The adventures of 'Pac-Man': Chronicling Manny Pacquiao's boxing record
Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino world champion boxer who has an outstanding professional boxing record of 57 wins (38 knockouts and 19 unanimous decision), 6 losses (3 knockouts and 3 unanimous decisions) and 2 draws. He was recently in the news for his ‘Fight of the Century’ against American champion Floyd Mayweather; Pacquiao lost that bout, but not before putting up an incredible effort.
Pacquiao didn’t have the most privileged childhood; he lived on the streets for some time before taking up boxing at the age of 14. That was a turning point in his life, and he soon made it to the Philippines national amateur boxing team where he reportedly had a record of 60-4.
Now, of cours, things are very different for him. According to Forbes, he is the second highest paid athlete in the world as of 2015.
Let us have a quick look on Pacquiao’s stellar career and boxing record as a professional:
Pacquiao got his first opportunity to fight for a world title against Chatchai Sasakul in the flyweight division. He defeated Sasakul by a knockout in the 8th round, winning his first World title in the process.
He went on to defend the title successfully against Mexican Gabriel Mira via a fourth-round technical knockout. Eventually, however, Pacquiao lost the WBC title at the scales, as he surpassed the weight limit of 112 pounds.
Super bantamweight division
After he lost the WBC title, Pacquiao skipped the super flyweight and bantamweight divisions and took part in the super bantamweight division of 122 pounds. He won the WBC International Super Bantamweight title and defended it successfully five times.
Then came a chance for the world title fight against Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, who held the IBF Super Bantamweight title at that time.
The fight took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Pacquiao, popularly called ‘The Pac-man’, won the bout by a technical knockout and clinched the second major title of his professional career. He defended his title four times under his head coach Freddie Roach, who was the owner of the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
In November 2003, Pacquiao fought his first featherweight division fight against the holder of WBA and IBF featherweight titles Marco Antonio Barrera. The Pac-man won the bout, which is often referred to as the fight that defined his career, via a technical knockout in the 11th round. This was only the second knockout loss for Barrera in his professional career.
Pacquiao won the Lineal and The Ring Featherweight Championship, thus making him the first Filipino and first Asian to become a three-division World Champion – a fighter who had won the world title in three different weight divisions.
After this win, Pacquaio was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit by the then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The following day, House of Representatives of the Philippines honored Pacquiao with the Congressional Medal of Achievement for his exceptional achievements, making him the first sportsman to receive such an honor from the House of Representatives.
Super featherweight division
In March 2005, Pacquiao fought against Jaun Manuel Marquez at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The so-called national godfather, Pacquiao won the tie via a split decision. The win guaranteed Pacquiao his fourth world title, making him the first and only Filipino and Asian to become a 4-division World Champion.
At the end of the fight, the judges' scores were 115–112 for Pacquiao, 115–112 for Márquez and 114–113 for Pacquiao.
In June 2008, Pacquiao fought against David Diaz at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in the lightweight division. The ‘Filipino slugger’ won the fight via a 9th round knockout, becoming the first and only Filipino and Asian to be a 5-Division World Champion.
It was reported that the fight had made 12.5 million dollars, earning Díaz his best payday of 850,000 dollars, whilst Pacquiao earned at least 3 million dollars.
Light welterweight division
In June 2009, Pacquiao fought in the light welterweight division for the first time in his professional boxing career, going up against Ricky Hatton in a fight labeled as ‘The Battle of the East and West’. The Pac-man won the fight via a knockout to claim Hatton’s The Ring and IBO Light Welterweight World titles. This title made him only the second fighter in boxing history to have ever won 6 World Titles in 6 different weight divisions.
The knockout won him The Ring Magazine’s “Knockout of the year 2009” award.
In November 2009, Pacquiao got the chance to fight against Miguel Cotto and earn his 7th world title. The fight took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and was named as ‘Firepower’.
As expected, Pacquiao defeated Cotto via a knockout in the 12th round. With this victory, Pacquiao took the WBO Welterweight title, and was also awarded the WBO Super Championship title, thus becoming the first ever seven-division World Champion. No other fighter in boxing history had ever accomplished such a feat.
Pacquiao also won the first and special WBC Diamond Championship belt which was created as an exclusive honorary championship, to award the winner of the historic fight between two high-profile boxers.
Light middleweight division
In July 2010, Pacquiao got to fight against Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC light middleweight title. Pacquiao defeated Margarito via a unanimous decision, using his superior hand speed and movement to win his 8th world title in as many divisions.
After winning this world title, Pacquiao was awarded another Congressional Medal of Distinction from a congressmen led by the House Speaker during the ceremony at the Philippine House of Representatives.
Pacquiao vs Mayweather
After years of unsuccessful negotiations, Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally agreed to meet in the ring earlier this year. The fight was named the ‘Fight of the Century’, and whipped up a flurry of excitement among sports fans all over the world.
The fight went to the distance and Mayweather won the bout via a unanimous decision as the scorecards read 118–110, 116–112, 116–112 in favour of American. But the verdict among neutral observers was that the fight did not live up to its expectations, mostly because of Mayweather's defense-oriented strategy which resulted in Pacquiao essentially chasing him around the ring all through the match.
However, despite the criticism, the Mayweather vs Pacquiao bout earned a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys, making it the most lucrative fight in history.