Why Would Manny Pacquiao Agree to Fight De La Hoya Now?

Nelson EstupinContributor ISeptember 1, 2008

Okay, it appears that the date has been set: December 6th.  The stage has been set: HBO PPV and the MGM Grand in Vegas.  It has potential is to make upwards of $100 million for the night.  But the question remains...why, Manny? Why?

Under most professional scruitiny and given the state of boxing as it is today, Manny Pacquiao is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter right now.  He could have his pick of any fight in the game today and who does he choose? Oscar de la Hoya.  What the @#)%?

I was a de la Hoya fan for a long time...since his Olympic days, in fact.  I watched him change his game through the years, bettering himself with each fight, each championship, each win.  But now, he's all but washed up.  Even he's said he's close to retirement.  He's not the old Golden Boy we once knew. 

I hate to say this, because I loved the fighter he was, but taking this fight on diminishes his career for me.  Why?  Because he's taking on the best pound-for-pound and at 35, I just don' t know if he's still got it. 

Yes, one could make the argument that George Foreman won a title at a much more advanced age, but the counter argument there is that the Heavyweight division relied much more on power than speed and none can come faster right now than the Pacman.

Now, besides an obvious payday, what does Pacquiao have to gain with fighting de la Hoya?  He's already the best pound-for-pound.  Everybody...EVERYBODY knows his name...he has a whole freaking country that stops whatever it is they're doing when he fights.  When he fights, crime is at zero percent in Manila.

We all know that boxing is so spontaneous that one punch could turn the tables, and given Pacquiao's current successes, one punch could deflate everything he currently has going for him.  A one-punch from a true contender to his belt or his PFP status is one thing—a one-punch from an aging former pound-for-pound is another. 

It scares me to think of those consequences for this fighter.  I'm a Pacquiao believer right now, but this decision is as mind boggling to me right now as the Pavin selection by the GOP.  

I hope come December 6 I can make heads or tails as to why.