Manny Pacquiao knocked out Erik Morales at the end of the third round tonight, completely overwhelming Morales with speed and power. Morales was game, but the legs just weren't there tonight. If Morales is to continue, he will want to step up in weight.
But will Morales want to continue? You'd think so because he's just 30, but it's an old 30. You could see it all over his face every time he was knocked down. He went down in the second, again in the third, and the final time, he simply shook his head and didn't stand up.
Pacquiao was a furious wildman, and Morales had all the balls in the world to try to stand with him, but he couldn't do it.
Pacquiao landed 83 of 131 power punches. Pacquiao is a monster at 130.
Despite only lasting three rounds, this fight lived up to the hype. It was exactly what you'd have expected. Manny Pacquiao comes out the victor in a great trilogy, and his improvement since the first fight with Morales is just remarkable. He is a force.
Morales seems to hint strongly that he's going to retire after the fight.
What's next for Pacquiao? If possible, a second fight with Marco Antonio Barrera would be big, but there's also perhaps a rematch with Juan Manuel Maquez. Pacquiao and Marquez fought to a draw in 2004 at 125, and Pacquiao knocked out Barrera at the same weight in 2003. Marquez has a moderately dangerous fight against Jimrex Jaca coming up, but he's the heavy favorite. Barrera survived two clashes with a game Rocky Juarez this year. It all comes down to the dispute over Pacquiao between Top Rank and Golden Boy, and expect neither side to budge an inch there.
For now, Pacquiao is unquestionably among the best and most dangerous fighters in the game. And we may have seen the end of a brilliant career from a true ring warrior, Erik Morales.