Superstar Manny Pacquiao, a once vicious, unstoppable whirlwind of a fighter, has heard the criticism thrown his way for not scoring a knockout victory in quite some time (Pac-Man’s last stoppage win coming over Miguel Cotto back in 2009) – and the former multi-weight king has an explanation: he is not a welterweight.
Despite having fought in the 147-pound division for some time – included amongst his welterweight bouts the highest grossing fight in history with Floyd Mayweather Junior – 37-year-old Pacquiao, 57-6-2(38) told ESPN Deportes he is really a natural 140-pounder who could still make lightweight if he really wanted to. This, Pac-Man says, accounts for his long string of KO-less fights.
“It is harder to knock out opponents in the 147-pound division. Because, in fact, my natural weight is 140-pounds and if I demand a little more of myself, I can get down to 135,” Pacquiao said yesterday.
Pacquiao, as we know, won a world title as high as super-welterweight, this being his eighth conquered weight class, but his choice to achieve greatness by winning title after title as he rose through the weights saw the fights get tougher. Who knows what Pacquiao’s knockout ratio would be today had he stayed at 140, or even at 135. Pacquiao, however, very much wants to return to his previous KO-winning ways at the expense of Tim Bradley who he meets in a rubber-match next month.
Can Pac-Man score a 39th stoppage win in this, possibly his very last fight? Pac-Man and his trainer Freddie Roach hope so and his millions of fans would love to see their hero exit the sport having stretched an opponent out on the canvas in electrifying fashion. There was a time when a Pacquiao KO was always a very real, and frightening (for his opponent) prospect. For a fighter who began his career at a lowly 106-pounds, maybe it’s no real surprise the southpaw dynamo’s KO wins became less frequent as he rose up through the weight classes.