Trainer Hector Roca Says Pacquiao Has "Better Than 60-Percent" Chance Of Beating De La Hoya

by James Slater: Vastly experienced boxing trainer Hector Roca, of Gleason's Gym Fame, has gone on record as saying Manny Pacquiao has a better than average chance of beating Oscar De La Hoya, should the fight actually happen - and it's looking more and more like it will..

Speaking to, the former trainer of Arturo Gatti, Iran Barkley and James "Buddy" McGirt, had the following things to say while on the subject of a Pacquiao-De La Hoya bout.

"Oscar is not the same Oscar who fought my fighter, Arturo Gatti, years ago," Roca said. "He is on the decline and has slowed down considerably, while Pacquiao is at his peak right now. But more than that, it is the styles that matter. De La Hoya has a hard time fighting with a moving target and Pacquiao has a perfect style to frustrate De La Hoya because he can be everywhere in the ring - sometimes he's in front of you, sometimes he's on your side and sometimes on your back. Additionally, Pacquiao is a southpaw, and De La Hoya always had problems fighting with a southpaw."

It seems then, that Roca is a firm believer in Pacquiao's chances when it comes to "Pac-Man's" speed advantage, and the fact that he is a lefty. But does Manny hit hard enough to be able to stand a chance against the much bigger De La Hoya? Roca feels the Filipino superstar does.

"Definitely," he said when asked if Pacquiao would be able to hurt Oscar. "Because Pacquiao was able to hurt David Diaz, who had been fighting as a lightweight and as a junior-welterweight."

I must say, I am more than a touch shocked and surprised that a number of respected boxing people are actually giving Pacquiao a good chance at beating a man so much naturally heavier and so much taller than he. Freddie Roach and now Roca, to name just two top trainers, are convinced, it seems, that the man who began his pro career as a 106-pounder has a great shot of not only beating De La Hoya, but of stopping him. Stranger things have happened in boxing over the years, but if Pacquiao were to pull this one off he would have himself a very special and revered place in boxing history.

It does seem the fight will happen, too. In a recent news article that appeared in The Manila Bulletin, it was reported that Golden Boy Promotions have offered Pacquiao $10 million for a fight against De La Hoya. Reportedly, Manny was hoping for closer to $20 million, but trainer Roach is apparently happy with a pay day in the region of $15-$18 million for his fighter.

A De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight has never been closer!

Article posted on 25.07.2008

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