History | Dec 17 2018

On This Day: Manny Pacquiao was born in 1978

The enigmatic power-punching Manny Pacquiao has thrilled us for years
Manny Pacquiao
USATSI_7847164_2798981_lowres  |  Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

HE’S moved up effortlessly through the weights, from flyweight to welterweight, inflicting damage and famous defeats at every stop along the way.

Filipino congressman Manny Pacquiao is an idol to millions around the world and was world-class after defeating the likes of Lehlo Ledwaba and Emmanuel Lucero. But he hit the big time when he battered Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera to defeat in 11 rounds in Texas in 2003 only to run into his nemesis, Juan Manuel Marquez. Despite being dropped three times in round one, future Hall of Famer Marquez somehow rallied to finish all square by the end.

Still, Manny went on to win two fights of a trilogy with Barerra’s great rival, Erik Morales. After sharing two thrillers, Pacquiao blew Morales away in three rounds to settle the trilogy. He edged Marquez in the rematch at super-featherweight by a point – a knockdown proving decisive – and then came his astonishing run that saw him tear through a host of bigger men.