MANILA, Philippines - It was a fight destined for the history books: one punctuated by 2 knockdowns and a leg cramp that could have affected the outcome of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight.
For the folks who haven't watched the fight on pay-per-view or are watching the replays, pay particular attention to the 3rd and 10th rounds.
In Round 3, Pacquiao cemented his reputation as the world's pound-for-pound champion when he floored Mosley with a left hook -- a minute left in the round. Mosley's expression as he tasted the canvass was clear as day: "What hit me?" It was, after all, only the 3rd time in his professional career that the former 3-time boxing champ had been floored by an opponent.
After that, it was a different fight altogether as Mosley tried to fend off what could be his first defeat via knockout at the hands of the world's best boxer.
Mosley's moseying around the ring and Pacquiao's seemingly tepid attacks in the ensuing rounds earned boos as the crowd of 16,000 at the MGM Grand Arena tried to spur the 2 fighters to engage and give a good show. Unknown to many, Pacquiao already had a leg cramp as early as the 4th round and could not press his advantage.
"I asked them to press my leg because it really hurts. In the last 3 rounds, it felt better," he said in the post-fight interview.
On the 10th round, it was Pacquiao's turn to taste the canvass. The Pacman was landing hooks on Mosley when the latter stepped on Pacquiao's right foot and then seemingly pushed him to the mat. Despite no punch being landed, Pacquiao's fall was ruled a knockdown by referee Kenny Bayless who gave him a standing 8-count.
The call surprised and infuriated Pacquiao who then turned his anger into more punishment for Mosley all the way to a unanimous victory.
"I'm surprised because the referee listened to the officials...I have to recover although you didn't get hit but the scorecards is going to be 10-8," he said in the post-fight interview.
All three judges scored the fight for Pacquiao: 119-108, 120-108, 120-107. Pacquiao made a minimum of $20 million for the fight, while Mosley was guaranteed $5 million.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum said he expects Manny to fight again in November and rattled off a list of possible opponents: Juan Manuel Marquez, Tim Bradley and Zab Judah.
Pacquiao, the man with the fastest hands in boxing, was already thinking of something else. He had to sing in a concert in Mandalay Bay in a few hours before going back to his day job as congressman of Sarangani province.
"I will rest, go back home, and back to the Congress," he said.
But before he could go, he had to answer the question on everyone's minds -- when, if ever, will he fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
“I don’t care. I’m satisfied with what I’ve done in boxing. I want to fight Mayweather because the people want it.” David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com