Manny Pacquaio's 5 Greatest Fights: Why He's a Boxing Legend

He did the Philippines proud in sports.
Photo/s: Al Bello, Getty Images North America via AFP

By Cecil Morella
Agence France-Presse

Manny Pacquiao, the Philippine boxing icon who announced his retirement on Wednesday after 72 fights, was involved in some spectacular bouts during his sparkling career.

AFP Sport highlights five of the best involving the boxing legend.

De La Hoya destroyed

Opponent: Oscar De La Hoya, Dec. 6, 2008, Las Vegas 

Pacquiao bulked up to step up to the welterweight class and utterly punished Oscar De La Hoya, the lightning-quick Filipino leaving the face of the golden boy of American boxing disfigured with ugly swelling.

By the seventh round it was a one-way affair, and after one more round, De La Hoya's corner signalled to the referee that he wanted no more of it.

Hatton humbled

Ricky Hatton, May 2, 2009, Las Vegas

The plucky Briton charged into Pacquiao from the opening bell, in the process walking into an ambush that led to two knockdowns in the first round alone of the International Boxing Organization super lightweight title showdown.

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Late in the second, a Pacquiao left hook rocked Hatton's chin and sent him straight into dreamland in what was arguably the most spectacular of the Filipino's 39 wins ended in knockout.

Cotto cut down

Miguel Cotto, Nov. 14, 2009, Las Vegas

Pacquiao dropped Cotto with a right hook in the third and the bigger Puerto Rican would hit the canvas again in the fourth, but was saved by the bell.

By the ninth round of the welterweight world title bout, blood spurted from Cotto's face. The referee stopped the contest early in the 12th round to save Cotto from more punishment.

Mangled Margarito

Antonio Margarito, Nov. 13, 2010, Arlington, Texas

The U.S.-born Mexican towered over the Filipino but was utterly destroyed over 12 lopsided rounds in the fight for the vacant World Boxing Council super welterweight crown.

In the end, his face bruised and bloodied, Margarito was taken to hospital and later had surgery for a broken right orbital bone.

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Magical Marquez

Juan Manuel Marquez, Dec. 8, 2012, Las Vegas

The fourth and final showdown against his great Mexican rival was a brutal slugfest that ended with Pacquiao falling like a log face-first onto the canvas just before the end of the sixth round.

Knocked down in the third round, Pacquiao had come back in the fifth, breaking the Mexican's nose and sending him to the canvas in what was probably the best round of the Filipino's career. 

But the bloodied Marquez had the last laugh with a sixth-round sucker punch to send Pacquiao to a stunning, second loss in a row.

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