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Life President
May 29, 2005
If ever there was any doubt regarding Manny Pacquiao's claim to the pound-for-pound crown, it was swept away with a simply stunning performance last night.

The Phillipino, dubbed Pac Man, stormed to a win over the supremely talented Miguel Cotto and, in doing so, claimed his fifth world title at his fifth weight class. Much had been made of the his recent opponents, with the Cotto camp considering De La Hoya as washed up and Hatton as "vastly overrated" before stating their belief that Cotto was the first real test of Manny's career.

One minute into the fight, and you could've mistaken them for being right. Cotto prodded at Pacquiao with real pace, power and precision, seemingly hurting Freddie Roach's protege. Make no mistake, MIguel Cotto is more than a match for most fighters and, with that start, much of the Las Vegas strip were beginning to wonder what the hype was all about.

Until, of course, Pac Man came out for the second.

Pacquiao is a King in his native Phillipines. When he fights, the country grinds to a halt and, when he's not training in Las Vegas, he exploits his freedom of the country with an entourage that would embarass a small army. With this victory, the whole world will stop to watch this man fight.

Cotto might well have been given extra belief and vigour from the first exchanges, but the disheartening truth for the Puerto Rican was that Pac Man had a fourth, fifth and sixth gear to step in to before dismantling the WBO Welterweight Champ. Cotto tasted canvas in the third and fourth rounds, falling to Pacquiao's supreme speed and accuracy and, in all honesty, the fight could've been stopped then. I would say that, though, as £10 on Pacquiao to win in the 4th at 5-1 would've made staying up till 4am all the more worthwhile.

The next seven rounds was business as usual. Pacquiao danced around his opponent, his money-shot left-hook taking its toll on Cotto. The referee could have, and probably should have, ended the fight in the 11th but nobody could forgive Cotto a chance of being one of the only men to go the distance with the scorching five weight champion.

Kenny Bayless eventually called time 55 seconds into the final round, Cotto looking a bloody, beaten and bruised shadow of his former self. "I didn't know from where the punches were coming," Cotto said before being taken to hospital as a precaution.

Pacquiao remained coy after the fight, admitting that Cotto had hurt him before stating his need of a vacation before his next fight, but the fact remains that there is only one man left to fight, the scalp that would reaffirm Pac Man's status as pound-for-pound king. Money Mayweather made short work of Juan Manuel Marquez after his farcical stint in the WWE and a fight with Pacquiao could prove to be the fight of the decade.

Mayweather remains undefeated, and carries many of the same attributes as Pacquiao... A battle between the two is what the boxing world wants, and it'll finally be what the boxing world gets.
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