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By Maloney L. Samaco
Fri, 03 Jan 2020

Manny Pacquiao is the only fighter in the history of professional boxing to win 12 major world titles in eight different weight divisions. That is why he was named Fighter of the Decade for 2000-2009 by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), WBC and WBO. Pacquiao also became the oldest welterweight world champion in history after dethroning Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title at the age of 40.

At the end of the decade, Pacquiao, as of December 2019, is ranked as the world's No. 9 boxer pound-for-pound by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) and BoxRec, and No. 10 by The Ring. He is also rated world's No. 2 welterweight by the TBRB and ESPN, and No. 3 by The Ring and BoxRec.

With the achievements he had in the just concluded decade 2010-2019, the Senator is again considered by several boxing scribes as a candidate for the Fighter of the Decade accolade.

On March 13, 2010, at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Pacquiao defeated Ghana's Joshua Clottey via unanimous decision to retain his WBO welterweight title. The judges scored the fight one-sided 120–108, 119–109 and 119–109, all in favor of Pacquiao. During the match, Pacquiao unleashed a career-high of 1231 total punches, but landed only 246, because of Clottey's tight defense. While Clottey threw a total of 399 punches, connecting 108.

Pacquiao punishes Clottey.

Pacquiao vs Margarito.

Pacquiao next faced Mexico's Antonio Margarito on November 13, 2010 for the vacant WBC light middleweight title also at the Cowboys Stadium. Pacquiao defeated Margarito via unanimous decision, using his extraordinary speed to win his eighth division world title. After the fight, Margarito had a swollen face and a large cut under the right eye, and was taken immediately to the hospital, where it was diagnosed that his orbital bone had been fractured which needed surgery.

Pacquiao drops Mosley.

On May 7, 2011, Pacquiao successfully defended his WBO welterweight title against American three-division world champion Shane Mosley via a unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao knocked Mosley down in the third round by a left straight but was able to get up. Pacquiao won easily from all three judges scorecards 119–108, 120–108 and 120–107.

On November 12, 2011 Mexican Juan Manuel Márquez fought Pacquiao for a third time and the Filipino boxing hero won by majority decision with the scores 114–114, 115–113 and 116–112 from the judges. The decision was again controversial similar to the two previous fights. But CompuBox punch stats showed that Pacquiao landed more blows, 176 to 138, and connected more power punches, 117 to 100.

On June 9, 2012 Pacquiao lost to American Timothy Bradley in a controversial split decision, with scores of 115–113, 113–115 and 113–115 from the three judges and lost his WBO welterweight title. The decision was booed by the audience and criticized by several boxing writers and analysts. scored the fight 119–109 for Pacquiao. HBO's Harold Lederman, also saw it 119–109 for Pacquiao. Most ringside journalists also scored the fight for Pacquiao.

WBO President Paco Valcarcel said the WBO's Championship Committee would review the video of the fight with five independent, competent and recognized international judges and make a recommendation. On June 21, 2012, the five judges on the review panel announced that Pacquiao should have won, with all five judges scoring the fight in Pacquiao's favor 117–111, 117–111, 118–110, 116–112 and 115–113. But the WBO cannot overturn the result of the fight because only the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) can reverse the decision. So the WBO recommended a rematch for the two fighters.

Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Márquez for the fourth time on December 8, 2012. The fight was for the WBO's "Champion of the Decade" belt. Márquez knocked down Pacquiao in the third round with a right hook. In round five, Pacquiao retaliated by flooring Márquez. Pacquiao went for a knockout in the sixth round with the Mexican behind the scorecards. With just one second left in the sixth round, Márquez countered Pacquiao's punch with an overhand right, hitting Pacquiao on the mouth and knocking him out face to the canvas. Pacquiao remained unconscious for several minutes on the floor. This was named The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" and "Knockout of the Year".

After 11 months hiatus from boxing, Pacquiao came back on November 24, 2013, at The Venetian Macao Hotel & Resort's Cotai Arena in Macau, China against The Ring ranked No. 6 light welterweight contender Brandon Ríos of the United States for the vacant WBO international welterweight title. This was Pacquiao's first fight to be held in China and he won by unanimous decision with the official cards 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110.

Pacquiao got a rematch with the WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, who had successfully defended his title against Russia's Ruslan Provodnikov, followed by a close split decision win over Juan Manuel Márquez. On April 12, 2014, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pacquiao this time convinced the judges in giving him a unanimous decision 118–110, 116–112 and 116–112.

Pacquiao faced undefeated WBO light welterweight champion American Chris Algieri in Macau on November 23, 2014 for Pacquiao's WBO welterweight title. Pacquiao clearly dominated the American and scored six knockdowns resulting in a very convincing unanimous decision win 119–103, 119–103 and 120–102.

After years of chaotic negotiations, Pacquiao finally faced undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015. Pacquiao proved to be the aggressor and Mayweather with the defensive strategy of backpedaling and countering. The fight went to the official judges scorecards 118–110, 116–112 and 116–112 all in favor of Mayweather.

The general sentiment was that the fight did not live up to its billing "Fight of the Century" Pacquiao most of the time chasing tge running Mayweather. Other writers and analysts challenged the CompuBox figures which had Mayweather landing 148 punches and Pacquiao only 81. Some questioned the scores, and asserted that the margins should have been closer, or that Pacquiao should have won via a small difference. However, 17 of the 19 reporters in the ringside scored in favor of Mayweather.

On July 2, 2017 in front of 51,052 spectators at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, Pacquiao lost a rough fight to hometown hero Jeff Horn resulting a controversial unanimous decision when the three judges scored it 117–111, 115–113 and 115–113 in favor of the Australian. Many experts and former boxers believed Pacquiao had shown enough action to win. Horn was the more aggressive fighter, but Pacquiao dominated round nine and although Horn survived the round he was told by referee Mark Nelson, that he should compete or else he would stop the fight. CompuBox stats showed that Pacquiao landed 182 out of 573 punches thrown (32%), while Horn landed 92 of 625 thrown (15%).

A total 12 of 15 sports websites scored the bout for Pacquiao, while 2 favored Horn and 1 had it a draw. Pacquiao insisted that Horn fought with several dirty tactics in the fight, using illegal blows, elbows and headbutts, causing cuts on the Filipino on three different occasions during the fight.

On July 14, 2018 at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Pacquiao scored his first knockout in over eight years by stopping Lucas Matthysse in round seven to win the WBA regular welterweight title. Pacquiao floored the Argentine three times in rounds three, five and seven before the fight was stopped. Referee Kenny Bayless waived the fight in round seven at 2:43 after Matthysse spat out his mouthpiece. At the time of the stoppage, all three judges scored 59–53 in favor of Pacquiao

Pacquiao successfully defended his WBA regular welterweight title against American Adrien Broner via unanimous decision on January 19, 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and never encountered difficulty throughout the fight. All three judges ruled in favor of Pacquiao 117–111, 116–112 and 116–112.

Pacquiao defeated American Keith Thurman via split decision to win Thurman's WBA Super welterweight title on July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Late in the first round, Pacquiao floored Thurman with a right hand. Pacquiao bloodied Thurman's nose and causing the fight to be very intense fight. Two judges ruled in favor of Pacquiao with a score of 115–112 and one in favor of Thurman with a score of 114–113. Several enthusiasts believed that the first-round knockdown and the tenth-round body shots on Thurman assured him of the win.

Pacquiao’s record in the past decade of 11-4, 1 KO is not as impressive as his record of 23-1-2, 20 KOs in the decade 2001-2009. But two of his four losses (Bradley and Horn) during the past 10 years happened in controversial decisions.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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