Manny Pacquiao and the Fighters He “Ruined”


A couple of days ago was the nine-year anniversary of Manny Pacquiao’s total destruction of Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title. The masterful deconstruction of the fearsome “Tijuana Tornado” not only was a thing of beauty, but it also marked the official end of Margarito being anything but an also-ran in the sport.

Anyway, the anniversary of Pacquiao-Margarito got me thinking about how many other high-end fighters the Filipino icon “ruined” and sent back to second-tier (or third-tier) status.

Here’s a list of such fighters:

Antonio Margarito

As mentioned above, Manny’s dominant 2010 win vanquished the Mexican powerhouse to permanent second-tier status. The 12-round beating was so intense it even retired Margarito for a while due to injuries suffered to his eye during the contest. Margarito’s fall may have begun with his TKO loss to Shane Mosley nearly two years earlier, but Manny Pacquiao certainly sealed the deal when it came to the end of the line.

Marco Antonio Barrera

Pacquiao’s upset of Barrera in their first encounter, back in 2003, opened the door for Manny in the US. His second win over Barrera in 2007 pretty much ended the career of the Mexican great. Barrera fought on for a few more years, but the spark had been snuffed out by his second one-sided loss to Pacquiao.

Miguel Cotto

The 2012 welterweight contest saw a smaller Manny Pacquiao come up in weight to beat, batter, and ultimately stop the Puerto Rican beast in twelve rounds. Cotto would fight on and, eventually, capture world titles in the 154 and 160 lb. divisions, but the Cotto that ruled the 140 and 147 lb. divisions with an iron hand ended that night he was humbled by Manny.

Joshua Clottey

Going into their 2010 welterweight clash, Clottey was considered an elite 147-pounder and a feared presence in the division, just one year removed from a split decision loss to Miguel Cotto that many felt should’ve been a win. After his one-sided loss to Pacquiao, however, Clottey lost much of his mojo and, while he fought on and won most of his contests, he never regained that level he had prior to being beaten by Pacquiao.

Ricky Hatton

Well, this one is pretty obvious. Hatton was the king of the junior welterweights, but suffered a mighty fall after being blasted away in two rounds by Manny. The British star would go on to have just one more fight after the 2009 Pacquiao blowout—a loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko in 2012—before official hanging up the gloves for good.

Brandon Rios

True, Rios was already on the downside of his career when he met Manny in China back in 2013. But Pacquiao’s dominant win that night, which turned the rough, raging Rios into a docile punching bag, made a significant change in the Mexican-American’s overall attitude as a fighter, even reducing him to tears post-fight.

Lucas Matthysse

The one-time KO Machine beast from Argentina and reigning WBA welterweight titlist was utterly destroyed by a 39-year-old Pacquiao, dropped several times, and stopped in the seventh round. The brutal masterpiece in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia marked the end of Matthysse’s career.

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  1. The 3rd Eric Morales fight should’ve also been worth mentioning. The great Morales lost his mojo when he shook his head and resignation on his eyes on the 3rd rd KO he suffered. Yes, EM fought later (with DSG), but the snap and mojo was forever gone…And later on, retired.


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