Paq Starts Slow But Finishes
At the post fight press conference Manny's new Promoter Gary Shaw said that he almost had a stroke in the first round of his newest clients fight, and rightly so! Hector Velazquez (42-11-2, 16 KOs) came out hard and fast and was throwing punches with ferocity and strength. It was clear that Super Feather Champion Manny Pacquiao(40-3-2, 31 KOs) was in for a tough night. It was only halfway through round one but the fighters were already throwing and landing haymakers as if they were in the fight of their lives, apparently they were! The crowd was already at a frenzied state as the two exchanged bombs and there was still one minute left in the first round. The action was furious and with less than 10 seconds left Velazquez landed a great counter right-hand that obviously sealed the round for the challenger as he took the round on all three judges cards. The tone was set for this one and it was time for everyone to get on the edge of their seats for the remaining rounds, they were bound to be good.
Throwing all caution to the wind, Paq came out smoking in round two with no regard for his defense at all, and in like fashion, Velazquez returned the fire with the same reckless abandon. Paq was hopping and punching from pillar to post and Hector was countering and landing some great shots of his own, and once again the 50-50 Mexican/Filipino crowd was going stone cold crazy, this was as entertaining a fight as anyone could hope for. Again great action ensued just prior to the bell and again Velazquez landed some great punches but this time it was only enough to salvage one of the judges scorecards, as the other two saw Manny's almost over aggressive style as the determining factor in stanza # 2.
Trainer Freddie Roach, who went 4 for 4 Saturday night, must have had some words for Paq, because Manny came out for round three a bit more subdued, but at the same time he was landing nice shots and not getting tagged, so the new attack was working well and Manny clearly took round three.
As the rounds moved on the fighters slowed down just a bit but the fists were still flying and each man was taking his turn landing from all angles, but it was becoming evident that the tide was turning in Paq's favor.
Round five started out with Velazquez holding Manny by the neck and smacking him on top his head a good four or five times in what looked like a High School noogie session. The ref quickly broke those shenanigans up and it was back to business for Paq who landed a great one two combo in what appeared to be the beginning of the end for the tough fighter from Tijuana. Velazquez was now cut and with a nice flurry at the end of the round by Paq, one wondered how much more of this fast paced action was Hector ready to take?
Round six began with a fresh looking Manny and a worse for wear, but game Hector squaring off once again, but with great use of angles and movement Paq had taken over and in the clinches a confident Manny could be seen smiling as he was brimming with confidence now.
Paq then landed a nice body shot and followed it with a sharp right hand to the head that forced Velazquez into the corner. Ay this point Paq went on an all out assault and with just a few ticks left Manny dropped Velazquez and then heard the bell signifying the end of the round, ring. For a brief moment the ref, Lou Moret appeared a bit confused but then he looked at the timekeeper and rightly picked up the count. Velazquez was up at eight and was stable on his feet, but the ref waved this one off instead of allowing Velazquez to use the coming minute to recuperate, which in my opinion was an unjust move on Moret's part. But with Ruben Contreras in the arena maybe the smartest thing to do on this evening was to make sure the fighter was able to fight on another day. Officially this one got stopped in the sixth at 2:59.
Pacquiao thrilled his Filipino fans with a
fantastic performance and with the prospect of the Morales fight in
January, you have to believe Paq's fans think he will exact revenge