Unfortunately I was unable to catch the anticipated lightweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and David Diaz live a couple a weeks ago as I was out of town.¬ While I was confident that Pacquiao would emerge victorious I did not see him knocking out the tough-as-nails Diaz in such definitive fashion.¬ Well thanks to HBO I was able to catch the rebroadcast of the bout this weekend and while my big homie Tim covered the fight in most excellent fashion in previous posts I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the fight.¬ -¬Pacquiao looked ripped at the lightweight limit of 135 pounds.¬ In fact he looked like a lot more defined then Diaz who has spent his entire career between the 135 Äì 140 pound weight classes.¬ And while there may be some zip of his punches the fact remains that at this weight Pacquiao still posses above average hand speed. -¬ItÄôs been stated before but credit really should be given to trainer Freddie Roach who has guided and molded PacquiaoÄôs evolution from kamikaze slugger to the boxer-puncher that the Filipino sensation has recently become.¬¬ -¬Speaking of which, in the Diaz fight Pacquiao put forth the best ÄòboxingÄô performance of his career.¬ Pacquiao threw punches in combination, circled to his right to avoid DiazÄôs left hand, and actually threw hooks and uppercuts.¬ In fact I call to memory a beautiful combination that involved Pacquiao throwing a right hook to the body and immediately using the recoil of his right hand to spring a lethal right uppercut that landed square on Diaz.¬ It stands out in my mind and was a clear indication of PacquiaoÄôs domination in the fight. -¬A lot of fans and media types have gone on record claiming that partial credit to PacquiaoÄôs excellent performance should have gone to Diaz as the Chicago fighter was held in little regard coming into the fight.¬ This is not fair to Diaz who may not have been the most gifted athlete to have ever laced up a pair of gloves but is a good fighter none the less.¬ After all Diaz was a US Olympian, no easy task to achieve, and along the course of his career has found a way to overcome adversity to find ways to win.¬ See his title winning effort over Jose Armando Santa Cruz and his gutsy performance of Kendall Holt for further evidence.¬ -¬Where do these two go from here?¬ For Pacquiao his foray into the lightweight division probably extends his career for a few more years.¬ While many are clamoring for a Pacquiao Äì Marquez rubber match at 135 (this blogger included) any fight between Pacquiao and the upper echelon lightweights (Juan Diaz, Nate Campbell, Michael Katsidis, etc) would make for welcomed viewing.¬ For Diaz, his career should not be written off based on this loss.¬ Diaz is still a very good fighter who would make a tough outing for anybody.¬ I would like for Diaz to fight more often in the Chicagoland area as he has become a local draw there and in this day and age a fighter with hometown support should be able to ply his craft in front of his fans.
Pacquiao – Diaz Revisited
Posted by Tim Starks on Jul 6, 2008 20:47