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article imageOp-Ed: Pacquiao would be sharper, faster, stronger at 140 pounds

By Leo Reyes     Jun 5, 2017 in Sports
The last time Manny Pacquiao scored a knockout win in over eight years was against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in a title bout fought at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds in Nov. 2009 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The first time Pacquiao fought at welterweight was against Oscar de la Hoya in 2008. Right after his sensational win over De la Hoya, Pacquiao moved down to the light welterweight limit of 140 pounds to face Ricky Hatton.
Pacquiao capitalized on his power and speed at 140 pounds, scoring his most devastating knockout win in his career as he finished Hatton in less than two rounds after knocking him down twice in the first round.
Pacquiao delivered his signature left hook that sent Hatton to the canvas unconscious prompting the referee to wave off the fight at less than 10 seconds before the end of the second round. The stunning knockout was voted 2009 'Knockout of the Year' by the prestigious Ring Magazine.
After the Hatton fight at 140, Pacquiao moved back to 147 to face Cotto and Joshua Clottey, While he won both fights, his knockout victory over Hatton was incomparable. Then he faced Antonio Margarito in his quest for his historic wins in eight different weight classes.
The welterweight division is a known gold mine for prizefighters. Seemingly this was the reason why Pacquiao decided to stay in the division.
In his second return to welterweight, Pacquiao fought almost all the contenders in the division including Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., among others.
Pacquiao has fought only once in the light welterweight limit of 140 pounds but it was by far his most impressive knockout victory.
Hopefully, Pacquiao's upcoming fight against Jeff Horn on July 2 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia would be his last in the 147-pound limit.
Pacquiao's longtime sparring partner Ray Beltran said the 38-year-old Filipino ring star is not even a light welterweight but a lightweight fighting two notches up. Beltran's opinion was sought by Jenna J of OTR Boxing about Pacquiao's competitiveness or aggressiveness now that he's getting past his prime.
"Manny is still on top of the game. What a lot of people don’t know is that Manny is a light weight fighting welterweights — he’s even lighter than me. To be fighting welterweights, you have to be special. Manny is a special guy, I think he’s still got a lot, he fought Jessie Vargas in his last fight and I think he did great, regardless of age," said Beltran, who is hopeful of another title fight this year.
"People talk about him not getting knockouts anymore, but people don’t know that he’s a lightweight and it’s hard to score a knockout when you fight a guy who’s bigger than you. You have to use extra energy and make an extra effort to fight the bigger guys. He’s a very special guy," he added.
Should Pacquiao decides to go down to 140, at least two worthy opponents are likely to give him a competitive fight. They include Terence Crawford, who holds the RING, WBC, and WBO jr. welterweight titles and Julius Indongo, who is the current IBF and WBA light welterweight champion.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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