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Sunday, January 22, 2006
This time, the Pac-Man ate him up.
Avenging a unanimous decision loss from last March, a slicker and tougher Manny Pacquiao (41-3-2, 32 KOs) scored with left-hand leads and right hooks all Saturday night long and dropped Erik Morales (48-4, 34 KOs) twice in the 10th round in their rematch in Las Vegas, with referee Kenny Bayless very correctly halting the bout after the second knockdown at 2:33. Morales grew wearier as the fight proceeded, almost being dropped by Pacquiao two times earlier and only being held up by grabbing the ropes and the referee.
There were numerous all-out exchanges between these two throughout this fight, making it an early Fight of the Year candidate, although the momentum clearly shifted in Pacquiao's favor after the first few rounds. For the most part, Pacquiao abandoned his lunging tactics which left him more vulnerable to counterpunches in the last fight, and was more accurate this time around with the jab and body shots as the fight went on. Pacquiao also in part credited his increased power to his Cleto Reyes gloves, known as punchers' gloves, which he wore in this fight.
While there is a rematch clause, Morales said after the fight he is not sure if he can make the super featherweight limit of 130 once again, and needs a rest. Pacquiao did say that he would grant Morales a rematch. The HBO announcers, however, were already cheerleading for a rematch between Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera.
In the pay-per-view co-feature, WBA 115-pound champion Martin Castillo survived a first-round knockdown to retain his title with a 12-round split decision in a rematch with former champion Alexander Munoz. This was a more competitive fight than their first, but Munoz faded down the stretch. With this win, Castillo solidified his spot as the top fighter in the world at this weight.
I am glad that I ordered the pay-per-view, although Time Warner Cable almost couldn't process the order, most likely, according to their phone rep, because there were "too many people" ordering it at once, meaning that they had too little infrastructure and support to do their jobs properly.
Expect HBO to rebroadcast Pacquiao-Morales 2 before next Saturday night's live Gatti-Damgaard fight.
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I'm amazed that Pacquiao was able to make the stylistic adjustments necessary to go through Morales. Both he and Freddy Roach deserve a lot of credit. It's a career high achievement.
By 7:59 AM, at
Agreed. Pacquiao becomes an early favorite for 2006 Fighter of the Year, even if he fights some lesser guy later in the year. He moved much better, so maybe all the talk of gloves, promoters, and other distractions during the last fight had some merit. Plus, Morales is starting to look a lot older than 29 due to his numerous wars in the ring.2 comments Tweet