Manny Pacquiao's Five Best Performances - Pacquiao-De La Hoya

Manny Pacquiaoby James Slater - As we head ever closer towards his "dream fight" with Oscar De La Hoya, this writer felt it appropriate to look at the five best ring performances put on by the great Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao. Currently recognised as the best fighter, pound-for-pound, on the planet, the Filipino icon has achieved plenty. Without doubt the greatest fighter to have ever come out of his country, the southpaw dynamo has a number of truly sensational victories and/or performances on his 47-3-2(35) record. But which were Pacquiao's best?

Here, in reverse order, are this writer's choices for Manny's five best showings - the five bouts that made him what he is today. Of course, should he pull off the upset on December 6th, the following results will no doubt be paled in comparison. Speaking today, however, here are "Pac-Man's" best nights..

5: TKO4 Fahsan 3K Battery, December 11th, 2004.

Already a big name by this stage in his career, Pacquiao met Thai southpaw Battery, in defending his Ring magazine featherweight title in Manila. The Thai may not be one of the best fighters in the world, and most of his fights pre-Pacquiao had taken place in his homeland, but in a pro record of 69 bouts he has only ever been stopped once - by Pacquiao. Showing his fearsome power in the 4th round, "Pac-Man" sent the wonderfully (re) named southpaw to the mat three times - a left uppercut lifting the Thai clean off his feet, ending the fight.

4: TKO9 David Diaz, 28th June, 2008.

Pacquiao's most recent fight and the one that helped make some believe he has a shot against De La Hoya. Moving up to win his fourth alphabet world title, Manny utterly destroyed big lightweight and fellow lefty Diaz. It wasn't so much Pacquaio's winning that earned him the plaudits, as he was the favourite going in; it was the manner in which he won. On the way to showing he had very much carried his power up to 135-pounds, Pacquiao put on a punch-perfect display. The ending of the fight, and the way the tough Diaz was left flat on his face, was stunning.

3: KO3 Erik Morales, 18th November, 2006.

Meeting Mexican great Morales for the third time at super-featherweight, Pacquiao won the rubber-match in devastating fashion. Okay, "El Terrible" may have been past his best, but he had beaten Manny in their first meeting and he'd hung tough into the 10th round of the return fight. This time, however, much to the shock and surprise of everyone, Morales was utterly blown away. Quite simply, what "Pac-Man" did to Morales in November of 2006, no-one else ever has.

2: W12 Juan Manuel Marquez, 15th March, 2008.

Boxing in a bout that would decide the WBC featherweight crown held by Mexico's Marquez, Pacquiao met "Dinamita" for the second time. Their first meeting, back in May of 2004, also at featherweight, ended in a draw, despite Pacquiao decking Marquez three times in an amazing opening round. This time, in again having a very tough night, Manny edged a split decision. A sweet 3rd round knockdown scored by Pacquiao proved to be all-important on the scorecards, with Manny prevailing by three points on one card and by just one on another. Once again, these two modern day greats had brought the best out of one another.

1: TKO11 Marco Antonio Barrera, November 15th, 2003.

The fight that made Pacquiao a global star. In ripping the Ring magazine belt off a peak Barrera, Pacquiao made a huge impact on not only the featherweight division, but in all of boxing. Giving "The Baby Faced Assassin" from Mexico a steady and brutal thrashing over ten shockingly one-sided rounds, Manny forced his opponent's corner to throw in the towel at 2 minutes and 56-seconds of round 11. Barrera, who had recently mastered Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales and Johnny Tapia, as well as going through 12 rounds of hell with Morales in an earlier meeting, had no answer for "Pac-Man's" speed, ferocity and power. There was now a new sensation of boxing's lower weight classes!

Article posted on 01.12.2008

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