Pacquiao finishes Morales with electric third-round KO

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(AP) LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao finished this trilogy with the flair befitting a movie star, knocking down Erik Morales three times on the way to a third-round knockout victory Saturday night in the super featherweights’ third meeting in 20 months.

Pacquiao (43-3-2, 33 KOs), the Filipino phenomenon known for his excesses of punching power and courage, dominated Morales (48-5) in a fight that was every bit as thrilling as their first two meetings — even if it didn’t last nearly as long.

Both fighters came out with heedless aggression, and Pacquiao first knocked Morales down against the ropes late in the second round. Morales kept returning shots, but couldn’t keep up with Pacquiao’s pace — and after a knockdown midway through the third, Pacquiao finished him with a thunderous left hook with just 3 seconds left.

Morales sat up, but shook his head at his corner — and Pacquiao celebrated another dynamic victory over the only man to beat him since 1999.

Thousands of Filipino fans at the sold-out Thomas & Mack Center chanted Pacquiao’s name, worshipping their native megastar of music, film and endorsements — and don’t forget boxing, where he belongs among the world’s top handful of pound-for-pound fighters.

The 130-pounders split their first two meetings in the previous two years, with Morales winning a unanimous decision — still Pacquiao’s only loss since 1999 — and Pacquiao replying with a TKO victory over “El Terrible” last March.

Their rivalry became one of boxing’s better trilogies in recent years, with both punch-addicted brawlers thrilling casual fans and building rabid followings in their native lands.

Morales’ career could be in trouble after four losses in five fights, including consecutive setbacks against Pacquiao. He also lost two of the three fights in his previous trilogy against Marco Antonio Barrera.

Arroyo hails Pacquiao win

President Arroyo on Sunday congratulated Filipino boxing hero Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao following his third round knockout win over Mexican boxing legend Erik “El Terrible” Morales in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“My heart beats with extreme joy with another victory for the Philippines. It was a battle well fought and we congratulate both fighters for their courage and grit. We all gathered around in our homes and places of work, in the streets and farms to pray for Manny,” she said in a statement.

“Manny will always be our hero, the bearer of the Filipino dream of winning the good fight in all fields of human endeavor. He will always be the people’s champ for toughness, discipline, hard work and the ability to beat the ends.”

Pacquiao defeated Morales after knocking him down twice in the third round of their 12-round matchup.

Before a sold out crowd at the Thomas and Mack Arena, Pacquiao quickly humbled his Mexican rival at the opening bell, landing vicious body punches against Morales who responded in kind.

Pacquiao first sent Morales tumbling to the ropes after a vicious left to the face in the second round.

The third round saw Morales dropping to the floor early in the round before being poleaxed by the Filipino champ’s fists.

Pacquiao will next face WBC World Featherweight champ Marco Antonio Barrera.

The General Santos City native received a guaranteed purse of $3 million (P150 million) from the Morales fight, excluding his shares from television and merchandise revenues. Morales received the same amount.

In their first encounter on March 19, 2005, Morales escaped with a 115-113 decision. But on January 19 of this year, Pacquiao avenged that loss with a 10th round technical knockout victory. Morales had not accepted any other challenge after that loss.


Manny Pacquiao, foreground left, of the Philippines, poses with trainer Freddie Roach after Manny Pacquiao’s third-round knockout victory over Erik Morales, of Mexico, during their non-title super featherweight boxing match, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)


Manny Pacquiao, center, of the Philippines, is picked up my members of his team after defeating Erik Morales, of Mexico, in their super featherweight boxing match, Saturday night, Nov. 18, 2006, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

[tags] boxing, Erik Morales, Las Vegas, pacquiao [/tags]

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Comments

  1. Azrael says:

    congrats kay idol manny!+

  2. Toe says:

    Wow, what a fast update! Parang si Manny! :) Amazing pictures! We’re lucky here in Cambodia… we got to watch the fight live on the Thai channel.

  3. bro_louie says:

    pintasan ba naman hindi marunong kumanta eh,
    pinoy ata yan. sabihin mo na gusto mo sabihin wag lang un pag awit . dami nga namatay sa pag puna sa ” my way”. kudos to manny

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