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'Snapshot': A Look At The Legacy of Manny Pacquiao - With And Without The Gloves

Manny PacquiaoBy Vivek Wallace: In yesterdays 'Snapshot' we took an in-depth look at Oscar De La Hoya who's in and out of ring moments have given fight fans a ton of memories over the years. As we continue our countdown to the 'Dream Match', today we shift our focus to the man standing across from him, Mr. Manny Pacquiao. Oscar De La Hoya has been celebrated globally for his many endeavors, but for the first time in his professional career, he'll face a man who is also celebrated on the grand stage. Everything from singing, to acting, to politics and beyond, Pacquiao has created his own celebrity effect, and now has a nation of millions behind him. In an effort to view the man behind the legacy, we take a look back at Manny Pacquiao, in a 'Snapshot' of his legacy.....

Manny Pacquiao - With The Gloves....

In 1995 at the tender age of only 16 years old, Manny Pacquiao kicked off his professional career in the Philippines as a very tiny 106lb light flyweight contender. At the beginning of his journey, few could fathom the possibility of Pacquiao one day amassing the legendary status that he has. After coming out of the gates 11-0 with 4 KO's, Pacquiao would encounter his first dose of adversity, losing via third round TKO to Rustico Torrecampo after being on the receiving end of a nasty left hand across the kisser. Using that opportunity to show heart, Pacquiao would bounce back as he rattled off 15 wins in a row, only allowing two of those opponents to actually see the final bell. During that run, Pacquiao would earn his first title via 8th round TKO over Chatchai Sasakul for the WBC light flyweight strap. No longer a 16 year old light flyweight, the developing Pacquaio would find himself in the midst of weight issues that would ultimately land him on the wrong side of the scale, forcing him to be stripped of his title, and subsequently losing the fight as well (to Medgoen Sinsurat) after taking a powerful body shot and failing to beat the count. In his very next fight Pacquiao would move up in weight and immediately make his presence felt, winning the WBC international Super Bantamweight strap. That victory would kick off an unprecedented streak of ring dominance that saw Pacquaio win 22 of his next 25 fights, with two ending in a draw and one in a decision loss to Mexican great Erik Morales that he would later avenge. Combined, his efforts would see him produce four world titles in four different weight divisions, with the most recent taking place in his only trip to the sports lightweight division. During his rise to stardom there were many moments where his ability to persevere came under fire, but rather than cooling down, reminiscent of the trunks he often wears to the ring, the flames that spark his fire would burn bright. His next mission will require him to go nearly 20 pounds north to face an iconic nemesis, but in response to those that question whether he'll show up or not I present two words....No pressure.



Manny Pacquaio - Without The Gloves....

Outside the ropes, Manny Pacquiao's down to earth demeanor has been the chief cause for affection as fans from every stretch of the globe have embraced him with open arms. So beloved was he that in June of 2006, the Filipino stud would have a movie done chronicling his story, and despite the fact that the box office life of the movie left much to be desired, there were far too many other aspects of his personality that kept fans and followers jonesin' for more. Other out of the ring endeavors for Manny Pacquiao have included everything from local politics, to the recording studio booth, to lead man for NIKE endorsements, and as great as he did on each of those platforms, there's one other mission of his that keeps him humble and divinely appreciated. That would be his mission for peace. Few ever discuss it, but Pacquiao is a very devout Roman Catholic and despite his frequent urge to bask in the city lights, this humble Filipino knows where his blessings come from. As great as he has been in the ring, his biggest attribute is arguably his legible spirit. His many efforts for the poor back in his homeland have given peace to millions who've never had a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. His humble servant mentality has made him the perfect symbol of peace for his country, and in this years Olympic Games in Beijing, China, there was no individual more fitting to represent a nation that remains undoubtedly unified behind him. So often in life we hear success stories that transcend multiple lines, but on a grand scale, the story of Manny Pacquiao has to be considered one for the ages. If there's anyone out there who dare question what hard work and determination can do when coupled with faith and motivation, one has to look no further. Today, Pacquiao and wife 'Jinkee' patiently await the arrival of their fourth child who will add yet another flank in the life of his legacy. So many around him are focused on his pending 'Dream Match', but as he reflects on his past, perhaps to Manny, this is all but a dream to begin with. Can a victory over Oscar make this 'dream' of his any better? Good question, but win, lose, or draw, considering where he is now in life, there's no way he can lose when you realize that 16 years ago when De La Hoya started his career this same Manny Pacquiao was selling bread and cigarettes on the streets of his homeland just to survive. Apparently, time does heal all wounds, and relative to that question, only time will tell.

(Tune in tomorrow to the next installment of our daily countdown to Pacquaio/De La Hoya...Remaining lineup schedule listed below):

Wed: The 'Left-Hook Lounge': (My weekly mailbag dedicated this week solely to Oscar and Manny).
Thu: Champs, Chumps, Controversies: Fight Fans Reaction To The 'Dream Match' (A look at how fans view this matchup)
Fri: 'Call Em Out Fridays': (My weekly 'spotlight' article, analyzing the pro's, the con's, and the neutral take on the two fighters involved)
Sat: Keys To Victory, Four To Explore, and Official Prediction (Talking fight strategy, key effects to watch out for, and fight prediction).
Mon: Pacquiao/De La Hoya - 'The Aftermath': (Posted Monday, Not Sunday - A Recap and a look at where the two fighters go from here).

(Got Questions or Feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com and 954-292-7346, or show some love at www.myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)

Article posted on 03.12.2008



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