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Diaz vs Pacquiao: A Look at Manny Pacquiao’s first fight at 135lbs & The Prediction

Posted by beeshabo on June 27, 2008

Tomorrow, June 28, Filipino Superstar Manny Pacquiao makes a move up in weight to challenge David Diaz for his WBC 135lb title. Manny was the king at 130lbs by beating Mexican Legends Marco Antonio Barrera (once at 126lbs and again at 130lbs), Erik Morales twice (at 130lbs), he had a close fight in his first bout with Juan Manuel Marquez that ended in a draw, then he won a close Split Decision in the rematch this past March. Since bursting on the scene with his first unexpected win against Barrera, Manny Pacquiao has become one of the most explosive fighters in boxing today, he’s reached “Superstar” status in his home country of the Philippines and has reached the near top of the Pound-4-Pound list, being number two on ESPN’s list (Joe Calzaghe being #1 since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather). Manny makes a move up in weight and has dreams of winning titles in four different weight classes (he’s officially wont belts in three), but still, nothing is guaranteed, he’s facing a well prepared hungry champion (Diaz), Manny may have his hands full come Saturday night.

Of coarse we all know that Manny is the favorite coming into the bout, and rightfully so, but like many boxing fans know, you cannot over look an opponent, and many boxing writers and boxing press claim that the statements Pacquiao has made of his desire to fight Rick Hatton (at 140lbs) leads them to believe he’s already looking past Diaz. So, Is Manny Pacquiao over looking Diaz?

I would have to say NO!! So many times before Pacquiao has been accused of looking over confident, or out of ring distractions may come into play, but that has yet to be the case. Then only time I feel Pacaquiao lost due to looking past a fighter was his lost to Erik Morales. In what seemed to be over confidence, Manny was out boxed by Morales, who fought a great fight, Morales used Pacquiao’s aggression against him, and got a well deserved decision. Although Pacquiao won the rematch (via 10th round TKO), Morales still did okay for the first 5 rounds, it looked as if the fight would end just as the first. Only that wasn’t the case this time around, Pacquiao turned up the heat in the later rounds to stop the Mexican Warrior (for the first time in his career), but let’s be real, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) knows that Morales was not the same fighter who beat Barrera the first time, or even the same fighter who beat Pacquiao, most thought he would even lose the first, his body has been through a lot of grueling wars and rigorous training. But in an attempt to make a comeback, Morales chose to move up in weight (to 135lbs) to face who other than David Diaz, and not only did he make it a competitive fight, but many (including me) thought he won, but hey, Diaz was the champ, and we all know you must beat the champ convincingly, and Morales did not do that. Although I feel Manny Pacquiao is a good fighter, there is just something about him that I don’t like, maybe it’s the fact that he’s beat some of my favorite fighters (haha), no but seriously, I just want him to get beat, I was so happy when Erik Morales out-boxed him in their first meeting, it was a great day for me.

Now, Pacquiao makes an attempt at a Lightweight Championship this Saturday, What will happen?

Here’s what I think,

Pacquiao is strong, fast and has progressed as a boxer, he’s developed his right hand making him more of a two handed fighter, and posses excellent stamina, he can fight hard all night long. But the questions surrounding his Lightweight debut are, Will He Carry His Power Up To Lightweight? Will He Still Have The Speed? Well, I think the answer to these question are, Yes, although he will not be as fast nor as powerful at 135 than he was at 130 (or 126), he will without a doubt still have enough of both to win this fight. David Diaz is a warrior, he has a big heart and he likes to fight, he comes forward and likes to press the action, so I think this will be a case of both fighters wanting to come forward, one will have to give ground, So, Who will it be?

I think this will be an interesting matchup, it’s not going to be a blowout, Diaz is strong and naturally bigger, he’s only a half inch shorter than Pacquiao but he has a two inch reach advantage which I think he’ll use to the fullest. Manny cannot fight going backwards, he tends to square up when he punches, he’s gotten better at maintaining balance, but he still is not comfortable moving backwards, so if Diaz can pressure Pacquiao to fight going back, he can get some work done on the inside, because generally Pacquiao is fighter who likes distance to set up his power shots, the straight left and right hook. But getting in close will be Diaz’s biggest challenge, he may have to (or attempt to) walk through some shots in order to make his own mark. Diaz has a good chin and a good record, he only has one loss (in 34 bouts), and that came in the form of a TKO at the fast hands of Kendal Holt, but another challenge for Diaz is his lack of power, having only KO’d 17 opponents out of the 34 he has beaten, so he’s not the biggest puncher, but maybe his naturally bigger frame may posses enough power to disrupt the speedy offense of Pacquiao. We will soon find out. I see this fight going the distance, but a KO for Pacquiao is still in the cards, Diaz just has to fight smart, press Pacquiao and don’t get lazy and he can also pull of the upset.

It will be close (maybe), but I think it will be a Unanimous Descision for Manny “Paman” Pacquiao.

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