Friday, October 11, 2013
Pac-Man chomps his way to lightweight title
By Chris Lees ESPN Stats & Information
Manny Pacquiao stopped David Diaz in the ninth round to win the lightweight title in 2008.
Leading up to Juan Manuel Marquez's bid to win a world title in a fifth different weight class on Saturday, ESPN.com will look back at the elite group of fighters who have already achieved the feat -- we'll roll out a new one each day this week -- in our "Five In Five" series.
Actor, politician, boxer. Manny Pacquiao is all of those things. He is the also the fifth and final member of the “five in five” club. Entering the night of June 28, 2008, Pacquiao had won titles at flyweight, junior featherweight, featherweight, and junior lightweight. He was coming off a split-decision victory in his second matchup with Juan Manuel Marquez, and had twice defeated both Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.
Chicago native David Diaz might have not had the star power like Marquez, Morales and Barrera. What did he have was a solid résumé. He was a member of the 1996 United States Olympic team, owned a victory over the aforementioned Morales and held the WBC lightweight title. He was also the obstacle hoping to prevent Pacquiao from joining the ranks of the sport’s greatest of all-time.
Number To Know: Manny Pacquiao
Pacquiao lands 20 power punches per round. That's the 3rd most by an active fighter. Only Leo Santa Cruz (29) and Brandon Rios (21) average more. Pacquiao faces Rios on Nov. 23.
--Statistical support from Compubox
Diaz would put up a spirited effort, but like many others before it, this was Pacquiao’s night. The Filipino icon carved up Diaz’s face with a lethal combination of speed and power. Pacquiao landed the coup de grâce with a short left to Diaz’s chin. Referee Vic Drakulich didn’t even bother to count, as he called a halt at the 2:24 mark of the ninth round.
Pacquiao landed 230 of 788 punches, a connect rate of 29 percent and 180 of those landed punches, including the finisher, were power shots. Diaz managed to land just 90 of his 463 punches, according to Compubox.
This turned out to be Pacquiao’s only fight at lightweight. In his next fight, he stopped Oscar De La Hoya after eight rounds in what turned out to be the Golden Boy’s final professional fight.
Pacquiao went on to defeat Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito to become the only fighter in history to win world titles in eight different weight classes.