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Manny Pacquiao Versus: Julio Cesar Chavez

By Geno McGahee

RSR covers many fighters, fights, and branches out into the entertainment world and Mixed Martial Arts, but no matter what we cover, the most popular topic is and has remained the co-pound for pound best in the game, Manny Pacquiao. Through popular demand, we have elected to create a new column that involves YOU, the READERS.

In a column by the title of “Manny Pacquiao Versus,” we will pit Pacquiao against any fighter, Dead or Alive without weight class restriction, and the bout will be looked at seriously and broken down as well as we possibly can. We encourage you to register with an account on RSR and comment on the article and suggest an opponent for Pacquiao for the next piece. The Fighter with the most votes, will be the next in our series. Also, the RSR reader with the most compelling argument will win the chance to actually have his or her comments in that particular article which will appear on the RSR homepage.

We hope you enjoy the first in this series as we pit the Filipino warrior against Mexican legend, Julio Cesar Chavez in a twelve round contest. It will be up to you to select his next opponent.

For this comparison, we are matching the 1990, 69-0, 57 KO’s, Chavez at 140, the light welterweight level, against Manny Pacquiao now, bringing his record of 52-3-2, 38 KO’s. The two will meet at 140 pounds in a collision sure to bring many fireworks.

Pacquiao has been called the “Mexecutioner” because he does exceptionally well with his Mexican opposition. The style of guts and aggression fit well with the Pacquiao style of angles and combinations. Marco Antonio Barrera was battered into submission, Erik Morales was bested two out of three times, both by knockout, and Antonio Margarito was recently pounded for twelve rounds, sending him right to the hospital. Manny is a force in the ring.

Julio Cesar Chavez is a force as well, a monster in the ring with perhaps the right style to beat Pacquiao. He is a very good body puncher with an incredible chin and he is willing to take two punches to land his one, and his shot is typically enough to get the job done. He fights regularly, ducks nobody, and is very sharp in the ring.

In Chavez’s last outing, he nearly lost, seeking a stoppage in the final round against undefeated Meldrick Taylor. Amazingly, he found the punch and dropped Taylor with only seconds remaining. A groggy Taylor arose but referee Richard Steele had seen enough and waved it off with only two seconds remaining. It was controversial and disappointing for Team Taylor, but it was a win for the relentless Chavez.

Prior to the fight, Pacquiao notes that this will be his toughest outing and plans to use his mobility and speed to stop the determined Chavez. He saw some opportunities that he could enjoy in the Taylor fight. Arguably, Pacquiao is as fast and mobile as Taylor, but hits incredibly harder, and the odds that initially favored Chavez 2-1, were brought to even from the thought that speed would beat power.

The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, became home to the fight that became known as “All In,” signifying the location of the fight and the fact that both men were gambling their careers on one night.

For Pacquiao, the gamble was his status in the sport, his reputation as the Mexecutioner, and his reputation as an unstoppable force. For Chavez, much of the same was on the line. He was seen as unbeatable and put his undefeated record on the line on fight night. Both men were national heroes, enjoyed representing their countries, and expected fully to win the fight.

For the fight, both training camps went incredibly well, and both men were in top fighting form. The press conferences were quiet by comparison to most, with both fighters showing respect and quiet confidence. The media was asked to predict the winner and it was nearly split down the middle. Considering that Pacquiao has been stopped very early in his career by body shots and that Margarito landed a body shot that stopped him in his tracks, many thought that the Chavez consistency to the body would eventually prove to be enough.

Those choosing Manny pointed to his ability to pound his onrushing opponent and move away from danger, attack intelligently, and eventually turn the tables and put the pressure on the aggressive opponent. Speed over power was the statement of the night.

Coming first to the ring was Pacquiao with trainer Freddie Roach by his side. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor blares through the sold out arena as he approaches the ring. He gets into the ring and waves to the crowd, a mixture of people, from Mexicans to Filipinos, to Americans, some waving flags while others just cheer. This is a fight that they have been waiting for.

Chavez walks down to the ring with his blaring and terrible “Pound for Pound” theme song. He looks ahead to Pacquiao in the ring and has the eye of the tiger himself, completely focused on the task at hand. He is one hundred percent ready for the Pacman.

After the National Anthems of Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States, Michael Buffer asked the crowd if they are ready. Promoter Don King smiles and lifts his little American Flags into the air, waving them, excited at the money that is about to be wired into his account after this fight takes place. The electricity in the crowd is intense and everyone is already on their feet with anticipation. When the fighters are brought to the center of the ring, the crowd buzzes. The referee can hardly be heard over the roar of the crowd as he gives the prefight instructions.

The opening bell rings, and Chavez storms out of his corner and begins hunting down Pacquiao. Manny moves and gets hit with a jab and then a right hand to the body. Manny seems unfazed and continues moving. He throws a combination to the head of Chavez with only one punch landing. Chavez continues to push and corners Manny, unloading some shots in the corner, mostly to the body and the crowd erupts, but Manny is OK. The round ends and is a big Chavez round: 10-9.

Round two is another Chavez show, as he takes advantage of the slow starting Pacquiao, putting him at 20-18 on all three judges’ scorecards. Roach asks Manny to calm down and start using his speed and movement and to stay off the ropes where Chavez is most dangerous.

Pacquiao listens and takes over the fight, winning clearly rounds 3 through 6, but a left hook to the body in round seven, puts Manny down. He arises, lifts his arms and nods at Chavez. It was late in the round and Manny survives, but he is once again reminded to stay away from the ropes.

The fight is fought evenly in rounds 8 through 10, but a crashing straight left puts Chavez on his back, down for the first time in his career in round eleven. He is seriously buzzed and gets up on wobbly legs. Pacquiao attacks and drops him again after six punches land cleanly on the head of the Mexican warrior. He gets up again. The bell rings to end the 11th round and save Chavez from the stoppage defeat.

The two men come to the center of the ring and touch gloves for the final bell. On two of the three scorecards, Manny is leading 104-102 going into the final round, while the other card has it even at 103-103. Chavez is once again in a position where he needs a knockout or at least a knockdown to escape with his undefeated record in tact. His legs do not look good as the bell rings.

Chavez attempts to press, but Pacquiao waits for his spot and lands again, placing Chavez again in trouble. The Mexican warrior backs up into the ropes and Pacquiao follows, battering him with hooks and uppercuts, but Chavez is refusing to fall. Pacquiao backs up and Chavez comes forward and a left hand puts Chavez down again. With thirty seconds remaining, Julio Cesar gets up and looks across the ring at Pacquiao, eager to pounce again. The referee gives the standing eight count and allows the fight to proceed with less than 15 seconds remaining. Chavez immediately grabs Pacquiao and holds on and the seconds go by. The final bell rings and the crowd erupts.

The commentators have it scored for Manny, and the judges are in agreement. Two of the judges score it 114-110 while the third judge has it 113-111, for the winner by unanimous decision, Manny Pacquiao.

After the fight, Pacquiao notes that it was the toughest fight of his career and was pleased that he was able to come through it with the victory. Chavez was not happy with the decision, stating that he had “won most of the rounds,” and was “ripped off” because of Pacquiao’s popularity. Don King agrees, stating that he thought “Julio won it,” and wanted an investigation into the fight. Roach and Pacquiao elect to move on and take on the next challenge, but the fans were given a night to remember and it was quickly called the “Fight of the Year.” It was everything the fans hoped it would be.

Ok people, it’s your turn. Register and be HEARD! Who should Pacquiao fight next? Also, the RSR reader with the most compelling argument will win the chance to actually have his or her comments in that particular article which will appear on the RSR homepage.

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