Pacquiao ruins De La Hoya

By Ryan Burton


Pacquiao ruins De La Hoya

Manny Pacquiao TKO8 Oscar De La Hoya: Manny Pacquiao (48-3-2 36 KOs) routed Oscar De La Hoya (39-6 30 KOs) for eight rounds in a welterweight fight Saturday night at the MGM in Las Vegas, NV.  De La Hoya never had an answer for Pacquiao who peppered boxing's Golden Boy with left and right hooks from the opening bell.

Pacquiao jumped out quick in the first two rounds winning easily.  The action slowed temporarily in the third but De La Hoya never found an answer for Pacquiao's speed.  In the fifth, De La Hoya got ahold of Pacman in the ropes and landed a few nice hooks, his only highlight in this fight.

The sixth and seventh rounds were more Pacquiao dominance.  Pacquiao started out cautiously but soon began pouring punishment on De La Hoya. After the seventh round, referee Tony Weeks and the ringside doctor warned De La Hoya's corner that if his performance didn't improve, they would stop the fight.  The officials did the same after the eighth, De La Hoya's trainier Nacho Beristain advised De La Hoya they should stop the fight.  He then asked Oscar if he wanted one more round and De La Hoya said no.   According to Compubox punchstats, Pacquiao landed 195 power shots versus just 51 for De La Hoya, whose right eye was nearly swollen shut and who was obviously stunned and shaken by his lopsided loss.

De La Hoya was gracious in defeat, admitting that Pacquiao was the better fighter and that he didn't have any answer for his speed.  De La Hoya said he didn't know what he was going to do when Larry Merchant asked if this was the end of the line for him as an active boxer.  When Pacquiao began his own post-fight interview, he told Oscar that he was still his idol. De La Hoya responded, "No, now you're my idol".  It was a great moment that deomstrated why both men are loved by so many.

Let the party begin in Manila and through out the Phillipines as Pacquiao, the people's champion and pound-for-pound #1 or #2, did the unthinkable.  He started 2008 out with a close, thrilling split decision over Juan Manuel Marquez at 130 pounds.  He then moved up to 135 and knocked out David Diaz who had never been knocked out before.  He skipped 140 and jumped to 147 and did what most people gave him absolutely no shot to do, getting a knock out victory over all-time great Oscar De La Hoya.  Manny now will have an eight-figure offer to fight Ricky Hatton for the linear 140 pound world championship.  Hatton was ringside.

Many boxing "experts" were proved wrong who said that this fight was a joke and that De La Hoya was picking on a little guy only to pad his bank account.  Well the pride of General Santos, Phillipines had his greatest victory to date, and has earned comparisions to the greatest multi-division champion in the sport's history,  Henry Armstrong.  Freddie Roach, Manny's trainer said that he had only bet on his fighters three times in the past and won all three times.  He bet $5000 on Pacquiao win by knockout at 6-1 odds.  Surely he will have a big grin on his face when he picks up that $30,000 profit.