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List of Articles by Edwin G. Espejo



PACQUIAO WATCH: Which Oscar will turn up?

By Edwin G. Espejo
PhilBoxing.com
06 Dec 2008




This corner promised not to do a piece on the December 6 Oscar de la Hoya-Manny Pacquiao Dream Match until the fight is over.

Well, there are promises that are made to be broken. And for all the hypes and hyperboles that are deluging the unofficial Manny Pacquiao website, here I go again, breaking my code of omerta.

There is no question, Oscar de la Hoya is the bigger, stronger and more skilled fighter than Pacquiao who is giving away four inches in height and six inches in reach.

Oscar is heavy favorite going into Sunday's 12-stanza non title bout between boxing's biggest draw and the sport's best pound for pound fighter.

But the question is which Oscar dela Hoya will climb the ring?

Will he still be the same Golden Boy who conquered an aging Julio Cesar Chavez? The perfect guy who soundly thrashed Fernando Vargas and gave the bigger Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley all they could handle in close decision defeats?

Will he regain the spry he exhibited during his lightweight and welterweight days? Will he still have the snap in those jabs and the spring in his left hooks that sent many of his victims to dreamland?

Will a weakened de la Hoya show up or a regenerated man who found his elixir.

After amassing hundreds of millions in his fine and storied boxing career, will Oscar still have the hunger in his pangs and the fire in his eyes when he meets a man six years his junior, who, no too long ago in 2001, fought in the undercard of his 154-pound title fight with Javier Castillejo as a 122-pound wonder kid who kayoed Lehlo Ledwaba for the latter's IBF super bantamweight crown?

Or will he be the half-hearted poster boy who danced away in the championship rounds in his fight with Felix Trinidad and lost. The man who was unfairly rewarded a win against Felix Sturm and who knelt as soon as he got tagged with a wicked shot on the liver by Bernard Hopkins?

Sunday's megabout, the biggest and most anticipated this year, is Oscar's to lose – caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Win or knockout Pacquiao, he gains nothing for being pictured and viewed as the bigger man and, thus, the bully.

Lose and it ends one of the most terrific runs of phenomenal boxing success, both financially and in athletic ability.

For all intents and purposes, de la Hoya already lost some of the luster of his stardom, literally and figuratively.

Although in the end, he will still laugh his way to the bank – critics and all naysayer.

Pacquiao, win or lose, is already a winner. Any jaded boxing aficionado will rightfully acknowledge the feats already accomplished by the man who has taken the boxing world by storm.

Win against de la Hoya and his image will even loom larger than he is now and monuments will also be built in places where he is adored and will be adored.

Just as de la Hoya has his outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

A piece of advice for Freddie Roach, please find the corner where Manny's statue will soon rise outside his Wild Card Gym.



Back to Edwin G. Espejo's Articles Listing



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