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On the eve of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez WBO welterweight title scrap November 12th in Las Vegas, one familiar name (at least to Filipino and Mexican boxing fans) will be figuring in a fight of his own. Specifically, his 35th bout in a career that spans over 13 years.

At 33 years old, veteran boxer Emmanuel “El Carnicero” Lucero (26-7-1, 5 KOs) of Mexico only took part in a world title match once. Back in July 2003, then undefeated Lucero, who sported a 21-0-1 slate and was considered a very good prospect at the time, challenged Pacquiao for the latter’s IBF super bantamweight crown, a title Pacquiao decisively nabbed from Lehlohonolo Ledwaba of South Africa a couple of years back. It was also Pacquiao’s last fight as a super bantamweight.

Lucero employed unusual tactics versus the Filipino fighter, slipping way too low and coming in with wild hooks in between ducking. But as the fight progressed, the Mexican became too predictable that all Pacquiao needed to do is wait for the opportune time to launch his fearsome left.

Emmanuel Lucero's career never really recovered after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in July 2003.

The Filipino champion tagged Lucero with a short left hand on the head in the third round. The Mexican, for the first time in his career, was caught with a devastating blow. But in a gallant display of resiliency, Lucero refused to go down and instead, turned his back on Pacquiao and quickly headed for the ropes before his legs fail him.

A visibly concerned Pacquiao chased Lucero to offer his aid (contrary to what many believe as a hint of aggression and an attempt to finish off the clearly dazed Mexican). The referee, in a swift motion, shielded Lucero from Pacquiao and called a halt to the bout.

It was the Filipino’s fourth successful title defense and his last fight before he went north the scales and shocked the world with his trashing of Marco Antonio Barrera in November 2003

After the loss to Pacquiao, Lucero continued to box for a living, but never fought for a world title again. Lucero fought 11 more times, but dropped six bouts. Four by stoppages. Lucero went on a semi-retirement from the sport from 2007 to 2010 after tasting his fifth defeat, a 2nd-round TKO loss to Jason Litzau in August.

Ill-advised or not, Lucero took on the comeback road and in August 2010, registered his first win after hanging up the gloves three years prior – an 8-round unanimous decision win over journeyman Robert DaLuz. But consistency can’t be found as the Mexican lost his next bout, a unanimous decision loss to then undefeated Jorge Diaz.

Lucero lost in his last outing to unbeaten Yuandale Evans via a 6th-round TKO.

On November 11th 2011, Lucero will go up against undefeated Diego Magdaleno as a supporting bout to the headliner that features Mercito Gesta as one of the banner fighters.

Once, Lucero fought Pacquiao for a world title. But that was a long time ago.

Photo credits: Inside Boxing

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.