MANILA, Philippines – Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao admitted that he once allowed himself to lose a bout when he was just starting out as a fighter.
In an interview with Anthony Taberna on “Tapatan ni Tunying” that aired Thursday, the eight-division champion said he was forced to surrender a fight back in the 1990s when he had trouble making his weight limit.
Pacquiao was still in his 20s when he fought Thailand’s Medgoen Singsurat in a WBC flyweight title defense in 1999.
Since he was still young and gained weight fast, he failed to make the 112-pound limit for the title fight.
“Overweight ako, hindi ko nakuha 'yung timbang ko. Tinanggal ‘yung korona ko (I was overweight, I failed to reach the limit. They took away my title),” said Pacquiao.
He tried hard to make the limit but this weakened his body, said the Filipino boxer. Since he planned to climb weight after the fight, he said he decided to step into the ring without exerting too much effort to win the bout.
“Hindi naka-recover 'yung body ko, sabi ko mag-move naman ako ng timbang na, iwanan ko na itong timbang na ito, so sabi ko, bakit ko pa pipiliting ipanalo 'yung fight? (My body failed to recover, I said to myself I’ll be climbing weight and leave this weight class, why should I try to win this fight?)” said Pacquiao.
But since he was too weak to defend himself, he got dropped with a right hook to the body. The referee then awarded a knockout victory and the WBC title to Singsurat.
This, however, wasn’t the end of the road for Pacquiao. He started a six-year unbeaten run which only ended when he lost a decision to Erik Morales in 2005.
Today, Pacquiao holds the distinction of being the only boxer to have won eight world titles in as many weight classes.