HOLLYWOOD – Manny Pacquiao is not discounting the possibility that he might go back down in weight for any of his future fights.
Pacquiao is a natural featherweight who sought the big fights and fought bigger opponents.
In 2008, he jumped from 135 to 147 pounds to challenge Oscar dela Hoya. It was a dream match that proved to be a mismatch. Pacquiao won via TKO after eight rounds.
For his next fight, Pacquiao moved down to 140 to face Ricky Hatton for the IBO light-welterweight crown. The fight didn’t last more than two rounds.
Miguel Cotto then staked his WBO welterweight title against Pacquiao late in 2009 but was two minutes short of lasting the distance.
That was the last time Pacquiao has scored a knockout.
Pacquiao hasn’t stopped any of his last eight opponents over the last five years even if it looked like he had the chance to put them away.
In 2010, Pacquiao faced Antonio Margarito who was almost twice his size. He turned Margarito’s face into a bloody mask but the fight still went the distance.
He also failed to score knockouts against Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley. He fought Juan Manuel Marquez a third win and won a close decision.
That was Pacquiao’s 15th straight win spread over six years.
Then everything came to a screeching halt. In June 2012, Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley and six months after he was knocked out by Marquez.
A one-sided win over Brandon Rios last November and a clear victory over Bradley three nights ago in Las Vegas put Pacquiao back in the swing of things.
Again, Pacquiao was reminded of the fact that he hasn’t stopped an opponent since 2009.
“Nataon lang (It just so happened). Nataon lang yun (knockouts),” he said last Monday inside the Team Pacquiao bus that took the boxing icon back to his home base in Los Angeles.
“Maliit naman kasi talaga ako (I’m really that small),” said Pacquiao who must think of himself being in the land of the giants.
Pacquiao started out at 105 pounds and moved up the ladder to become the first and only boxer to win world titles in eight different weight classes (flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-feather, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight and light-middleweight).
Well, it’s either he’s losing some of his power or he just can’t carry his punches any longer in the 147-pound division.
Pacquiao is still hard to beat at 147 but he said if and when needed he can go a notch lower.
“Kaya ko pa mag 135 (I can still make 135). Di ba galing naman ako 135 dumiretso lang ako kay Dela Hoya 147 (I was a lightweight but jumped to 147 to fight Dela Hoya),” he said.
“Siguro 140 ang perfect,” he said.
The victory over Bradley enabled Pacquiao to regain the WBO welterweight title, and looking at the drawing board he may defend the crown against either Marquez or Mike Alvarado later this year.