don’t believe the hype

Pacquiao puts De la Hoya to bed with hugs and kisses by garrickismypal

The Mexicutioner. The People’s Champ.

De La Hoya Pacquiao Boxing

Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a huge fan of Oscar de la Hoya since forever. But what I witnessed tonight was simply the dawn of his constantly criticized career. Oscar de la Hoya, at the tender age of 35, was shown that he is no longer able to rise to a challenge.

From the begining of the fight, after the end of round 1, something was already shown to be wrong with the Golden Boy’s approach to the Filipino’s slick and relentless pitter patter.

JUMP it for the rest of the review…

Oscar, who has relied on his stiff snapping jab for both defense and offense all his career, seemed to completely abandon his jabs for majority of the fight. De la Hoya has always kept his distance by either jabbing the opponent as they came in or by blocking shots with his hands. It was especially essential for this fight given his greater size and reach advantage. Instead, the Golden Boy had little to show for his incredibly over the top training in Big Bear. Oscar spent much of the 8 rounds waiting and looking to catch Pacquiao with his hook.

Pacquiao, however, stuck to the exact same gameplan he is famous for. Constantly in and out with combinations. Constantly bouncing on his toes ready for anything thrown his way. Despite the supposed weight and power disparity, it was Pacquiao who had the bigger punches that snapped the head of De la Hoya back into the ropes again and again. He mixed up his targets from the body to the head with ease seeing that Oscar obviously could not match his speed and precision.

Head movement and footwork are fundamental keys to defend against swarming pace setting fighters such as Pacquiao. Many trainers and fighters felt that this was crucial to beating a steamrolling puncher like Pacquiao. Yet it was Emmannuel Pacquiao who showed showed off the twinkle toes and slick head reflexes that confused and frustrated his opponent. The Pacman constantly steered clear of any attempts Oscar made to establish an offense by simply avoiding shots, most notably by quickly ducking his head and swiveling to his right.

De la Hoya by stark contrast, fought upright and rigid as he grudgingly lumbered on flat footed. He was noticably upset with never being able to catch Manny because of the excellent movment displayed by the Pacman.

Any boxing fans who witnessed the evenly paced destruction of Antonio Tarver by Chad Dawson earlier this year may have seen a striking similarity between that fight and the match we saw tonight. A once sensational fighter with excellent technique, speed and power, being subdued by the younger, hungrier fighter. De la Hoya and Tarver both greatly resembled one another this year, with little snap in their punches and burnt out, unwilling leg movement. Both also chose to simply cover up when pressured, as opposed to earlier in their careers when they would engage and look for counters.

Probably the most apparent difference between the fighters Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya was the display of handspeed. Oscar’s combinations were so spaced out with wide punches that Pacquiao had no trouble simply blocking, ducking, or just stepping out of the way. Manny on the other hand, exploited many of the openings he saw and landed flush with flurries of body shots and punches to Oscar’s “handsome” face.

I found it incredible that De la Hoya’s corner was so intent on stopping the fight at the end of the 8th. Even during Tarver’s fight with Dawson, or Pavlik’s fight with Bernard Hopkins, the corners chose not to call the fight off and encouraged their fighters to look for the finish. Apparently Beristain’s faith in Oscar had run dry enough to throw in the towel. It was a good choice watching out for  the older fighter’s safety, but it was disappointing to see how little Oscar had left, compared to his fights with Shane Mosley, during which he never showed signs of defeat and elected to stand toe to toe and eagerly exchange with “Sugar” Shane.

Oscar’s awful performance tonight showed that Manny Pacquiao has not lost much as he packed on the pounds to fight his older and lankier opponent. But Pacquiao may not have much to celebrate as his future is now in even greater question. Sitting in attendance was Ricky Hatton, who weeks ago put on a relatively easy beating on Brooklyn based fighter Paulie Malignaggi. Hatton was looking to challenge the winner of the De la Hoya/Pacquiao fight, and now it seems clear who he would like to match himself up with.

A Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquiao fight would be nothing short of sensational, and would attract huge buys from all over the world. It would be a huge international bout, with Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao of the Philipines fighting Ricky “Hitman” Hatton of Britain. The style match up would also deliver a huge performance, with Ricky’s wild swinging and relentless pressure clashing with Pacquiao’s nonstop in and out engagement.

Oscar’s future has likely been cleanly paved out for him, painfully revealing to the public that he is likely not capable of fighting at the top level anymore, including the currently retired former pound for pound king, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. Perhaps the smartest decision for the Golden Boy now is to manage Golden Boy Promotions, promoting fights instead of participating in them. He is more than able to do this, having put on several great shows this year alone.

The Golden Boy’s time in the ring is coming to an end, and it is time to step aside and enjoy what boxing has to offer for the new generations of boxing fans.


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