By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS
BOSTON, Massachusetts – On his way to stardom, Manny Pacquiao pummeled into submission almost all marquee names Mexico could offer and never turned his back since erasing them all from the face of earth.
The elite list includes Emmanuel Lucero (TKO 3), Hector Velasquez (TKO 6), Gabriel Mira (TKO 4), Oscar Larios (UD 12), Jorge Solis (KO 8), Marco Antonio Barrera (TKO 11 and UD 12), Erik Morales (TKO 10 and KO 3), and Juan Manuel Marquez D 12 and SD 12).
They never saw the light in a wholesale massacre never felt before in the sport governed by the Marquis of Queensberry rules.
After being bludgeoned in contrasting but brutal fashions in championship matches one after the other, some of these prominent Mexican fighters retired or became admirers of the 31-year-old Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO), who is currently the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight titlist.
Two other Hispanic mestizos itching to take a piece of Pacquiao were Mexican-Americans Oscar De La Hoya and David Diaz, who donned the U.S. flag in the Olympics have also been unsuccessful.
They didn’t only suffer defeats, they were humiliated – De La Hoya, touted as the “Golden Boy” and America’s darling of the press, quitting on his stool in the 8th stanza on December 6, 2008 in a light middleweight brawl that exposed him as a washed up; and Diaz falling like a sack of potatoes in the 9th round to yield his WBC lightweight crown on June 28, 2008 both in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Promoters had to shop for customers in Great Britain, Africa and Puerto Rico when Mexico could not tame the brown bomber from the East who started his professional career as a scrawny light flyweight (108-lb) prospect with a not-so-explosive points win over Edmund Enting Ignacio in Mindoro, Philippines on January 22, 1995.
Thus came Ricky Hatton, Miguel Angel Cotto, and Joshua Clottey, who were all blown to bits.
Pacquiao’s homicidal rampage appeared to have alarmed the most celebrated and most expensive prizefighter in the world today, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who refused to mix it up with the boxer turned lawmaker despite repeated intercessions from Top Rank chief Bob Arum.
This paved the way for Antonio Margarito, another hard-hitting Mexican champion who recently made headlines after having been caught loading his fists with plaster of paris before a fatal 9th round demolition loss to Shane Mosley for the WBA welterweight rumble at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on January 24, 2009.
Margarito (38-6, 27 KO), a two-time 147-lb world champion, could be Mexico’s last hope to avenge the slaughter of all his compatriots when he faces Pacquiao for the 12-round WBC light middleweight championship on Nov. 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The fight against Margarito, Pacquiao’s homecoming bout in the WBC after two years, could be Pacquiao’s farewell or penultimate fight before hanging his gloves.
The congressman from Sarangani Province in Mindanao, Philippines, might face either Mosley (46-6, 39 KO) or Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO) in his last professional fight next year as he is expected to focus on his obligations as member of the Philippine legislature.
If Margarito, 32, can’t nail the victory, Mexico’s dreams will be shattered along with his possible retirement.
An upset win over the most charismatic boxer in the world since Muhammad Ali will make the five-foot and 11 inches tall Margarito a toast of boxing community in Mexico and the United States where he is extremely popular despite the plaster of paris fiasco.