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Sports

Southpaws easy prey for Manny

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

Super WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao has never lost to a southpaw and WBC/IBF ruler Errol Spence Jr., a left-hander, isnt expected to break the record when they square off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 21. Pacquiao said there will be a “littleadjustment in preparing for a southpaw since his last 19 opponents were orthodox fighters but he doesnt expect any difficulty in repulsing Spence.

So far, Pacquiao has battled 11 southpaws in racking up an overall record of 62-7-2, with 39 KOs. The last left-hander who crossed his path was David Diaz who succumbed in the ninth round in Las Vegas in 2008. Pacquiao, a lefty himself, recalled the coup de grace was a right straight. It was also against a southpaw when Pacquiao registered a spectacular knockout, lifting Fahsan 3-K Battery off both feet with a left uppercut in scoring a fourth-round stoppage in an open-air makeshift arena in BGC Taguig in 2004. Fahsan was floored twice in the second round, once in the third and twice more in the fourth before the curtains fell. The left uppercut is the punch that Pacquiao said will put Spence in his place.

Fahsan was the fourth Thai southpaw in Pacquiaos list of victims. The others were Fahprakorb Rakkiat-Gym, Wethya Sakmuangklang and Panomdej Ohyuthnakorn. Fahprakorb took four trips to the canvas in bowing to Pacquiao in one round in Davao City in 2002. Wethya was halted in six in 2001 and Panomdej in one in 1997. The southpaw who gave Pacquiao some trouble was the late Dominican Republic roughhouser Agapito Sanchez in their San Francisco brawl in 2001. Sanchez was the Sandy Saddler of his era, using every dirty trick not in the book to get a leg up on an opponent. Against Pacquiao, Sanchez lost two points for low blows, opened a nasty cut on the Filipinos right eyelid with a butt in the second round and widened the gash with another butt in the sixth. He even struck Pacquiao on the left leg to hamper his mobility. The ringside physician stopped the fight as Pacquiao was unable to continue because of his cut and it went to the scorecards with the outcome a technical split draw. In 2005, Sanchez was shot twice in the stomach and murdered in a Dominican Republic bar.

Spence has faced only two southpawsSouth African Chris Van Heerden who was stopped in eight in 2015 and Ghanaian Emmanuel Lartey who was outpointed in an eight-rounder in 2013. Lartey, however, came close to dropping Spence in the seventh round, landing a right cross that wobbled his legs. The cross came after Lartey connected with a left hook to the side of the body. Curiously, Lartey and Pacquiao share the same first name and that could be ominous. Spence, 31, has a 27-0 record, with 21 KOs but is only 6-0 in world title fights and against former and current world champions. Pacquiao, 42, has defeated 16 opponents in world title bouts and is 25-6-2, with 11 KOs, against former, current or future world champions. The difference in experience is glaring.

MANNY PACQUIAO
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