HOLLYWOOD – He maybe dominating the welterweight division for many years now, but Manny Pacquiao admitted he’s more of a natural light-welterweight.
And it could be the reason why the deadly Filipino southpaw may not have been knocking out bigger and heavier opponents in his recent fights.
“Maliit naman talaga ako, 140 ako,” said Pacquiao after attending the premiere of `Manny, The Movie’ on Monday night (Tuesday Manila time)
Indeed, the 35-year-old Pacquiao scored his most devastating career win (56-5, 38 KOs) as a super-lightweight when he demolished British Ricky Hatton in just two rounds of their 2009 title fight.
Many considered Hatton as unbeatable at 140, but Pacquiao took less than six minutes to destroy the `Hitman’ from Manchester.
“Galing naman talaga ako ng 135 (lightweight),” the boxing great recalled. “Dumiretso lang ako ng 147 dahil kay (Oscar) De La Hoya.”
The match against De La Hoya was fought at a 147-lb. catch weight, although Pacquiao proved too fast and too strong for the aging superstar, who quit on his stool just before the ninth round of their 2008 mega-fight.
After his success against De La Hoya, the three-time Fighter of the Year from General Santos City went down at light-welterweight to face and tear down Hatton.
He later returned at 147 in his next bout against Miguel Cotto, the last boxer Pacman has KOed after stopping the tough Puerto Rican in the 12th and final round of their World Boxing Organization (WBO) championship duel.
Except for his light-middleweight (154) championship showdown – the biggest he ever fought -- against Antonio Margarito, Pacquiao has opted to stay as a welterweight, dismantling the likes of Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, and just a few days ago, Timothy Bradley.
“135 nga kaya ko pa, eh” said Pacquiao, who reigned as champion at flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight, and light-middleweight.
The current light-welterweight champions are Danny Garcia (World Boxing Council), Lamont Peterson (International Boxing Federation), and Pacquiao stablemate Ruslan Provodnikov (WBO).