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PACQUIAO WATCH: Manny got what he wished


PhilBoxing.com





THERE must be something sweeter in the candy bowl that prompted World Boxing Council lightweight king Manny Pacquiao to dip his hands into it.

Everybody in Team Pacquiao, including Manny himself, is zipping their mouth shut.

But undeniably, the living Filipino boxing icon got what he wished when he agreed to fight Oscar dela Hoya for a 12-round non-title bout at an agreed 147-pound catch weight limit.

Pacquiao lawyer-confidante Franklin "Jeng" Gacal Jr. is keeping up with his lawyer-client confidentiality vow with Manny and, as usual, is tight-lipped about the final details of the purse his client will get for the December tiff against Oscar dela Hoya.

"Maganda (It's a good deal for Manny)," was all he would say.

Jeng, who has become the convenient punching bag for all the contract disputes and issues his client is embroiled in, said Manny will not only get the biggest purse in his career. The Dela Hoya fight could open up more big money fights for Manny.

He said it is up to sports scribes to "do the math" as far as how much Manny will take home on December 7.

With Manny now obviously fully satisfied, his next concern is doing well against the man who is not only still boxing's biggest draw and cash cow.

Dela Hoya will climb the ring a much bigger and taller man and packs more power in both hands. Oscar may be a tad slower but there is no doubt he could take a punch, especially from a smaller opponent. His only stoppage loss was against Bernard Hopkins, a mean middleweight power puncher. And that one punch was perfectly timed on Oscar's liver.

Oscar has fought men bigger than he is. But he has a history of performing below par in fights against the best in the business.

Against Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, Hector Camacho and Ike Quartey, and Floyd Mayweather Jr., all of whom he fought at 140 pounds up, he is 5-5 (win-loss). Two of those wins came via stoppage (against Julio Cesar Chavez) while he was knocked out in one of those losses.

On the other hand, Pacquiao's sensational victories were against some of the best boxers whom he fought by going up in weight.

He was six fights removed from his flyweight class when he knocked out then reigning IBF super bantamweight champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba for his second world boxing crown. In his second fight as a featherweight, he knocked out Marco Antonio Barrera in 11 rounds. Two fights later, he faced Erik Morales as a super featherweight, losing in a close but unanimous decision. He avenged that loss with two knockout victories, though. In his last fight, Manny kayoed David Diaz to capture the WBC lightweight diadem for his fourth official world title in as many weight categories.

Dela Hoya's record since 2003 is 4-3 while Manny is 12-1-1 (win-loss-draw) spiked by nine knockout wins over the same period.

So both Manny Pacquiao and Oscar dela Hoya are no strangers to fighting men bigger than they are.

The difference is that while Pacquiao started at flyweight and has only one fight at the 135-pound class, Oscar began his pro career at the same division where the Filipino is now king and has been formidable and comfortable in the welterweight and super welterweight classes.

The Dela Hoya fight is Manny's stab at boxing immortality. Already holding records as the first flyweight champion to capture the lightweight title and along the way annexing the super bantamweight and super featherweight crowns, Manny will tread an unchartered territory. He will try to invade the welterweight division and against one of boxing's greatest fighters.

Manny is the first Filipino and only Asian boxer to capture four world titles in four different weight classes. He could as well be the first Filipino athlete to amass over a billion pesos in a single fight purse.

Manny may have only dreamt of this day once upon a time.

Now he is getting what he wished for against Dela Hoya.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Edwin G. Espejo.


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