MANILA, Philippines – Fighting senator Manny Pacquiao has frequented the news lately, mostly due to issues concerning the coronavirus crisis in the Philippines.
But before he became a public official, Pacquiao found himself on headlines primarily because of his boxing career.
We look back at some of the best fights of the eight-division world champion:
1. Pacquiao vs Barrera I (2003)
Pacquiao earned the moniker "Mexecutioner" for his streak of dominance against fighters from Mexico and one of his early victims was Marco Antonio Barrera.
Still a rising star then, Pacquiao stamped his mark on the boxing world as he crushed Barrera through an 11th-round technical knockout victory to capture the The Ring and lineal featherweight titles.
Barrera, who suffered a unanimous decision loss to Pacquiao in their rematch in 2007, said he regretted his decision to face the Filipino.
2. Pacquiao vs Morales II (2006)
Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Erik Morales in their maiden clash in 2005, Pacquiao brought out the bigs guns in their rematch the following year to come away with a career-defining win.
Pacquiao showed his power and speed are too much to handle for Morales and forced referee Kenny Bayless to halt the fight in the 10th round, handing the Mexican the first stoppage loss of his career.
The two met for the third time months later, but Morales barely stood a chance as Pacquiao knocked him out in the 3rd round.
3. Pacquiao vs Hatton (2009)
Pacquiao moved up to light welterweight and announced his arrival in the decision with a bang with a masterclass of a win against Ricky Hatton.
Hatton boasted of a 45-1 card prior to the fight, with his lone loss coming against Floyd Mayweather Jr, but Pacquiao proved too fast and strong for him and knocked him out after just two rounds.
Decking the British twice in the opening round, Pacquiao wrapped up the win just before the 2nd round ended with a solid left to the head of Hatton, who was rendered unconscious.
Hatton did not fight for 3 years since the loss and retired following another knockout defeat in 2012.
4. Pacquiao vs Cotto (2009)
Months after dominating Hatton, Pacquiao moved up to welterweight and became the first boxer to win titles in 7 different divisions with a technical knockout win over Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.
Cotto managed to stay with Pacquiao until the 12th and final round, but referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight after seeing the defending champion badly wounded and pressed against the ropes.
Pacquiao won the WBO crown with the win.
5. Pacquiao vs Margarito (2010)
Now a super welterweight, Pacquiao claimed another Mexican victim as he beat Antonio Margarito to a pulp in a lopsided unanimous decision win.
Boxing fans could barely recognize Margarito after the fight, which was scored 120-108, 118-110, 119-109 in favor of Pacquiao.
Pacquiao took home the vacant WBC super welterweight belt with the triumph and became boxing's only eight-division world champion, a distinction that only he holds until the present.
6. Pacquiao vs Matthysse (2018)
Stoppage wins eluded Pacquiao for almost a decade before he ended that dry spell with a technical knockout win over Lucas Matthysse.
Although 4 years older than the Argentine, Pacquiao proved he can still pack a punch as he demolished Matthysse in 7 rounds to bag the WBA regular welterweight crown.
Matthysse retired weeks after the bout. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.