LAS VEGAS, January 24, 2006
(MALAYA) MANNY Pacquiao clearly liked what he saw when his rematch with Erik Morales ended in the 10th round last Saturday at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

With a 20-20 vision up to the very end, Pacquiao saw what he had dreamed of since last March: Morales crumpled against the ropes, stopped for the first time in his career.

This was how Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times summed up Pacquiao’s demolition of Morales who, Springer wrote, hardly resembled the fighter who routinely earned the nickname Erik the Terrible, or "El Terrible."

After their first fight, which Morales won by unanimous decision, Pacquiao kept saying it would have been different if he could have seen Morales clearly. Pacquiao, 27, finished that fight with blood oozing from a cut above his right eye, a victim of an accidental head butt earlier.

Pacquiao made sure there would be no cut this time, his defense primed up to keep Morales at bay, the Mexican’s long jabs hardly hitting their target. There was blood indeed, but it came from Morales. What Pacquiao saw, according to Springer, was a slower Morales, a Morales operating on shaky legs, a Morales whose punches lacked his trademark power, a Morales who seemed headed for a terrible end. Typifying Pacquiao’s domination was the sixth round where he landed 32 power shots to just eight for Morales.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, summed it best, saying: "The tide turned in the sixth round. I could see Morales fading from the body punches. In the first fight, Manny was left-hand happy. This time, he landed a lot of right hooks."

There was a clause in the contract for the fight giving Morales a rubber match if Pacquiao won.

"If he wants it, I will have no problem giving him a rematch," Pacquiao said.

Fight fans, especially Mexicans, hoping for a third fight between the two in the 130-pound division, may not get their wish, however.

"I don’t think I can ever make 130 pounds again," said Morales, who was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure. He was thought to have suffered a broken nose.

Asked in the middle of a crowd of supporters what the difference was between the first fight and Saturday’s, a smiling Pacquiao broke it down to three words:

"I could see."

Pacman takes it easy after biggest day of his life - Manila Bulletin January 24, 2006

LAS VEGAS — Not even the lure of the neon lights and the prospects of pressing his luck on the casino tables early Sunday evening could force Manny Pacquiao from leaving his grandiose suite at the 51st floor of the Wynn Resort and Casino where he sought warmth and comfort after.

Barely 24 hours earlier, Pacquiao pulled off the biggest jackpot of his storied career with an eye-popping 10th round stoppage of Mexican legend Erik Morales at the Thomas and Mack Center of the University of Las Vegas.

For a guy who had to endure the best from someone like Morales, a sure inductee into the Boxing Hall of Fame, Pacquiao was not in a mood to make hay at the casino despite his reputation as a gambler.

What he longed for all day Sunday was a good massage.

He got it from training assistants Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri who worked to ease the effects of the 10-round battle.

But pain and all, he still spent part of the day signing autographs, posing for pictures and chatting with those who trooped to his suite. A security personnel assigned to restrict the flow of admirers had to give up after a throng of admirers besieged room 5107, all eager to get a piece of the popular boxer.

Though his future is being hotly discussed, nothing has been firmed up for his next fight or who his opponent would be.

"Wala pang pinag-uusapan," said Fernandez, who took care of Pacquiao’s torso.

Neri, a first-timer in America, concentrated on the boxer’s forehead.

"Ang sabi niya ay sobrang sakit ng kanyang noo," said Neri. "Matindi rin kasi ang tama sa kanya ni Morales kaya’t doon ko siya minasahe ng husto."

So, it was not only Morales who had aches and pains. But Pacquiao, at least, can take his lumps more happily.

"Talagang iba rin si Morales. Nandoon ang tapang at ang determinasyon na manalo kaya’t nakita naman natin ang kanyang mga binitawan," added Neri.

Had the ending been close, Pacquiao and Morales would have already promoted their third fight sometime in May or June as there’s a clause in the contract that mandates them to meet again.

But since Pacquiao defeated Morales rather comprehensively, a rubber match is unlikely to take place, at least not in the 130 lb category.

Pacquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach was firm that his boy will not fight at a heavier weight.

"No way," he said earlier.

Pacquiao came in at 128 ½ lbs during the fight. The Filipino southpaw did not even attempt to reduce as he gored on beef nilaga, chicken broth, fruits, boiled eggs, rice and bread a few days leading to the fight.

So, don’t expect Pacquiao to jump up in weight and give Morales a chance in a lightweight duel because once he does that, he could be courting trouble.

"Manny is perfect at super-featherweight," said Lito Mondejar, who is credited, along with Rod Nazario, as the men behind the meteoric rise of Pacquiao.

"There’s no need to go to lightweight. That would be unnatural for him," said Mondejar, who joins Pacquiao on a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Manila on Wednesday night from Los Angeles.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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