PACQUIAO WATCH: One for the ages
By Edwin G. Espejo
21 Jul 2008
SHOULD the Pacquiao-dela Hoya fight materialized, it will surely generate attention not only for jaded boxing fans but also from non-sports buffs.
It is one match up that will defy boxing logic, at first glance.
For how can you convince boxing fanatics that it would not be a mismatch of great proportion?
Remember, World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao started his pro career in boxing at a fragile 106-pounder.
Oscar de la Hoya began his pro career at lightweight after winning the Olympic gold medal in 1992 in Barcelona but spent most of his Hall of Fame ring exploits at north of 140 pounds.
Pitting these two ring gladiators is like your throwing a mouse inside a box where a cat is having his meal.
It would be a Mai Lai-like massacre.
At 36, de la Hoya maybe way past his prime but he is still the biggest draw in boxing today. Time and the wear and tear of squaring off with the world's bests may have slowed him down but he still has what it takes to knock out one big careless opponent. More so "little guys" like the Filipino bomber.
Pacquiao, on the other, hand is now at the peak of his career and has a few more years in competitive boxing.
His record-breaking feats over the last five years have made him one of the biggest attractions of the sports today. In fact, he is widely acknowledged as today's best pound for pound boxer following the announcement retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
So what will it take to have Pacquiao and de la Hoya face each other inside a ring?
It is for the money, stupid!
Granting the fight will not turn into one big circus and a blasphemy to the sports, the lure of multi-million dollar pay day for Pacquiao is just too tempting to reject and to turn away from.
With his stature and newfound quickness and strength at the lightweight division, Pacquiao may – and that is not a long shot – have more than an even chance of pulling off a great show if not a victory.
This is the one fight where Pacquiao comes out a winner no matter what the outcome is.
Boxing, however, is unlike your weekend golfers where handicapping is the norm.
But for the entertainment value and cash consideration, a Pacquiao-de la Hoya fight could very well be arranged.
They are now discussing a catch weight of 147 pounds.
At over 160 pounds now, it will be an uphill fight for de la Hoya to meet the catch weight limit. He will also be giving up speed and agility against his smaller opponent whose electrifying quickness is his main offense and defense.
All Pacquiao has to do is stay away from the big bombs of de la Hoya - Golden Boy's devastating left hook, especially.
De la Hoya could no longer keep up with the frenetic pace Pacquiao will bring to the ring. He will have to patiently wait for Pacquiao to commit a mistake.
Manny will also have to wear down and frustrate de la Hoya with his speed and hope to land a punch against a fading opponent in the latter round. He will have to knock out de la Hoya for him to snare a victory. Otherwise the most he could do is hold de la Hoya to a draw.
So how much should Pacquiao demand for a chance to see what the result of the intrigue of pitting him against a great boxer from another era?
They are now speaking of $20 million. That may be too much. Perhaps a $10 million guaranteed purse plus a considerable share of the PPV and gate receipts will already do.
Make a good account of his self and Manny will earn the same amount with his first fight next year against Ricky Hatton.
That's the price of being entertained by a one fight for the ages – literally and figuratively.
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