"One of a kind"
By Val Soliman
One of the boxing's most ferocious fighter with a big smile - Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao. What makes him so different from any other fighter?
It's not about his achievements as a professional boxer - Fighter of the Decade, First and only Eight Division World Champion, Three-time The Ring and BWAA "Fighter of the Year"( 2006, 2008 and 2009), First to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes.
Boxing fans, analysts and experts who followed Pacquiao's legendary boxing career knows why his character was a proof that he was truly a world class fighter. Manny may not be aware that he elevated himself among the class of boxing legends like Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali who both achieved the status of being a nationwide hero and their cultural impact were felt even outside the ring.
February 9, 1996 - Pacquiao, undefeated in 11 professional bouts, he fought a journey man named Rustico Torrecampo. Pacquiao, an exciting fighter was the darling of the crowd and was the favorite to win the fight, but Torrecampo nailed a huge punch to Manny's mid section. Pacquiao was unable to beat the count and it took a few minutes before he was able to stand up. In a post fight interview with ABSCBN News reporter Ronnie Nathanielsz, Pacquiao asked his Manager Rod Nazario to give him the toughest opponent in his next fight and everyone was like: "what?! you just got knocked out and now you want the toughest opponent next? A kind of attitude that made his handlers think "there's something in this guy that we are looking for."
March 19, 2005 - Pacquiao fought the Mexican legend Erik "El Terrible" Morales. Manny wore a blood mask after a clash of heads in the fifth round, Manny continued to fight until the final round and gave Morales a hell of a fight. He didn't quit even when the blood was flowing profusely in his face. In an interview with GMA News reporter Chino Trinidad, Manny told that he fought till the end and Erik needs to knock him out to beat him. Pacquiao lost via 12-round unanimous decision but won hearts of many fans all over the world. Many fans and even fighters all over the considered him as a true warrior.
June 9, 2012 - Pacquiao lost via controversial 12-round split decision to the undefeated boxer named Timothy Bradley. A fight where many fight observers believed that Manny defeated Bradley unanimously. Despite the loss and the fans around the arena booing the decision made by the judges, Manny told his fans to calm down and give Bradley the credit he deserves. He said that we have to respect the judges decision and accept the defeat. Instead of walking out of the ring with disgust like Marquez did in their 3rd fight, Pacquiao congratulated Bradley and even took a picture with Timothy wearing his belt. A true act of class and sportsmanship.
December 8, 2012 - Pacquiao lost via knockout in the 6th round of his fourth fight with his long time rival - Juan Manuel Marquez. It was a shocking defeat, a stunning loss, a life threatening moment and it shocked the boxing fans all over the world. Pacquiao was not moving and it took couple of minutes before he showed life. Many of his fans were worried, his wife Jinkee Pacquiao was trying to rush to her husband but TOPRANK CEO Bob Arum controlled the situation.
Manny shook his head, smiled and asked if the fight was over. Manny stood up and congratulated Juan Manuel Marquez with his victory. In the post fight interview, Pacquiao said he would like to fight Marquez again if he would be given another chance. Many fans and boxing observers are like: "what?! he just got knocked out cold and he wants to fight Marquez again?!". While most of the fighters who got knocked out cold would prefer going to the hospital first and skip the post fight interview, Manny stayed in the ring and thanked the fans.
On November 23, 2013 - Pacquiao will face a very dangerous fighter in the name of Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios. Instead of taking on a light opponent or a tune up fight, Manny told in an interview ESPN that he chose Brandon Rios because he wants to show to all the fans that he is okay and that he can climb back to the top of he sport to face the best out there. Rios is a tough customer, young, strong, relentless and he's got a good chin. Manny knows that Rios will come to fight and that would definitely give fans the action-packed fight that they wanted to see. Many fight observers are still picking Pacquiao to win via knockout or decision but if Rios will catch Manny with a huge punch, who knows what's going to happen. This goes to show that Manny still has that brave heart and fighting spirit that he had since he started as a young fighter.
For many years, Manny Pacquiao have inspired many people in his own ways. Win or lose, he brings action and drama in the ring.