Manny Pacquiao made short work of Mexican challenger Jorge Solis to retain the WBC International Super Featherweight crown and earn at a cool U.S.$ 7 million (PHP 350 million), which covers his guaranteed fight purse and his share of the pay-for-view revenues. The 15,000 crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, were treated to a workmanlike demolition of the previously undefeated Solis. Manny’s trainers, notably Freddy Roach, were unhappy with his “toying around” in the early rounds. But after an accidental head butt opened a cut in his left eye in the 5th round, Manny quickly took care of business. He decked Solis in the 6th round and knocked him out for good in the 8th round. The general consensus was that it was no cliffhanger, but there were enough good moments to make it worth watching on a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon in Manila.
What next for Manny ? He returns to his native province of South Cotabato to run for the Philippine Congress. Win or lose in the political ring, Manny faces a rematch with reigning WBC super featherweight defending champion Juan Manuel Marquez come September. This will be the fight to watch. According to sportswriter and pundit Recah Trinidad, Marquez is the only fighter in their weight class capable of stopping Manny Pacquiao in his tracks. The Pac-Man is at the top of his game, but Marquez is a finesse fighter who is an excellent counter-puncher. Marquez also has a fighting heart, as shown during his last meeting with Manny in May 2004, when he survived three knockdowns in the 1st round to forge a draw. The much-anticipated rematch promises to be the fight of the year.