While Pacman was beating polyrhythmic beats on WBC lightweight titleholder David Diaz, a former lightweight titleholder was taking notes on the newest kid on the block…Manny Pacquiao.
“I think he looked very strong,” said Diaz of Pacquiao. “It was a great match for Pacquiao and he looked very good.”
Though it was a decisive and convincing win over the rugged Diaz of Chicago, it was a matter of styles that made the fight look easy.
“David Diaz was a perfect opponent,” said Julio Diaz. “He could stay in there and take punches. But I knew he couldn’t take them all day.”
Yes indeed. Pacquiao stopped David Diaz with a perfectly placed left hand to the chin for a knockout win and send the lightweight division in a scramble to see who wins the Pacquiao sweepstakes.
Julio Diaz predicts a much rougher road ahead for Pacquiao in the lightweight division where much speedier fighters exist.
“There are still good fighters out there. I hope he sticks around,” said Diaz, who hopes that rumors of Pacquiao moving into the junior welterweight division to challenge Great Britain’s Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton are premature. “I want to keep my position so I can get in the mix.”
Diaz said a number of fighters could serve as possible opponents for Pacquiao, including Juan Diaz, who took away the IBF world title from the Coachella boxer last year, and Nate Campbell who took the IBF, WBO and WBA world titles away from Juan Diaz last March. There’s also Urbano Antillon, who knocked Bobby Pacquiao without mercy in the first round and Joan Guzman, who’s set to test Campbell in September.
All of those lightweights are much faster than David Diaz and present more problems, says Julio Diaz. But he’s not guaranteeing any of those lightweights can beat Pacquiao.
“Pacquiao is a hyper fighter and incredibly fast,” says Diaz who watched the fight last Saturday among friends on television. “He has that eye of the tiger. It only lasts a few years, then it’s gone.”
Diaz feels that even Pacquiao can lose that champion’s edge.
“It can fade away,” Diaz said. “(Marco Antonio) Barrera had it. (Erik) Morales had it. And Oscar De La Hoya had it. But they lost it once they got too famous.”
Is Pac Man number one now that Floyd Mayweather is gone?
Without a doubt.
Here is the new pound for pound list:
1. Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 36 KOs) – Sorry lightweights, Pacquiao looked even faster against the bigger David Diaz than at featherweight. “He was too fast,” said Diaz while shaking his head. Pacquiao now will face bigger and faster lightweights in the future. Take your pick Pac Man, there are some great fights in the 135-pound division.
2. Israel Vazquez (43-4, 31 KOs) – Mexico City’s Vazquez is taking a needed rest after participating in three of the most brutal but engaging boxing contests in history. He blends skill, power and tenacity and has become one of the sport’s entertaining fighters. How much does he have left?
3. Kelly Pavlik (34-0, 30 KOs) – The Ghost dismantled Welsh fighter Gary Lockett in three rounds to hand him his first loss. That fighter may never be the same. Last week Edison Miranda was knocked out easily by Arthur Abraham in a rematch. Some say it was due to the whipping Pavlik put on him.
4. Joe Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs) – American boxing fans wanted Calzaghe to fight Pavlik. But Circle Joe is choosing to fight Roy Jones Jr. It’s an easier match for Calzaghe who should be the favorite against the once unbeatable RJJ.
5. Miguel Cotto (32-0, 26 KOs) – Cotto has proven himself over and over during the past two years. Now he gets Mexico’s Antonio Margarito and will be tested without a doubt. The winner gets the greatest prize today: a date to fight Oscar De La Hoya. This is Cotto’s big moment later in the month.
6. Bernard Hopkins (48-5-1, 32 KOs) – The Philadelphia boxing wizard can’t seem to find an opponent. Maybe WBC champ Chad Dawson would like to take a chance against the old man. Hopkins still has something left in his tank.
7. Juan Manuel Marquez (48-4-1, 35 KOs) – After watching Pacquiao obliterate David Diaz it’s apparent that Marquez is quite a fighter to have fought twice and lose by a narrow margin once and fight to a draw with the Filipino star. Marquez' next fight will be against Joel Casamayor in the lightweight division.
8. Rafael Marquez (37-5, 33 KOs) – He’s eager for a rematch with Israel Vazquez, but may have to settle for winning one of the other junior featherweight titles. Maybe a match with Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez could set the house on fire.
9. Winky Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs) – The middleweight contender might be a good fight for Pavlik, but surprisingly a proposed match between the two has not been mentioned. Wright needs to fight somebody quick before he develops spider webs underneath his arms.
10. Ricky Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs) – Britain’s favorite fighter had a rough time against Juan Lazcano, but he earned his place on this list with a gritty victory. It looks like boxing promoters are jockeying a fight between Hatton and Pacquiao pretty soon. That would be a blockbuster fight anywhere.
11. Cristian Mijares (35-3-2, 14 KOs) – The little known Mexican junior bantamweight boxer is a crackerjack fighter with tremendous skills. Mijares is also one of the smartest pugilists in the sport and is a pleasure to watch as he changes battle plans whenever necessary like a chess player.
12. Joan Guzman (28-0, 17 KOs) – The lightning quick Dominican boxer has a proposed date to fight lightweight world champion Nate Campbell. Though both fighters are not high profile boxers, each is dynamite inside the ring. Guzman needs a win to stay on this list. Campbell wants to win now to earn his due.
Honorable mention: Nate Campbell, Nonito Donaire, Oscar De La Hoya and Antonio Margarito.
Fights on television
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Enrique Ornelas (27-4, 17 KOs) vs. Daryl Salmon (16-2, 4 KOs)
Sat. Showtime, 7 p.m., Ricardo Torres (32-1, 28 KOs) vs. Kendall Holt (23-2, 12 KOs).