In spite of diligent attempts to find the Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya fight in a neighborhood bar, my efforts were thwarted and I was forced to sit in front of my 42" high definition Samsung, Guinness in hand and cigar unwrapped.
I'd barely lit my Rocky Patel when the first round was over and I sat with my mouth agape.
Over the next eight rounds, I saw a butt whipping. I watched the emotional and physical disintegration of one of the finest fighters in the last generation. De La Hoya left the ring a defeated man—both emotionally and physically.
He will never, ever be the fighter that he once was, at any weight class. He was flat out afraid of Pacquiao by the fourth round. I never expected to see fear in De La Hoya's eyes, but that's exactly what I witnessed.
If there were any doubts about Pacquiao being the best pound for pound fighter in the world, they were quickly eliminated.
This fighter is lightning in a bottle. He's a 146-pound pissed-off hummingbird with bricks for fists.
He would destroy Floyd Mayweather...with one small caveat—but I'll return to that later.
Pacquiao is faster than Mayweather. He's more powerful than him. He's more active and he has better head movement. He has more heart. He even has a better trainer (the unflappable Freddie Roach).
In a straight-up, center of the ring fight, there's no way that Mayweather lasts 10 rounds with this assassin.
And Floyd knows it.
Floyd also is a defensive magician who knows exactly how to fight a quicker, stronger fighter with great movement. Hold 'em. Clinch 'em. Tie 'em up with his hands. Release and get in some quick shots.
I watched Bernard Hopkins use the exact same strategy against Joe Calzaghe. For 12 rounds Bernard tied up Calzaghe's hands. It was an ugly, boring fight and it was a lot closer than it should have been.
Calzaghe was a much quicker and more active fighter than Hopkins and, if the fight had been in the center of the ring, Bernard would have lost handily.
Mayweather used this exact tactic against Ricky Hatton until Hatton was so frustrated he lunged in and got caught with a left hook. If referee Jose Cortez actually supervised the fight and stopped all the clinching and holding, I think Hatton wins.
Personally, I hope the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight doesn't happen. Mayweather, despite his defensive brilliance, is a boring fighter to watch. Go back and view the Carlos Baldomir and even the De La Hoya fight to confirm this.
Heck, Tiger Woods and Charles Barkley walked out on the Baldomir fight it was so boring! What world-class fighter has celebrities walking out on their fights?
There's also the small fact that De La Hoya gave Mayweather a run for his money in their 2007 fight. If his jab held up for another round or two, he could have won.
Against Mayweather, De La Hoya still looked like a world-class fighter. Facing Pacquiao, he looked like a washed up fighter much older than 35.
Right now, at 142 or 146 pounds, there is nobody in the world that can stick with Pacquiao for the next two years. So, sit back and enjoy this Filipino wonder.
It might be another 20, 30 years before we see another one like him.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!