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The Unnecessity of Being Undisputed (Part 2)


PhilBoxing.com



Pacquiao drops Morales.

Manny decided to move up to junior lightweight where he had a trilogy with Erik Morales, another worthy and credible foe though in non title bouts. Manny lost the first but won the next two by knockout.

When Marquez became WBC and lineal world junior lightweight champion, Manny and Bob lost no time and arranged a title challenge.

Manny scored another knockdown on the way to pounding a split decision victory over Marquez to win essentially his fourth weight division world championship.

There were other champions in the division aching for a fight versus Manny Pacquiao like Edwin Valero and Joan Guzman who have attained certain levels of credibility with the fans.

But what's the use? What's the need?

From featherweight to the junior lightweight, Manny had fought three of Mexico's best in Marquez, Morales and Barrera not once but twice or thrice with a record of 5 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw.

Marquez and Morales would proceed to become four world division champions with titles at junior welterweight later while Barrera had already won titles at 122, 126 and 130.

What about Valero and Guzman? Not long after, Valero would take his life while Guzman would fade away like a shooting star.

Meanwhile, Manny would continue his march to greatness taking on David Diaz for his WBC world lightweight championship. True, Diaz might not be the best at 135 at that time as there were other titlists but Diaz was the more proven and the longest reigning champion.

Manny would dominate Diaz from the get go and knocked him out in the 9th round. His performance was among his best and could be likened to a predator playing with the prey until deciding to devour it.

His demolition of Diaz who was a former US Olympian and actually a sawn off welterweight, impressed another multi division champion Oscar de la Hoya then at middleweight into challenging him to a catchweight fight at welterweight. We all knew what happened there. Oscar never fought again after absorbing a hellish beating from Pacquiao.

Next, Manny went up to junior welterweight and challenged long time king of that division Ricky Hatton for the IBO and most importantly lineal championship. After toying with the bigger Hatton in the opening round, Manny would posterize the Briton with a picture perfect left hook to the jaw sending him senseless to the canvas for a 2nd round knockout. There were other champions at 140 like Kendall Holt and Vivian Harris but there was no need to fight them as he had conquered the best and biggest of them all in Hatton who had even earlier given scare to the great Floyd Mayweather Jr.

When Manny stepped up to welterweight, Miguel Cotto was considered the best fighter and champion there with Mayweather still retired. Shane Mosley was WBC champion but Cotto had earlier beaten him.

So Manny chose Cotto who was then holding the WBO belt.

Cotto was also a former Olympian who rose up in the pro ranks initially as a junior welterweight where he also made his mark. His only loss at the time was by stoppage to the big Mexican Antonio Margarito who was suspected of cheating with his handwraps as was discovered before his losing bout against Mosley.

Cotto was skillful as he was tough and he troubled Manny with his trademark body punching and left hooks. But the best of Manny once again surfaced with the most trying of challenges. Manny stopped a badly beat up Cotto in the 11th round to win his seventh division world championship as boxing chronicles would recognize.

Manny would stay in the welterweights even after winning his eighth division title at junior middleweight against Margarito in 2010.

The aim was not to unify with the other lesser champions but to fight the best, Floyd Mayweather Jr who had come out of retirement to become WBC champion again.

Pacquiao, like Mayweather could easily had won unified championships at 147 lbs.

But they knew that only fighting and beating each other was the best proof of welterweight division dominance.

Going undisputed was farthest from their mind.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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