(AFP) – May 6, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) — World Boxing Council super featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao expects the toughest fight of his career June 28 when he moves up in weight to face WBC lightweight champion David Diaz.
The 29-year-old Phillipines legend could complete a quest to capture five world titles in as many weight classes when he fights the 31-year-old American for the lightweight crown in a showdown of southpaws.
"This will be my hardest-fought battle," Pacquiao said. "It has been over three years since I have changed weight divisions and I will be doing it against the lightweight division's world champion.
"But this is my drive for five world titles in five different weight classes and I will not be denied. I am fighting for history, for destiny and for the people of the Philippines."
Diaz, 34-1-1 with 17 knockouts, makes the second defense of his title after taking a unanimous decision over Mexican star Erik Morales last August.
"I will shock the world and beat Pacquiao at his own game, power for power. He's a great champion but he's fighting in my division. I have worked too hard for this world title and I will not give it up to him."
Pacquiao, 46-3 with two drawn and 34 knockouts, plans on taking it anyway.
"I saw how he took the fight to Erik Morales in his last title defense and I am expecting to see the same fire power out of him when we meet," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao won titles at flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight and added super featherweight to that list in March with a split-decision victory over Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao avenged an earlier controversial draw against Marquez and added him to the list of vanquished top Mexican fighters, a group including Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar Larios and Jorge Solis.
"Manny Pacquiao has beaten many great fighters, especially
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