On December 6, 2008, Oscar de la Hoya will face Manny Pacquiao will star in another boxing mega event. This fight has all the makings for it to be a very entertaining match. But at the end of the day, I ask myself, what did he accomplish with a win over Pacquiao?
On paper, this is a fight that Oscar should win. In my opinion, the only way I would consider it a “valid” win is if he wins it by KO. He’s coming into this fight with noticeable height, reach and power advantages, and enough speed to be effective. Also, he has felt the power of much bigger fighters that undoubtedly hit harder than Pacquiao.
Another reason Oscar should win by KO is that in the eyes of many, he is taking the “path of least resistance.” The fight with Antonio Margarito made much more sense than this one. Coming of his biggest win over Miguel Cotto, Margarito was the logical opponent if Oscar wanted to fight at 147.
The only explanation for making the fight with Pacquiao instead of any other opponent was the broader market appeal. I know that this is a business, but fights should make more than only business sense.
For Pacquiao, this fight is no lose situation. This will be his biggest payday by far. Also, if he manages to win the fight, his legacy, his appeal and all his traits of a great fighter will get a tremendous boost. His only advantage between the ropes is his speed.
I know that he has punching power, but there are numerous examples in which a puncher that was able to carry his power into higher weight classes, reaches a certain weight in which he is not as devastating as he usually is. Let’s not forget that Pacquiao won his first world title at flyweight (112lbs) and I am pretty sure that at 147 his punches will not have the same effect as in 130.
Some other facts that are worth mentioning are some of DLH statements before this fight got made. Statements suggesting he was looking for a real challenge and that he was looking to go out with a “Bang!”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Pacquiao will be a push over against DLH at welterweight and this article is by no means a knock on him, I’m rooting for him to win. But the fact is that DLH’s advantages will be very difficult to overcome for him. If DLH doesn’t win this fight in a KO, it would be almost the same as if he would’ve lost the fight.