Last night at the cavernous Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX, Manny Pacquiao won the vacant WBC light middleweight belt with a hard fought performance over Antonio Margarito.
The much taller Margarito came forward behind a long jab that gave Pacquiao some difficulty but the former welterweight title holder negated his height advantage by crouching down and putting his head at his Filipino adversary's level.
Pacquiao took a few rounds to get adjusted to Margarito's style, mostly going for body work but also mixing in with quick single shots upstairs that had the Mexican already growing hesitant.
Once Pacquiao began to get warmed up, his efforts came in the form of bracing combinations that the much slower Margarito was largely unable to avoid.
Margarito never stopped going forward however and had success at times with the jab and right hand but his best moments came when the action moved along the ropes, where he won some very tough exchanges with Pacquiao, who would get on his bike for awhile to break any momentum his opponent had developed.
But there weren't near enough of those instances for Margarito as he was soundly outboxed, round after round, in masterful fashion by Pacquiao, who was very impressive in the ability to improvise attacks from all angles with a very unpredictable timing.
By the later rounds Margarito was showing the effects of absorbing Pacquiao's punishment as both men slowed down as a result of the earlier torrid pacing.
After the final bell, Pacquiao improved to 53-3-2 (38), by sweeping the scorecards 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110, winning a world title in an unprecedented seventh weight class.
Margarito drops to 38-7 (27), losing two of his last three bouts.
The undercard saw former Cuban amateur star Guillermo Rigondeaux, 7-0 (5), step way up in competition to annex the Interim WBA super bantam crown with a split decision against highly seasoned former titleholder Ricardo Cordoba, 37-3-2 (23), in an all-southpaw battle that saw both fighters have to climb off the canvas.
Welterweights Mike Jones, 23-0 (18), and Jesus Soto Karass, 24-5-3 (16), went to war for the NABA, NABO and WBC Continental Americas belts with Jones winning a narrow majority decision.