[Photo: Ricardo Mayorga]
There were two main questions going into the June
28 WBC lightweight title bout between David Diaz and Manny Pacquiao.
First, could Diaz impose his bigger size and
natural lightweight frame on his smaller opponent? Second, would Pacquiao
utilize his attributes of superior speed and skill to avoid unnecessary
brawling with a larger man?
The latter proved true to devastating effect, as
Pacquiao punished Diaz over nine mostly one-sided rounds to score a brutal
knockout and pick up the WBC lightweight title.
It became apparent in the early rounds that Diaz
would have no answer for Pacquiaos speed and surprising footwork improvement.
The Pac Man repeatedly bounced four and even five punch combinations off Diazs
skull and body. The speed of Pacquiaos punches would freeze Diaz, and before
the champion could respond the Pac Man would slide out of range to prevent any
From the fifth round on, Diazs already sporadic
punch output continued to drop as Pacquiao slashed him constantly with his
deadly left cross. Diaz, who dedicated this fight to his deceased father, continued to bravely press forward in the face of Pacquiaos new found weapon, the right hand. The media dubbed Mexican Assassin/Killer used his oft forgotten hand to grind down the champion with clean jabs, sharp hooks, and jarring uppercuts.
On the inside, Pacquiao was easily able to counter
Diazs jab with right and left hooks to the head and body. The damage started
to get unsettling as Diazs face was a mangled canvas of blood and flesh. With the conclusion of the seventh and eighth
rounds, the HBO commentating team began to wonder when the fight would be
The brutal end came in round nine, when Pacquiao
ruined Diaz with his fourth pinpoint straight left of the round. The champion
crumpled forward on his knees before landing face first to the canvas. The
referee had seen enough and called a half to the bout with 36 seconds left in
Pacquiao picks up the WBC lightweight title and
sets the stage for a rumored showdown at 140lbs with champion Ricky Hatton.
That fight is interesting, but before leaving Pacquiao could really cement his
legacy by taking on the true top fighters in his current division: lineal champ
Joel Casamayor and/or #1 contender Nate Campbell.
Whomever Pacquaio decides to fight, hes currently
the most exciting elite fighter in boxing and without question #1 pound for
pound. With the win, Manny Pacquiao improves to 47-3-2 (36 KOs) while David Diaz falls to 34-2-1 (17 KOs).
Undercard results saw Monte Barrett KO1 Tye Fields
and Mario Santiago D12 with Steven Luevano. In a bizarre DQ4, Humberto Soto
lost to Franciso Lorenzo due to a glancing rabbit punch as Lorenzo was taking a
knee. Referee Joe Cortezs ruling was so bad that the WBC will likely not award
the interim title to Lorenzo.
De La Hoya
Sees Dollars and Legacy in Bouts with Cotto and Trinidad
Part time fighter Oscar De La Hoya has further
narrowed down his list of potential opponents for his farewell fight in
a few weeks back that De La Hoya was considering veteran Winky Wright, but now
the Golden Boy has switched gears to more exciting and winnable fights against
Felix Trinidad or Miguel Cotto.
Golden Boy Promoter Richard Schaefer explained to
ESPN.com his clients reasoning for these two potential blockbuster bouts:
Cotto is just one option, but Trinidad is
definitely a possibility. I talked to (Don) King and (Trinidad attorney
Nicholas) Medina. They are definitely interested and I think a deal could be
made. Oscar gave me instructions to make the biggest fight possible.
Emphasizing on Shaefers use of the phrase
biggest fight possible leads me to believe well probably see De La Hoya seek
revenge against Trinidad. However, if Oscar is truly looking for a win to
improve his legacy, Miguel Cotto (if he beats Antonio Margarito next month)
would be the ideal but more dangerous opponent.
Set for October 11 on HBO PPV
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com has reported that Golden
Boy and Don King Promotions have agreed to an October 11 bout between former
welterweight champions Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga. The bout will take place in LA at the Staples
Center, and King disclosed to ESPN.com that the split was 55-45 in favor of
Golden Boy Promotions.
We'll kick Shanes ass and send lonesome Bob
(Arum) a message that we want Cotto and we are prepared to beat Cotto, King
stated in his typical maverick fashion.
It appears beating on a shot Fernando Vargas has
given Mayorgas camp newfound confidence. But Mosley is a few classes above the
wild-swinging but entertaining Nicaraguan. Expect Sugar Shane to prevail in a
highlight reel level performance akin to De La Hoyas destruction of Mayorga a
few years back.
Fighter of the Week: The Manassa Mauler Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey was born in 1895 to a poor family in
Manassa, Colorado. He left home at 16 and was forced to live as a hobo on
trains and the street. There he learned to fight to prevent attacks from
strangers. After observing his siblings talent, older brother Bernie pushed
him to pursue boxing. With no experience, Dempsey had mixed results
after initially turning pro in 1914. The most dubious was a first round
knockout at the hands of Jim Flynn.
He rebounded well in 1918 with 15 wins to earn a
title shot against champion Jess Williard. Dempsey destroyed Willard in three
rounds many historians call the most brutal in boxing history. Dempsey used his
smaller size to bob and weave under Willards punches and counter with huge
hooks. Also, the rules of the day allowed fighters to stand over their downed
opponents and hit them as soon as their knees left the canvas.
Dempseys title reign from 1919-1926 was checkered
as he fought overmatched or past prime opponents in Billy Miske and Tommy
Gibbons. He made only six defenses and went through a 3 year stretch of
inactivity (1923-1926) and did not face his #1 contender, Black fighter Harry
Wills. However, Dempsey remained immensely popular during these years and even
brought boxing its first million dollar gate with his knockout of war hero
George Carpentier. He also engaged in a memorable slugfest win against Luis
Firpo where he recovered from being knockout out of the ring.
He lost the title in 1926 being shutout in every
round against light-heavyweight champ Gene Tunney. In the return bout in 1927,
Dempsey knocked down Tunney with a left hook in the seventh. He failed to go to
the neutral corner as the referee instructed, and lost valuable seconds in the
count. Tunney was able to recover and dominated the rest of the bout. This
incident became known as The Long Count. Dempsey retired after this fight.
The Manassa Mauler is remembered for his two
fisted punching power and relentless attacks on his opponents. He inspired a
young Mike Tyson who adopted Dempseys in-ring style and even a similar haircut
to his idol. Martial artist Bruce Lee also cited Dempsey as an influence on
helping him develop his technique.
Jack Dempseys final record stands at 66-6-11 (51
KOs). He passed away of natural causes on May 31, 1983.