By James Dayap
Remember when Manny Pacquiao was just a one handed fighter? You can actually order a dvd of all his fights on Netflix.com, and see that for the longest time, he simply dominated almost all of his opponents with his lightning fast, strong left hand. The young Manny Pacquiao indeed was a sight to see though, bringing monsterous talent to the table, and limitless(which now seems unlimited) potential. His knockout losses in his early career didn't phase him like how some boxers do, they only fueled his need to improve, thus eventually finding him at the door of the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood in 2001.
Under the teachings of Freddie Roach, early on, Manny started using his Jab more, combonations, and punches started to fly in at different angles. His raw strength, speed, and talent allowed him to beat some of the greatest boxers in the sport, unfortunately, when he met Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez, he found out that he needed to learn a lot more.
Moreso after his third defeat by decision to Erik Morales, Manny Pacquiao went back to the drawing board and came back an improved boxer. Right hooks appeared, and a slighly tighter defense. Soon El Terrible was no match for the Pacman. But Pacquiao's skills would take quantum leaps a few years later in 2008.
Although it is common to say you cant teach an old dog new tricks, that may apply to Ricky Hatton, but no Manny Pacquiao. After a very close decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao went back to the drawing board again at the Wildcard. Pacquiao walked into the ring with David Diaz to show what he had learned.
David Diaz was an opponent to be feared, having a great record including a defeat of Erik Morales, Diaz seemed to be a good cantidate to fight Pacquiao. For Pacquiaos debut at 135, the Philipino destroyed David Diaz with a combonation of boxing, power punching, and counterpunching. Pacquiao had developed his right hook and uppercut massivly before this fight, giving him a strong edge. Diaz was planted onto the floor face first by a Pacquiao left hand.
Oscar De La Hoya issued a challenge to the Philipino, asking him to meet him at 147lbs, the welterwieght division. With Freddie Roach's quick approval, and a battle over the purse shortly, the fight was made for December 2008. Manny Pacquiao was the 2-1 underdog for the fight, but he broke Vegas odds and soundly defeated Oscar De La Hoya in 8 rounds via TKO corner retirement. The Pacman dominated Goldenboy throughout the whole fight, taking little damage himself. Combonations, straight left hands, and jabs ruined the face of De La Hoya that night.
Come 2009, Pacquiao was set to fight Ricky Hatton, at the light welterwieght limit of 140lbs. Because of Pacquiao's performance against De La Hoya, he predicted to be the winner. Hatton was set as the underdog, and was actually quite mad about it. Although modest, Hatton was extremely confident he would win, having never lost at 140lbs, he was ready to bring it. Unfortunately come fight night, Ricky Hatton went down faster than Erik Morales's third fight with the Pacman. Taking two knockdowns in the first round, and absorbing Pacquiao's massively stronger right hook, a massive left hand created one of the most brutal knockdowns in boxing. Hatton got hit flush on the chin, was knocked out on impact, and hit the floor very hard.
Whomever Pacquiao faces next, dont judge him by his old fights, he and Freddie Roach seem to plan out great gameplans. Mayweather is an idiot to judge Pacquaio by his knockout losses in the 90's. Watch out Money, Cotto, Mosley, Marquez(again), and anyone else who challenges this guy, it's dangerous!