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Calvarez
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Discussion Starter #1
On June 28th Manny Pacquiao will face one of the biggest tests of his career so far - stepping up another division to lightweight to face WBC Lightweight Champion David Diaz. Slowly, since starting his pro career at 106 pounds, Pacquiao has worked his way up through the weights to get where he is today. He has defeated many of boxing's lighter superstars, including a trio of Mexican greats, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. His fight against Diaz will be live on HBO PPV on June 28th, starting at 9PM ET/6PM PT. As the fight draws nearer, it is looking more and more intriguing.

David Diaz is a more than dangerous opponent. He has already beaten a great champion at 130 moving up in Erik Morales, and in fact could well have ended "el Terrible's" career in the ring. He also carries power. There is also the chance that Pacquiao won't quite be himself moving up, and if the power or chin doesn't carry well to 135 Diaz is more than capable of springing the upset he has promised. He said "Manny Pacquiao has beaten many great fighters, especially Mexicans like Morales, Barrera, Marquez, Larios and Solis. That's why they call him "The Mexicutioner, but
I will shock the world and beat Pacquiao at his own game, power for power. He's a great champion but he's fighting in my division - lightweight. I have worked too hard for this world title and I will not give it up to him." Diaz certainly sounds up for the fight, and Manny Pacquiao will not be able to take him lightly.

Pacquiao himself has acknowledged this, saying "This will be my hardest-fought battle. It's been over three years since I have changed weight divisions and I will be doing it against the lightweight division's world champion. I saw how he took the fight to Erik Morales in his last title defense and I'm expecting to see the same firepower out of him when we meet. But this is my drive for five. Five world titles in five different weight classes and I will not be denied. I am fighting for history, for destiny and for my people of the Philippines."

Pacquiao is coming off a thrilling split decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in March, a bout that was bought on HBO PPV by 400,000 households, a record for below the 147 pound division. Diaz is coming off a unanimous decision win against Erik Morales, a man who has beaten Pacquiao, and it is only now that Diaz is stepping out of the shadows of the other Lightweight champions and into the spotlight.

Pacquiao remains one of the biggest stars in the sport, and a Phillipino icon, but the signs are that he may be coming into the final years of an illustrious career that has seen him build a record which at the time of writing stands at 46 wins, with 34KO's, 3 defeats and 2 draws.

One of the first signs is the amount of wars he has been in, especially with the likes of Morales and Marquez. Eventually these will tell on him and cause him to fade. How soon he will fade we don't know. Also, he is moving up another weight class, where the added power of his opponents may begin to hurt him a bit more. There is also the question of whether the power in his left hand will carry to 135. Pacquiao's trainer and friend Freddie Roach has stated that he thinks Pacquiao should only carry on for 2 more years, and after that he will try and persuade him to retire, suggesting he thinks "Pacmans" ability may be fading a little.

Pacquiao will be a heavy favorite, and should he come through a mouth watering super fight with Ricky Hatton looms next spring, possibly at Wembley Stadium. Another option is a third bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, who looks to be following Manny up to 135, as many including this writer believe he won their last fight. A match with Hatton would be risky, but that's what Pacquiao's all about. With both of them coming towards the end of their careers, they will want big names on their record, and Hatton and Pacquiao are two of boxing's biggest Box Office stars. The pay-per-view numbers for Hatton vs. Pacquiao have the potential to be incredible both on HBO PPV and Sky Box Office. But it will only happen if Pacquiao gets past Diaz, and Hatton gets past Malignaggi in November. One thing's for sure, June 28th will be a big night for Manny Pacquiao, for his reputation, future prospects and with a Hatton superfight looming, his bank account as well.

You can see Diaz vs. Pacquiao live on HBO June 28th at 9PM EST/6PM PST
 

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Calvarez
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Discussion Starter #2
It was, in many ways, a typical Manny Pacquiao fight.

The relentless Energizer Bunny of a fighter pressed forward constantly, pounding his foe repeatedly with punch after punch until finally the opponent, unable to resist any further, crumpled from a right hand to the body and was counted out.

Except that this time the Energizer Bunny was Thai boxer Medgoen Singsurat, and Pacquiao was the beaten man on the ring canvas.

The date was Sept. 17, 1999, the place was Thailand's Pakpanag Metropolitan Stadium, and the occasion was Pacquiao's second defense of the WBC flyweight title he had won the previous year.

According to veteran Filipino boxing journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz, Pacquiao had lost the contest before it even started.

"He was terribly dehydrated because he had trouble making the weight," Nathanielsz said. "He starved for three days. He hardly drank any water." Even so, he weighed in over the 112 pound limit and was stripped of his title on the scales.

"When he went into the ring, he was already a beaten man," Nathanielsz continued, "and he had nothing left."

Pacquiao, who is engaging and affable but not inclined toward the expressive, allows only that, "My body was too big for that weight class." Which, perhaps, is not surprising: He was not yet 21 years old.

Pacquiao was, in essence, growing up in the ring.

"I started very, very young, when I was 16 years old," Pacquiao said. "I was 106 pounds in my first fight."

After losing to Singsurat, Pacquiao conceded the inevitable -- that his body was continuing to grow, and that what for many fighters, would have been the sanctuary of three additional pounds, would not be enough to grant him relief from the struggles he had been enduring. So he skipped two weight divisions entirely. Just three months after losing his title, he fought as a junior featherweight -- a full 10 pounds heavier.

