There’s no denying that Manny Pacquiao is one of the best boxers of his generation.
He has beaten some of the biggest names in boxing including Miguel Cotto, Oscar dela Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and a host others on his way to becoming boxing’s only 8-division champion.
He has become so popular that he earned millions and millions of dollars from his ring exploits and product endorsements, becoming one of the top earning boxers second only to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Now at 40, Pacquiao will take on the toughest challenge at this point of his career, facing undefeated WBA “super” welterweight champion Keith Thurman.
What are the most crucial bouts that made him what he is today?
ABS-CBN News spoke to three boxing analysts who talked about the most important turning points in Pacquiao’s colorful boxing career.
Danrex Tapdasan (analyst/boxing referee)
Sa akin No. 1 ’yung fight against Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. That was his first fight in the US, 'yun ang kanyang introduction sa US market, ang kanyang baptism of fire ‘ika nga.
Pangalawa is ’yung laban niya kay Ricky Hatton. Doon siya naging worldwide sensation. Kasi si Ricky Hatton ang No. 1 fighter outside of US and Asia. It was very impressive kasi nanalo siya ng second round knockout.
Third na career defining fight para kay Pacquiao ay kay ‘yung kay Oscar dela Hoya. That was really his ticket to being a superstar and a sure hall of famer when he retires.
Ed Tolentino (veteran fight commentator)
The first was the win over Marco Antonio Barrera. That’s the one bout that made the world notice him.
Then the win over Oscar de la Hoya which, despite being one-sided, vaulted Pacquiao to a higher tax bracket in terms of fight purses.
Then there’s the devastating knockout win over Ricky Hatton, where Pacman showed just how hard he can punch. Greatest display of firepower from Manny Pacquiao.
Nissi Icasiano (fight journalist)
The first one ay 'yung kay Rustico Torrecampo. That fight served as an eye-opener for Manny Pacquiao. Kung hindi siya natalo doon, hindi niya makukuha 'yung world title kay Chatchai Sasakul ng Thailand. That was his first loss and from that moment, nag-evolve na siya as a fighter.
The second most crucial fight was the December 2012 bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. He was knocked down in the second or the third by Marquez, then in the fourth or fifth siya naman ang naka-score ng knockdown. Alam nating susceptible si Manny Pacquiao sa counter punchers but he gambled, but Marquez also gambled in that fight. Although na knocked out siya, he proved he could dust himself off could bounce back and be on the top of his game once again.
The No. 1 fight na pinaka-crucial kay Manny Pacquiao was against Erik Morales, the first one. Maraming distractions outside the ring, including his issues with promoter Murad Muhammad. During the fight in the third or fourth round nagkaroon siya ng cut na hanggang ngayon naglilinger pa rin. Despite those circumstances nagawa pa ring ni Manny Pacquiao na close fight.
While others protect their zeroes in their records, Manny Pacquiao is different from the rest. Some of his losses turned out to be a blessing that benefited his career in the process.
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