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List of Articles by Edwin G. Espejo

PACQUIAO WATCH: Getting under Oscar's skin

By Edwin G. Espejo
12 Sep 2008

ANYONE who thinks they could handle Manny Pacquiao's speed and power will most of the time end up on seats of their pants.

Just ask Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales, the Mexican triumvirate who have not tasted a clean and powerful shot as hard as Manny's lighting quick left hands.
Even his latest knockout victim, David Diaz, admitted that he saw Manny's punches coming, alright, but he could not stay away from them as quickly as the next bomb went flying.

On December 6, Oscar dela Hoya will try to prove he could handle two of Manny's most potent weapons – speed and power.

Oscar has fought men with heavier hands in the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey, Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker. These veritable Hall of Famers have a combined record of 332 wins as opposed to only eight losses when Oscar fought them – an astonishing 99.4 per cent winning percentage. These big men also had a combined 81.1 per cent knockout records.

Oscar lost four fights against these boxers with the defeat to Hopkins as his only abbreviated loss via a wicked punch to the liver. Without doubt, Dela Hoya could take a punch to the chin.
But against a smaller and speedier opponent, Dela Hoya had difficulties.

He barely survived Whitaker who, at 5'6", is about as tall as Manny Pacquiao and is also a southpaw. He narrowly lost a split decision to Mayweather who stands 5'8" and barely eked out a unanimous decision win over Quartey who is 5'7".
Oscar's bane is fighters who are sleek and fast and able to put up a decent defense.

Pacquiao does not own the best defense there is in boxing but his speed is his number one asset.

Over the last five years, nobody has put Manny down on the canvass. He was in serious trouble in his first fight with Morales but he never came close to being knocked down.

Of course, Morales' best punch is a tad different from a Dela Hoya bomb who owns one of the meanest left hooks and left jabs in boxing during his younger days.

I say younger days because, at 35 years old, Oscar is spring chicken no more.

Former Pacquiao trainer Rick Staheli said Manny should tire out those legs by using his quick lateral movements.

"Let Oscar earn his dollars. At 35, he can't keep up with Manny," Staheli said.

Staheli doubts Pacquiao will be able to knock out Dela Hoya but if the golden boy of boxing gets careless, he could end up like Barrera.

The American, a long time Philippine resident, said Pacquiao should watch Oscar's left hooks.

"Make Oscar beat you with his right hand," he told Manny at lanai of his spacious mansion Wednesday evening.

He reminded Pacquiao that Oscar is a natural southpaw who is a converted orthodox fighter.

"Roach should also know this," Staheli added.

Oscar does not like being hit with a body punch so all Manny has to do is get under that left jabs and quickly throw a right hook or a left straight to the liver.

"And quickly get away please," he said.

But there is always a way of getting into Oscar's mind.
Manny should show Oscar he is up to the task and if Oscar wants to win, he should bring the fight to Manny.

Throw a few bunches of combinations and quickly step out.
See if Oscar can do the same.

Oscar will bait Manny to hit him in the face and see what will happen.

Manny should know better it would be a trap.

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