BOXING

fought Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and got KO’d by Juan Manuel Marquez but none packed a harder punch than ‘Junito’

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Manny Pacquiao had 72 professional bouts but there is one he still feels the effects of to this day.

In 2009, Pacquiao came up against Miguel Cotto, otherwise known as ‘Junito’, as the Filipino dared to become a world champion in a seventh different weight class.

And he did just that, dropping Cotto in both the third and fourth rounds of the fight.

From there, Pacquiao steadily beat his opponent into submission until the final round of the fight when the referee had seen enough and waved off the contest.

 Floyd Mayweather

While it looked to be an utterly dominant performance from Pacquiao, he has since admitted that Cotto’s punches took a serious toll on him.

Speaking to the Ring Magazine in July 2015, a few months after his clash with Floyd Mayweather, which remains the highest grossing fight of all time, Pacquiao was asked who hit him the hardest in his career.

“Miguel Cotto,” Pacquiao replied. “I can still feel some of those punches he threw at me.

Cotto began boxing when he was 11 in Puerto Rico and left the amateur ranks with a 125-23 record, winning silver at the Olympics in 2000 and then collecting titles in the pro ranks to become a four-weight champion.

“Staying on the ropes is not the best place to be when you are fighting him,” Pacquiao continued.

“He’s also accurate. He’s incredible.”

Two fights after taking on Cotto, Pacquiao moved up in weight again, an incredible feat considering he began his career at flyweight, clashing with Antonio Margarito in the super welterweight division.

‘Pacman’ delivered yet another boxing masterclass to win the WBC 154lb world title and become an eight-weight world champion.

Floyd Mayweather

During his stellar career he earned at least $500m in purses, while his pay-per-view fights combined took in more than $1billion in revenue.

When he fought Mayweather in 2015 it broke the bank, including 4.6 million PPV buys and total revenue of $600m from PPV, tickets, international TV, sponsorship and merchandise.

A rematch between the pair has been heavily linked, particularly after they met in Japan in 2023.

Mayweather and Pacquiao aimed thinly veiled digs at each other, and even teased a second meeting.

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