Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – Filipino phenomenon Manny Pacquiao added another weight-class to his recent run at all-time greatness, winning the WBC super welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito in the main event of an 11-bout card at Cowboys Stadium.
He won by wide scorecard margins of 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110.
Sports Network also scored it for Pacquiao by a slightly closer 117-111.
Pacquiao landed 411 of 713 power punches, while Margarito was 135 of 312.
The win gave Pacquiao the 154-pound championship belt, though the fighters contracted to weigh in at a contracted 150-pound limit. Pacquiao, who weighed- in at 144 1/2 on Friday evening, was reportedly in the ring Saturday night at 148 pounds.
Margarito weighed in at 150 pounds and entered the ring at 165.
It’s the seventh organizational weight-class title for the 31-year-old, who’d previously been crowned at 112, 122, 130, 135 and 140 pounds, and is the incumbent WBO champion at 147.
“It’s hard. I really did my best to win the fight,” Pacquiao said. “He’s strong and a very tough fighter. I can’t believe it. I’m so lucky to win tonight.”
In spite of the size disadvantage, the 5-foot-6 1/2 Pacquiao largely controlled the action with superior speed and sharper punching, occasionally wobbling his 5-foot-11 foe and raising a gruesome welt under the California- born Margarito’s right eye.
The bigger man was intermittently able to drive the fight to the ropes and landed as many as 34 power punches in the eighth round – the most ever landed on Pacquiao in one round – but gradually became less able to compete on anything resembling even terms.
Pacquiao motioned toward referee Laurence Cole in the 11th round in an apparent request to stop the fight, but Margarito was nonetheless able to survive an onslaught in which Pacquiao landed 51 of 75 power shots.
The new champion noticeably pulled back in the 12th round and missed the chance at a stoppage, but nonetheless easily sealed the verdict.