HOLLYWOOD – Manny Pacquiao came up with his boxing playlist of the best ever fights he had in his more than two decades as a warrior in the ring.
Expectedly, his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last summer wasn’t up there.
His stunning upsets of Marco Antonio Barrera, Lehlo Ledwaba, and Oscar Dela Hoya were among those mentioned by the Filipino boxing great when asked if there’s one particular moment or fight in his career that stands out the most in his mind.
“I cannot choose one because there are a lot of fights I like,” he said as he sat beside Top Rank promoter Bob Arum while facing a horde of media men from different publications and sports websites during his media workout.
One by one, he tried to recall the memorable fights that came to mind, with his first ever fight in the US against Ledwaba the first off the bat.
As a last-minute replacement figthting on a two-week notice, the deadly southpaw stunned the boxing world with a sixth round technical knockout of the heavily favored Ledwaba to win the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-bantamweight title in June 2001.
The 12-round bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was the first he had wit trainer Freddie Roach and served as undercard in the De La Hoya-Javier Castillejo match for the World Boxing Council (WBC) light-middleweight title belt.
Seven years later, Pacquiao would send no less than the ‘Golden Boy’ himself into retirement following a ninth-round stoppage that sealed his status as a boxing superstar.
In 2003, the pride of General Santos City battered Marco Antonio, then in the prime of his career, for 11 rounds on the way to an 11th round TKO at the Alamodome that sent ripples through the entire boxing world.
Also included in Pacquiao’s playlist are his memorable four fights with Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez that included the worst loss of his boxing career - a shocking sixth round knockout in which the Pacman fell face-first to the canvas and was left unconscious for about two minutes.
There too, was his sensational second round knockout victory of Englishman Ricky Hatton and the 12th round TKO of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, ironically, the last fight, to date, that Pacquiao would win by knockout.