FOLLOWING the first loss of his career, Manny Pacquiao wins his next 12 fights (11 by knockout) to set up a shot at respected WBC flyweight champion Chatchai Sasakul. The bout [above] takes place in the outdoor Tonsuk College Ground in Phuttamonthon, Philippines.
Sasakul had lost only one bout of 33 and, over the first seven rounds against Pacquiao, appears to be heading towards another victory. But the Filipino uncorks two left hands to knock out the champion in the eighth and claim his first world title two weeks before his 20th birthday.
But Pacquiao is starting to fill out. After a lifetime of scrimping and scraping for food, the youngster is eating regularly and, probably belatedly, maturing physically. He just about makes the 112lb weight limit for his first defence (a win over Gabriel Mira), but he is drained for his next one. After starving himself, and several attempts to vomit out the last dregs of mass from his emaciated frame before the weigh-in, he comes in too heavy. Only the title will be on the line for Medgoen Singsurat, who makes the most of the opportunity by knocking out a drained Pacquiao with a body shot in round three.
Again Manny vows to learn lessons from defeat and in 2001 makes a decision that will turn his fortunes around when he wanders into Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in Hollywood.