Manny Pacquiao’s victory over a legitimate welterweight kingpin Miguel Cotto carved him a name on Boxing’s rich history. Seven titles in seven weight divisions a feat nobody in boxing has ever achieved especially from a fighter who started fighting at 106 lbs. There are few who questioned Manny’s legitimacy on his 7 divisional titles. I watched the Pacquiao-Cotto Skysports coverage and they acknowledged Pacquiao only as a 5 divisional title champion. There are few who questioned if David Diaz was a legitimate champion when he was only an interim champion but elevated his status when Casamayor was stripped off his belt after fighting Freitas rather than defending it against him. Manny has 5 divisional titles and 2 lineal belts so let’s try to look at each belt and see its authenticity.
WBC Flyweight Title (112lbs.)– Won the title in Chatchai Sasakul’s turf via an 8th round KO but lost ironically on the same country but different fighter in Medgoen Singsurat actually Manny already lost the title in scales coming a pound overweight on the 112lb. limit.
IBF Super Bantamweight title (122lbs.)– Lehlohonolo Ledwaba was the most feared boxer on the Super Bantamweight division having defended his title for 5 times before deciding to have a tune-up fight and when his supposed opponent got injured Manny was the late replacement the only fighter who stood up for the challenged. Having tasted Manny’s power Ledwaba was on the defense the whole time until the referee stops the fight in the 6th round. He has never challenged for a major title ever since his loss to Manny.
Ring Magazine featherweight title (126lbs.) – This is how Manny made a name for himself. He fought a prime Marco Antonio Barrera and dominated him till the 11th round. Barrera was one of the top ten pound per pound fighters at that time and Manny dominated him. The question would be is a ring magazine title a legitimate one? Ring Magazine created a belt of their own that they recognized as the ultimate champion on every division before Manny Pacquiao, Barrera dominated five legit featherweight oppositions including three hall of famers namely Erik Morales, Naseem Hamed and Johnny Tapia. The Ring magazine belt recognizes the champion above all champions on that division and Manny showed he can match fire with fire. You can put all the featherweight belts together but there’s nothing more rewarding if you are recognized as the ultimate champion in your division.
WBC Super Featherweight title (130lbs.) – There is no question about the WBC belt but many questioned Manny’s win against Juan Manuel Marquez. The first fight was a draw and the rematch ended with a split decision win. It can go either way but no matter how you see it a win is still a win and Manny went through the tiniest hole in the needle to do that.
WBC lightweight title (135lbs.) – Questions about David Diaz as a legit champion have already been there since he fought Manny. The WBC had a title fight eliminator with the winner given a title shot against the champion and in return given an interim belt. Diaz fought Jose Armando Santa Cruz to get his title shot and when Joel Casamayor decided to fight Frias for the WBO title Diaz was awarded as the WBC champion in return. Before his face off with Manny he made two title defenses one against Erik Morales then one against Ramon Romano both fights ended with Diaz as the winner so it fortifies his hold as a legitimate champion. The bigger Diaz came out three to five steps behind against Manny and ended with a technical knockout on the ninth round.
IBO and Ring Magazine light Welterweight title (140lbs.) – What’s an IBO champion? It’s basically the same as WBF, WBU and NAPBF what I’m trying to say is that IBO is not a renowned organization but the Lineal Ring magazine title is. For years Ricky Hatton has been dominating and literally obliterating oppositions on his division his loss against Mayweather was not fought on the light Welterweight limit but a division higher. So when you talk about a light welter champion you can only think of Ricky Hatton and his dominance. Manny not only destroyed Hatton but dominated him on his own division.
WBO Welterweight title (147lbs.) – Miguel Cotto is a legitimate Welterweight and not just any other welterweight fighter he is one of the feared fighter in his division. Manny took Cotto’s best shot and comeback in bunches. Manny won the fight in the 12th round via referee stoppage earning Manny a TKO win against the best welterweight fighter out there.
So there you go folks boxing is not all about achievements on the ABC belts let’s not forget that Manny fought the best in each division from flyweight all the way to welterweight. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Not many fighters can do that in fact it had to come in small packages in a form of Manny Pacquiao. Seven titles in seven different divisions all 7 are legit titles no matter how you see it.
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