Manny Pacquiao picked up his eighth boxing title in an eighth different weight-class by easily out-pointing Mexican former three-time world champion Antonio Margarito.
The electrifying clash took place at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
The ‘Pacman’ took immediate control from the first bell and won almost every round on the judges’ scorecards.
Margarito, known as ‘The Tornado’, wilted under the pressure of Pacquiao’s speed and pressure combinations.
Pacquiao’s relentless come-forward style was all too much for Margarito, opening up a cut on his cheek. Gradually, the Filipino closed Margarito’s right eye to the point that Pacquiao asked the referee to step in and stop the fight in the eleventh round.
Margarito did catch his much-slighter opponent with a superb body shot in the sixth, dipping the legs of Pacquiao briefly. To his credit, Pacquiao was unfazed and came back with yet another combination to make it to the end of the round.
The former champion made it to the last bell. But the scorecards predictably read 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 to make former flyweight Pacquiao the new WBO light-middleweight champion of the world.
Going down to a seventh of his career. Margarito may now wonder where he goes from here. A move up middleweight could be one option, although his reputation hasn’t yet been repaired following the pre-fight controversy with Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach.
For Pacquiao, who moves to 52-3-2, it cements his place as one of the greatest fighters of all time. A super-human being.
One who may not be able to top this victory unless he can drag Floyd Mayweather away from his troubles long enough to get the fight on next year.
Speaking to reporters after the fight, Pacquiao told of his amazement of what he has achieved. “I can’t believe that I beat someone this big and this strong,” said Pacquiao.
“I told the referee, ‘Look at his eyes. Look at his cuts’. And I did not want to damage him permanently. That’s not what boxing is about.”
The new light-middleweight ruler can’t even make the 154 limit. He even weighed in under the welterweight mark for the catch-weight bout.
Pacquiao may now decide one fight at the weight is enough as there aren’t many realistic challengers out there for him. He’s already taken apart the best around in Miguel Cotto.
With his place in boxing folklore already secure, and going from being a champion at 112lbs in 1998 to today, it’s an unbelievable achievement and hard to see how things can get any better for the living legend.