It was at that weight that, in June 2001, he erupted on to the world stage by ripping the IBF belt from favored South African Lehlohonolo Ledwaba at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

It would be just the first of an ongoing string of appearances against an array of opponents whose careers, like his, have first-ballot Hall of Fame induction stamped all over them: Marco Antonio Barrera, whom Pacquiao dominated twice; Erik Morales, from whom he took two of three in an electrifying trilogy; and Juan Manuel Marquez, who fought back from being dropped three times in the opening round to secure a draw in their first encounter, and in the most recent outing for the two men, Marquez fell to an agonizingly close points defeat to the Filipino in March.

As Pacquiao's achievements have continued to grow, so too has his body. After four years at 122 pounds, his first win over Barrera came in his second bout at featherweight, followed immediately by the draw with Marquez at the same weight. In March 2005, he fought Morales for the first time in his debut at 130 pounds, where he has campaigned for the past three years.

On Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, he moves up yet again, when he challenges WBC lightweight beltholder David Diaz, 29 pounds and six weight divisions heavier than when he took his first bow as a professional prizefighter.

It is an achievement that leaves even his peers in awe.

"It's a sign of greatness," WBA super featherweight champion Edwin Valero told ESPN.com. "Pacquiao's a phenomenon. Doing something like that is almost unheard of. It's like Oscar De La Hoya: He started at 130 and was fighting for titles at 160. That's something special. Pacquiao is special."

What is all the more remarkable about this is with each new weight division, Pacquiao almost immediately looks ready to move up again. Before the rematch with Marquez, his T-shirt was straining to contain his ripped arms and upper body, and already he appears to have settled into his new domain.

Even Diaz, who is by no means a small lightweight himself, was impressed with his opponent's size when the two men met at press conferences to hype Saturday's fight.

"He looked pretty good to me," Diaz said. "He looked pretty big. I was a little surprised he made the weight, to be honest."

"I'm comfortable at 135 pounds," Pacquiao said. "I walk around at about 145, 150 pounds. So, it's a good weight for me. I am gradually growing up slowly, not jumping too many weight divisions, waiting until my body is comfortable."

It is, he says, a continuation of the process he has been going through since Day 1.

"I am still growing," he said with the hint of a smile in his voice. "I am a growing boy."

It remains to be seen how much more he will continue to grow. Valero, for one, believes we haven't seen Pacquiao at his biggest yet.

"I see him moving up in weight," said the Venezuelan. "He can go all the way up to welterweight. He's special and he has that thing about him."

"We'll see if I'm comfortable at this weight," Pacquiao said. "I had five, six fights at 130. My first was against Morales. It took me one, two fights to actually really be comfortable."

There's also the not inconsiderable obstacle of Diaz to overcome. Having come back from the brink of defeat to upset Jose Armando Santa Cruz and take the title, and after he recovered from a knockdown to send Morales into retirement in his first defense, Diaz is no slouch, even if he is not considered to be in the same class as his challenger.

But although he is defending his belt against a man who began his career at 106 pounds and was knocked out at 112, Diaz does not expect the Filipino's power to be wanting.

"I think he'll lose his speed before he loses his strength. At those lighter weights, you've got to be really fast," he said.

Pacquiao agrees, which is why, he reveals, he has been mixing wind sprints and greater speed bag work into his training regimen. Even so, he still expects to have the speed advantage.

"I think that my speed and my footwork will be the key to the fight," he predicted. "I think my power will still be there, but the key to my fight is my speed. Also, getting out of the way, because he is going to come at me, he is going to smother me. He likes to fight coming forward, so I have to counter him."

One area where Diaz is almost certain to be outgunned is crowd support. Not that Diaz is unpopular, but Pacquiao's fan base is arguably the deepest and most devoted of anyone in the sport.

"When he fights, you can hardly find a car on the street [in Manila]," Nathanielsz said. "Even the rebels in the mountains go down to a little store somewhere and catch the fight."

"The one thing I really, really enjoy is the fans," Pacquiao confessed. "Obviously without them, I'm not Manny Pacquiao. They're the ones who give me the energy to fight and be the best I can be."

For some fighters, the burden of devotion and expectation is too much pressure to bear. For Pacquiao, it is one weight he is more than happy to carry for the rest of his career.

Source: ESPN
 

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they're already thinking of him moving up to 140 and he hasn't even gotten past 135. I don't think diaz will be too much trouble for pacquiao. But Hatton will and he hasn't even gotten past 135 for anyone to know if he could take on Hatton. I don't like Hatton but his smothering can do some damage.
 

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Calvarez
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Discussion Starter #4
they're already thinking of him moving up to 140 and he hasn't even gotten past 135. I don't think diaz will be too much trouble for pacquiao. But Hatton will and he hasn't even gotten past 135 for anyone to know if he could take on Hatton. I don't like Hatton but his smothering can do some damage.
They shouldn't really be looking past this fight, but we know they are :D
 

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They wanna make it seem like Diaz is gonna be a tough opponent. Obviously by looking onto a future fight with Hatton they're not that worried. I'm rooting for Pacquiao i just got done watching Morales-Pacqiao which was a great fight. Pacquiao going up in weight 5 pounds wont be too much of a difference. 10 pounds will be a huge difference if he was going to 140 for Hatton. We'll see what happens. Will it be on PPV or HBO?
 

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Calvarez
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Discussion Starter #6
They wanna make it seem like Diaz is gonna be a tough opponent. Obviously by looking onto a future fight with Hatton they're not that worried. I'm rooting for Pacquiao i just got done watching Morales-Pacqiao which was a great fight. Pacquiao going up in weight 5 pounds wont be too much of a difference. 10 pounds will be a huge difference if he was going to 140 for Hatton. We'll see what happens. Will it be on PPV or HBO?
I'd guess PPV on both sides for Pacquiao-Hatton.
 

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Calvarez
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Discussion Starter #8
1 more day to go. In 15 minutes the weigh-in is live on hbo.com :thumbsup:
 
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