a four-decade of Spanish Colonial rule of the country.

As there was nary a celebration marking that historic day, world seven-division champion Manny Pacquiao, unknowingly led the commemoration by retaining his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown via a dominating 12-round unanimous decision of Ghanaian Joshua Clottey two days before that.
March actually is a very lucky day for the 31-year-old Filipino ring icon as it was also in this month when he fought and won six of his 56 fights since starting his professional career on January 22, 1995 as a tiny 206-pound campaigner.

It was on March 15, 2008, in fact, when he crowned himself the World Boxing Council and Ring Magazine super-featherweight championship at the expense of Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez whom he beat by a 12-round split decision at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

That controversial victory over Marquez in actually their second meeting, gifted Pacquiao his fourth world title following his earlier reign in the flyweight, super-bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

Pacquiao?s version of ?March Madness? started on the 18th day of the month in the year 1995 when he won a four-round decision over Pinoy Montejo in Occidental Mindoro. That was his only second pro-bout following a similar four-rounder win over Ignacio Edmund entering January of the same year when he debuted as a prizefighter.

The Kibawe, Bukidnon-born southpaw, the reigning pound-for-pound king and the only man to win seven world championships in as many weight divisions, followed this up a first round knockout of Mike Luna on March 3, 1996, a fourth round stoppage of Arnel Barotillo on March 4, 2000 to retain his WBC International super-bantam diadem.

Three years later, also on March 15, Pacquiao, now based in General Santos City in South Cotabato and three-time ?Boxer of the Year? honoree by the Boxing Writer Association of America, needed only five rounds in stopping Serickzhan Yeshmagambetov in an outdoor date at the Rizal park inside the Luneta Park in Manila.
The only blot that tainted Pacquiao?s successes in the month of March, which was also marked with the celebration of the Ides of March, a festivity dedicated to the god of Mars and the period when Julius Caesar was killed 44 B.C., was when he suffered the last of his only thre losses at the hands of another Mexican legend, Erik Morales who beat him on points for the WBC International super-featherweight title on March 19, 2005 at the MGM Grand.
He more than made up for this though by winning the next two of their classic trilogy the following year, both via abbreviated fashions.

He forced Morales, who turned out to be a best friend, to surrender in the 10th round of their 12-round return match on January 1, 2006 in Thomas and Mack Center, also in Las Vegas, before sending the game Mexican on the seat of his pants for good in only the third frame of another 12-round third meeting on November 18, 2006, also at the Thomas and Mack Center in the ?Sin City.?

From then on, Pacquiao was to come up with a string of 8 more victories, five via either KO or TKO, including Jorge Solis (8th round), David Diaz (9th round) for the WBC lightweight plum, Oscar De La Hoya (9th round) that forced the legend?s retirement, Ricky Hatton (2nd round) for the IBO and Ring Magazine light-welterweight crown and Miguel Cotto 12th round) for the WBO welterweight title and WBC Diamond Belt.

Like Marquez and latest conquest, Clottey, Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera succeeded to end his futile meeting with Pacquiao hearing the sound of the final bell.

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