The great Manny Pacquiao really was a beast of a super-bantamweight. It was at this weight that the 20-something Pacquiao began to really get noticed all around the world. Manny was IBF super-bantamweight champ from 2001 to 2003, during which time the southpaw dynamo made four successful defences of the belt. During this spell in his career, Pacquiao scored one of his most savagely impressive KO wins.
Facing Thailand’s Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym on October 26th of 2002, in a fight that took place in Davao City in the Philippines, Pac-Man absolutely wiped out a very good opponent. Rakkiatgym was 37-2 at the time and the 27-year-old southpaw had been stopped just once, this very early on in his pro career, in his fifth bout. Also, Rakkiatgym was a former long-reigning WBF bantamweight champ. Pacquiao was 35-2-1 at the time of this fight. A large crowd gathered, anticipating a competitive fight.
Instead, showing blistering power in both hands, Pacquiao tore right through his challenger, his mandatory challenger, in ferocious fashion. Four times in total, Rakkiatgym went down, the final knockdown leaving him on the canvas for around 20-minutes. Rakkiatgym was so badly hurt, he was taken to the hospital straight after the short fight. Both men came out fast at the opening bell, with Rakkiatgym managing to land a right jab and a left hand to Pacquiao’s head. Manny shook his head in the classic and familiar ‘I’m not hurt’ style.
Then Manny struck, sending his challenger down for the first time. Rakkiatgym got up with a smile. This smile would not stay on his face for long. In fact, it could be argued that Rakkiatgym tasted the full power of the young Manny Pacquiao like nobody else; and his shocked appearance let the fans know just what this felt like. The fight was all over with after 2:46 of the very first round.
In July of the following year, Manny invaded the U.S for real (having boxed there three times previously), fighting in California and then, in November of 2003, in San Antonio, Texas – against Marco Antonio Barrera. The rest is history. Manny would fight at home on just two further occasions. Pac-Man had arrived in America and true superstardom would very shortly be his.
As for Rakkiatgym, he retired with a fine 51-4(34) record in 2006. In his final fight, Rakkiatgym lost a 12 round decision to Vladimir Pereira in a fight that contested the vacant IBF featherweight title.