Saturday, December 6, 2008


It's over! The dream match has ended and Manny Pacquiao has won another big fight, beating the one of the greatest fighters he has faced. Pacquiao ended Oscar de la Hoya's dream of ending his career on a high note by stopping the Mexican-American in the ninth round. Oscar de la Hoya quit when he failed to answer the bell for the ninth round thus giving the Filipino fighter his biggest victory to date.
The fight started slowly with both fighters seemingly feeling each other first, trading light jabs. Manny was unusually tame for the start of this fight, not the usual aggressor that we're accustomed to. The Oscar de la Hoya starts to throw stronger punches, starting with the body, but fails to land most of them. Manny's quickness and defense looked in tip top shape at this point. With every jab de la Hoya tried, Manny Pacquiao responded.

As the fight wore on the aggression started, but only on one side. Manny Pacquiao began his relentless punches to the body, to the head, and Oscar de la Hoya seemed helpless in the flurry of blows that he was receiving. He tried to land his own jabs but weren't as successful as his Filipino foe. By the fifth round, Manny Pacquiao seemed to be landing his blows at will, still looking crisp and strong as when the fight started. Oscar de la Hoya, meanwhile, was looking slower, weaker. At this point, you could sense that only a knock would save him from losing this fight. He had to land a big one on Manny or else lose it in the decision, or be knocked out himself. Manny Pacquiao was wearing him down.

By the seventh and eight rounds, it was almost over. Oscar de la Hoya was almost finished, his legs are gone. At one point he tried a big blow on Pacquiao's body, landing it squarely. But Manny taunted him as if saying it was nothing, it didn't hurt. The Golden Boy was obviously near the end of his fight at this point. And when he failed to come out of his corner at the start of the ninth, that was it. The Golden Boy has quit!

Postscript: Here's a head-to-head analysis and prediction by Ring Online. I'm sure many of you will be interested in these stats.


Skills: Pacquiao evolved from a one-dimensional brawler into a very good boxer under the guidance of Freddie Roach. However, De La Hoya, even with his revolving-door approach to trainers over his career, has always been an extremely sound all-around boxer.
Edge: De La Hoya

Power: De La Hoya was once a devastating puncher but his power has diminished as he’s gone up in weight. Of course, he’s going down to 147 for the first time since 2001; he might have extra pop at welterweight. Pacquiao is not a one-punch KO artist but has always been powerful. However, at 147, he won’t be able to hurt De La Hoya.
Edge: De La Hoya

Speed: One thing Pacquiao’s opponents are often surprised by is his remarkable speed. Combine that with his tenacity and improving boxing ability and you get the best fighter in the world. De La Hoya has always been quick-handed; he’s just not as fast as Pacquiao, particularly at 35.
Edge: Pacquiao

Defense: Again, Pacquiao has improved significantly as a boxer. Still, he’s never been particularly difficult to hit. That can be attributed in good part to his aggressive fighting style. De La Hoya has always put a premium on safety, one reason he’s lasted so long in the sport. He knows how to avoid punches.
Edge: De La Hoya

Experience: Both fighters have been at the top of the sport for a generation of fighters, fighting in a combined 40 major world title fights (De La Hoya 29, Pacquiao 11). Nothing phases either one of them. De La Hoya gets a slight edge because he’s been a major player a bit longer.
Edge: De La Hoya

Chin: Neither fighter has been hurt many times. De La Hoya has been stung a few times by punches to his head but was never in serious danger. Only Bernard Hopkins has stopped him, with a body shot. Pacquiao was stopped twice early in his career but has taken some huge shots in his prime without a disastrous result.
Edge: De La Hoya

Conditioning: Freddie Roach, who has been around boxing for several decades, said he’s never seen a fighter train harder than Pacquiao. He could probably fight 20 rounds if he had to. De La Hoya has had periods in his career when he didn’t train as hard as he should have, which might explain his tendency to fade late in fights, but he seems to be extremely serious about this fight.
Edge: Pacquiao

Wear-and-tear: De La Hoya, 35, has never taken a beating but appears to have declined at least somewhat after 30 years of boxing. Pacquiao, 29, has been in many wars but seems to be as fresh as ever.
Edge: Pacquiao

Corner: Both trainers garner tremendous respect. Nacho Beristain has trained a number of champions from Mexico, making him a legend in his country. And Freddie Roach, too, has worked with many big-name champions. Clearly, he’s at the top of his game. Pacquiao gets the edge here because he’s worked long term with Roach; this is De La Hoya’s first fight with Beristain.
Edge: Pacquiao

Outcome: Ask yourself: What was your first reaction when you heard this fight would take place? Answer: Pacquiao is too small. That is the most-significant factor in the fight. Pacquiao will attack and land his share of punches. However, in the end, if De La Hoya fights a smart fight – stay outside, wrap Pacquiao up when he gets inside – he’ll wear the smaller man down.
Prediction: De La Hoya KO 10