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Manny Pacquiao and Oscar DeLa Hoya: A Study In Contrast


PhilBoxing.com




Manny Pacquiao. Oscar De La Hoya. Two great practitioners of the sweet science.

It can be argued that they are among the best boxers of all time. There is no question that they have reserved spots and are assured of being enshrined in the Boxing Hall of Fame.

For the past couple of months, the boxing universe has focused on them in anticipation of the much-debated Dream Match this weekend at the MGM in Las Vegas. What makes these two fighters click? What sets them aside from the average boxer? Although ferocious fighters in the ring, they both are a breath of fresh air in the ugly world of boxing where pre fight press conferences and weigh-ins are marked with x rated trash talking and mayhem just to hype PPV buys.

We have seen Pacquiao fight the elite boxers the past six years as we have seen De La Hoya go toe to toe with the very best in his prime. They seem to have so much in common but in reality they are poles apart. The award winning HBO 24/7 magnifies the vast difference these two gentlemen fighters have. Just from the opening scenes the contrast is overwhelming. We see an almost sterile atmosphere of the Big Bear training camp while the Wild Card Gym is noisy, crowded, frenzied and you can almost smell the sweat dripping from the multitude of fighters.

As a gold medallist Olympian in the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, Oscar?s professional career was golden from the beginning while Manny launched his boxing career as a scrawny 16 year old in decrepit arenas. Oscar came from a family of modest means while Manny was dirt poor, forcing him to fend for himself at a very young age.

With his matinee idol good looks, Oscar could easily be on the cover of GQ Magazine instead of the Ring Magazine. The rugged Manny as shown in 24/7, he could not care less how he looks, as he is very sure of himself. Manny is very comfortable of his blue-collar image. In spite of his wealth, he continues to be as simple as he can be. Oscar appears very conscious of his image making sure that the 24/7 cameras get his best angle.

Oscar seemed bitter that his father pushed him too hard and resented that he never had a ?conversation? with him growing up, although his current success is a result of his father ?s tough love. In contrast, despite being abandoned by his father, when Manny became rich and famous, he reached out to his father and asked him to come back to the family and share his success. Both men are successful, wealthy, famous, adored by millions and with loving families behind them. They are on the top of the world. As they savor the fruits of their labor, they are very generous to a fault in sharing their blessings to the less fortunate.

Great men.

This weekend, who will be the better man?



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Greg R. Penilla, M.D..


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