Manny Pacquiao knocked out Mexican-American David Diaz in the 9th round to grab the WBC lightweight championship in Las Vegas and become the first Asian to hold four different titles at different weights and the first Filipino to hold the crown. Even the late, great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde failed in his 2 attempts to wrest the world lightweight crown.
An animated Diaz, surprising for someone who just kissed the canvas, admitted after the fight that he never saw Pacquiao’s right-left jab combination coming and walked right into it. Diaz was lavish in his praise of Pacquiao. Manny won it on speed and accuracy, rather than power, putting to rest speculations that he might have slowed down as he went up a heavier weight class. He also mixed a solid body attack with combination shots to the head, but the sturdy Diaz refused to go down. Until the decisive 9th round.
It was a battle of lefties, and Manny outfoxed Diaz by coming out with his “secret weapon”, a crushing right jab which he followed with his left, thereby putting his opponent off guard. Pacquiao first snapped Diaz’s head with a mean right jab, moved in closer to his opponent and unleashed a 1-2 combo capped by a powerful left cross that decked Diaz. In Diaz’ words:
He was fucking fast, I didn’t see [the left hand] coming.