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Pacquiao beats Cotto to claim WBO welterweight crown

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Manny Pacquiao lands a right to the head of Miguel Cotto during their WBO welterweight boxing title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday. Pacquiao defeated Cotto by the 12th round TKOGREG HEAKES
November 15, 2009 - 9:24PM

Filipino Manny Pacquiao made history by becoming the first fighter to win seven world titles in as many weight classes with a stunning 12th round technical knockout of Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao looked unstoppable for the third consecutive fight, knocking Cotto down twice in the early rounds Saturday before putting the finishing touches on in the 12th round to claim Cotto's World Boxing Organization welterweight title.

The Filipino dominated from the second round on, putting on a stunning display of boxing skills and laying a savage beating on the champion at the MGM Grand hotel and casino.

Referee Kenny Bayless finally stopped the slaughter 55 seconds into the final round with Cotto unable to defend himself from Pacquiao's lightning quick combinations.

"I tried my best to knock him out," Pacquiao said. "I thought in 11th round they would stop the fight. I am surprise he continued to fight."

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) solidified his status as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

He also looked unstoppable in his two previous victories, dominating Oscar De La Hoya in December 2008 before destroying Ricky Hatton in just two rounds in May.

This was only his second fight as a welterweight as he is now being lined up for a blockbuster fight against American Floyd Mayweather.

"Everybody was saying he was bigger and stronger than me so I wanted to try and test his power," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao opened slowly in the opening round before switching to his up tempo style in the second and then knocking Cotto down for the first time in the third.

In the next round Pacquiao scored another knockdown, this time sending Cotto sprawling across the centre of the ring by landing a left hook.

"I fought everybody and Manny is one of the best all time," said Cotto, who suffered just the second loss of his brilliant career. "He jabs and throws. I didn't know from where the punches were coming and I didn't protect myself from the punches."

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