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Sunday, May 3, 2009

PACQUIAO WATCH: Manny in devastating KO win

FILIPINO beakbuster Manny Pacquiao broke many Englishmen’s hearts by dealing their countryman his most devastating defeat with a spectacular second round knockout to wrest the Ring Magazine’s welterweight crown from the kid from Manchester Ricky Hatton.

The end came via a powerful left hook late in the second round which sent Hatton crashing into his back. Referee Kenny Bayless immediately waived his hands up in the air to end the fight.

Hatton lay motionless for several minutes, his eyes rolling over as his handlers tried to revive him.

Pacquiao was a favorite coming into the fight but many never expected the bout to end so soon.

The Filipino boxing sensation made it clear right in the first round that it would be a short and pitiful night for Hatton.

The man from Manchester tried to establish his rhythm by crowding Pacquiao at the opening bell and throwing his vaunted body punches but Manny deftly danced out of harm’s way and landed the first telling blow with a thundering right hook in the early going which untracked Hatton.

He would mix up his punches with left straights.

With barley 40 seconds left in the first canto, Manny uncorked a powerful right hook off a missed jab from Hatton.

It sent Hatton on all fours with his forehead touching the canvass.

Hatton rose at the count of eight but a worried face was splashed all over the television.

Manny chased him and Hatton tried to answer back.

But with 12 seconds left, a one-two combo attack capped by a signature left straight from Manny sent Hatton crashing down into his own corner with just the lower rung of the ring preventing his head from touching the canvass.

Referee Bayless again gave Hatton the mandatory eight count and the two trade punches when the bell sounded for the first round.

Ricky Hatton was still visibly hurting during the break as he kept nodding to the advices from his corner men.

He was again in his element at the beginning of the second round and tried to lure Manny into a phone booth brawl.

But it was not meant to be. Manny wisely hugged Hatton while covering his face with his left hand.

Then the climactic ending came.

A right jab set up Hatton for a left straight that looked like a hybrid of a left hook.

Hatton fell on the canvass with a big thud like the proverbial London Bridge.

With the win, Manny joined the rarefied circle of boxing greats who won world titles in at least five different weight categories.

Pacquiao, who started as a light flyweight, had captured world crowns in the flyweight, superbantamweight, super featherweight, lightweight in addition to the welterweight title he wrested from Hatton.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum proclaimed Pacquiao as “the greatest fighter to have ever lived.”

That may be a little too early but with only a megafight with former world pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. looming in the horizon as a stumbling block to that accolade, Manny’s greatness as one of the most devastating punchers in modern times is now cemented and etched in the hallowed walls of Las Vegas, the Mecca of world class boxing.

Mayweather has signified his interest to fight the winner of the Pacquiao-Hatton bout.

That fight could come in the fall when Mayweather Jr. shall already have his tune up fight in the summer.

It was the first time I watched Manny’s fight live on cable outside of General Santos City.

In Cagayan de Oro City, virtually all villages in the heart of the city set up widescreen viewings – for free – for residents in their respective areas.

At the square center of Cogon public market four big television sets were already mounted as early as 6:00 in allowing marketgoers unhampered view from four sides.

Betting was heavy in favor of Pacquiao ending the fight as early as the third round.

When the first two knockdowns were registered against Hatton in the first round, audiences already saw the end coming just as long-time Pacquiao coach Freddie Roach correctly predicted.

The Englishman now knows what others have known before him.

That Manny’s speed is like no other and that while Manny may miss the bullseye on the dartboard inside Hatton’s pubhouse, his punches are as good as a ‘bulls out’ in a 501 game of darts.

That Hatton only lasted two rounds against Manny should sent a message across the boxing world that a new king has emerged in the world of boxing.

That his win over Oscar de la Hoya was by no means a fluke.

That Manny ably filled up the void left behind by de la Hoya who chose to retire after being handed out his most lopsided loss by the Filipino puncher-slugger turned into sweet-punching executioner.

The mantle has been passed and it fitted to a T with Manny’s recent decisively and clinical conquest of Hatton.


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