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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chunks of History

For the third time in his career, Manny Pacquiao was involved in a fight which had a historical and linear world title belt on the line from Ring Magazine.

The first was in November 2003 when he beat Marco Antonio Barrera for the Ring Magazine featherweight world title. Last March 2008, when he beat Juan Manuel Maquez for the WBC superfeatherweight world title, he was also considered the world 130 lb. champion by the publication considered as Boxings bible because Pacquiao and Marquez were ranked by the Ring as the top two in the division.

Pacquiao took the Ring magazine junior welterweight title from Britain's Ricky The Hitman Hatton with an electrifying two round blitzkrieg that shocked most boxing pundits who were expecting a more competitive bout. Hatton walked into a right hook in the first round, got up and fell down again after a lightning barrage but was saved by the bell. In the second, like all recent Pacman opponents, Hatton could not see Pacquiao's left coming for his jaw.

This places Pacquiao in a lofty place in boxing history. The likes of Henry Armstrong and Bob Fitzimmons won undisputed titles in three different weights during the time when there was still only one world sanctioning body.

Incredibly, Pacquiao has fought in four weight categories in a span of fifteen months and won world titles in three of them.
Aside from the Ring magazine belts, he has also won four world titles from the major sanctioning bodies - the WBC flyweight, IBF superbantamweight, WBC superfeatherweight and WBC lightweight in his fourteen year professional career. He is also the first Asian boxer to be ranked number one best fighter pound per pound in the world.

Ring magazine as a publication started in 1922 and started their own championship policy in 2002.

The junior welterweight division lineage started in 1925 with James Herring as its first champion. Roberto Cruz was the first Filipino to win the world junior welterweight championship when he knocked out Battling Torres of Mexico in a single round in a bout held in Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles in 1963 when the original WBA was the lone boxing sanctioning body.

The title was split when the WBC was created and Pedro Adigue of the Philippines became the first WBC jr.welterweight titlist in 1968 when he beat Adolf Pruitt of the U.S. by 15 round decision in a bout held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. The WBA continued to recognize Nicolino Locche as its champion then he lost to Peppermint Frazier in 1972. The titles remained split since as the IBF emerged during the mid-1980s. The WBO started in 1988 while the IBO, whose belt Hatton also held, started during the late eighties and evolved as an organization during the early 1990's.

Other Filipinos who won titles at 140 pounds include Morris East (WBA 1992).

Kotsya Tszyu finally unified the titles again when he beat Miguel Angel Gonzales for the WBC belt in 1999, Sharmba Mitchell for the WBA title in 2000 and Zab Judah for the IBF belt in 2001.

When Tzsyu lost to Ricky Hatton by 11th round TKO in 2005, the linear title was passed on to the British fighter. Titles are won and lost inside the ring after all thus Pacquiao can lay claim to the lineage. Pacquiao has now distinguished himself in six weight divisions. Not bad for a guy who started at light flyweight.


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