PACQUIAO DEFIES THE ODDS, BEATS THE GOLDEN BOY
By Ed de la Vega, DDS
Sun, 07 Dec 2008
Las Vegas, Nevada:- On a cold clear night at this glitzy Sin City, Filipino spitfire Manny Pacquiao, outlasted the famed Golden Boy, Oscar de la Hoya, and cemented his legacy as the best pound4pound boxer of the current generation.
Pacquiao scored an 8th round TKO when Nacho Beristain indicated to the referee, Tony Weeks, that De La Hoya is done fighting for the night.
Forget the alphabet titles and the sparkling belts that come with them. This one is for all the marbles and the glory (and the money) that can only come with fights of this magnitude.
A whole plethora of so called ?experts? said it cannot be done. Many insisted it should not be done.
Others said it was simply insane to put up a smaller guy who has never fought over the 135 lb. limit against a bigger fellow who had done it in as far as the 160 lbs division.
Still others said that the Golden Boy will simply vaporize the smaller Pacquiao. In fact, even the experienced bookies at Vegas did not believe in Pacquiao?s chances for an upset setting him one time as an underdog at about 10 to 7.
Jose Sulaiman, the President (for life?) of the WBC even branded the bout as ?a fight between a pachyderm and a hobbit horse?. (until the Pacquiao allegedly agreed to ?pay? sanction fees that effectively shut the mouth of the old man from Mexico.)
Lance Pugmire, the respected Los Angeles Times sportswriter indicated that Pacquiao will lose because ?de la Hoya is too big and that Pacquiao took the fight only for the money ($11 million)."
They were all wrong, very wrong!
The fight that was supposed to be a total joke turned out to be a good scuffle.
But what made it a cut above was not only because the little guy won, but how he won! In fact he irrefutably validated the words printed on a t-shirt of a supporter that said, ?Si Se Puede, Pacquiao!?
Pacquiao may have been disadvantaged in terms of height, reach, body mass and overall natural weight. But what he lacked, he made up with pure ?Filipino blood and guts?, a huge heart and most specially, a blinding speed that shamed the best there is in the sweet science. ?They forgot to measure his mindset, heart and soul?, a blogger wrote.
Plus, he had the support of more than 80+ million souls in the Philippines and countless others abroad, praying and hoping that he comes out victorious.
And, that is not to mention the myriad of boxing fans from all over the world who appreciates the sweet science and the Mexican-born boxing fans that crowded the MGM Events Center in support of Pacquiao simply because they really did not care for de la Hoya. They said ODLH does not have the ?Mexican style?, whatever that is, that Pacquiao carries to the ring. (But, I suspect it?s really because de la Hoya beat their idol, Julio Cesar Chavez).
During the whole 8 rounds, Pacquiao?s defense was solid and almost invincible. The game plan and technique developed by Freddie Roach and his team of assistants, Buboy Fernandez, Alex Ariza and Nonoy Neri were wholly effective and entirely supreme.
All the training overseen by the celebrated Mexican coach Nacho Beristain and the tons of experience and power Oscar de la Hoya had, did not matter at all. Even the expert advices from Angelo Dundee did not carry any weight. Indeed, Dundee?s presence as an ?adviser? amounted to nothing more than a nice PR stunt tailored to what HBO needed to drive up the PPV.
Pacquiao?s victory patently shut up Bernard Hopkin?s big mouth who at the media room of the MGM last Wednesday and at the weigh-in yesterday, loudly predicted that his buddy de la Hoya will KO Pacquiao between the eight and ninth round.
Team Pacquiao had an answer for every iota of stuff the Team Golden Boy brought to the ring and more.
Roach, the wily trainer from the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood was right all along. Oscar de la Hoya was very good. But that was in the past. Tonight, he simply did not have enough to pull the proverbial ?trigger? anymore. The ?gas left on his tank? was barely enough to carry him and the results were glaringly displayed on top of the ring at the MGM Grand Events Center.
Simply put, he Golden Boy lost his luster as the fight progressed.
The relentless punching machine that was Pacquiao, did what many others have not done in the past. He turned de la Hoya?s pretty face into a mess that would take sometime to heal, and God forbid, for a plastic surgeon to fix.
This is one fight the Golden Boy will never forget for he fell downright short of the revenge he craved so much to attain.
To him it was ?personal?. He wanted to punish Pacquiao and show the Filipino ?National Fist? that it was a bad idea that he rejected him in favor of Top Rank.
On top of that, he lost a fight to a smaller fighter many thought would be a cakewalk.
But it was far from that.
It was more of an ambush from a little guy. A David slaying the big bad Goliath!
And the loss will undoubtedly put a dent on the glimmering credentials de la Hoya would take to the Boxing Hall of Fame.
More so because he simply quit!
Certainly it will place a damper to his week-old gleaming life-sized statue installed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles alongside Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky. As Freddie Roach insinuated, it will be more than what the pigeons will do with their droppings.
However, as we all look back at the whole event, de la Hoya may have lost on top of the ring. But the insane amount of money he made from all the sponsors, the PPV, the live gate and the merchandize sales made him a winner in many ways. He may be black and blue and hurting tonight, but come Monday, he will be walking hand in hand with his business partner, Richard Schaefer laughing all the way to the bank.
So are Pacquiao and his astute promoter, Bob Arum.
It?s no small wonder they called the darn thing the ?Dream Match?.
Top photo: Filipino spitfire Manny Pacquiao celebrates after dismantling Oscar de la Hoya Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Dr Ed de la Vega / PhilBoxing.com.
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