Boxing

De La Hoya vs Pacquiao? Do We Really Want this?

By Andrew Gibson: It all started back in 1992 when the fresh face kid from East Los Angeles exacted sweet revenge over Germany’s tough Marco Rudolph at the Olympic Games in Barcelona Spain. Rudolph would ruin an eight year amateur win streak by out pointing Oscar in the finals in Sydney.

Emotionally challenged by a terminally ill mother (Cecilia De La Hoya) along with the bitter taste of defeat at the hands of his Olympic foe, the young 19 year old De La Hoya would be asked to face obstacles and challenges that men twice his age would have struggled to overcome.

So, when the two met a year later for all the marbles, each representing their respective countries, there was a special feeling in the air that went far beyond any nationalistic aspirations. When the dust finally settled, the official would announce 7-2 in Oscar’s favor, avenging a stinging amateur loss, bringing gratification to an ailing mother, while instilling a degree of pride, honor, recognition and respect to his country by placing Olympic Gold around the neck of the United States of America.

Overcome with emotion, accomplishment and the sheer joy of the moment, Oscar collapsed to a knee before a screaming arena, blessed himself in his own blood, sweat and tears…. And The Golden Boy was born. Rudolph’s pro career (13-8-1) was rather short lived. Marco would go unbeaten to claim the WBO and WBC lightweight titles, before being stopped by fellow countryman Artur Grigorian, (23-0) via 6 round TKO in defense of his WBO strap. This would be the last bout of Marco Rudolph’s professional career.

In contrast, De La Hoya would compile a record and career that reads like a who’s who? List of fighters: Mayweather, Hopkins, Trinidad, Mosely. This would include wins over Mayorga, Vargas, Gatti, Quartey, Carr, Leija, Hernandez. After defeating Jimmy Bredahl for the WBO super featherweight title. The Golden Boy would travel north of his initial weight class to defeat Ruelas (IBF lightweight champion), Chavez (WBC super lightweight champion) Whitaker (WBC welterweight champion), Castillejo (WBC super welterweight champion), then Sturm, to earn the WBO world middle weight championship, making Oscar De La Hoya, the first and only fighter in the history of boxing to earn six world titles in six different weight classes.

This is an accomplishment so unique it may never be duplicated in the reader’s lifetime. Oscar, has had a career so lucrative and exceptionally distinguished, you’d have to travel to the heavyweight division to find his dollar for dollar equal. (Holyfield, Tyson).

In trying to understand the motivation that makes this monster tick. One only has to pull his resume and the answers should be all there. So this brings me to the article’s title and the obvious question. Why is such a man reaching so low to place and exclamation mark on such a distinguished career? This is no disrespect to the Philippine warrior. However, Manny has only had one fight at 135 lbs. (Still a virtual featherweight) Oscar has won a title as high as 160b lbs. And gave 160 lbs.

P4P great Bernard Hopkins all he could handle until the crippling body shot. Oscar De La Hoya calling out Manny Pac is a far cry from Calzaghe calling out B-Hop, or Jones calling out Ruiz, Trinidad vs. Jones, Oscar vs. B-Hop or Hatton asking for Mayweather. How would we view Calzaghe if he began a campaign for Oscar? Let’s take a quick look at the dimensions of both fighters, Oscar De La Hoya: 5’10-1/2” reach 73”.

Manny Paccquiao: 5’6-1/2” reach 67”. Though Pac is a bit taller than most of his fellow countrymen, he’s still akin to being the world’s tallest short fighter. And standing shoulder to shoulder next to De La Hoya, no one should need a pair of glasses to draw the same conclusion. It was thought by many that Oscar would close his illustrious career with a more competitive event with the winner of Margarito vs Cotto.

Stating “The winner of Margarito/Cotto, would be a great way to end my career.” It begs the question. What has happened between then and now? Did the man who has made a career of taking on the best of the best decided to soft ball his way out of the game? Was there something in the Tornado that made Oscar rethink his position? Why so hot under the collar over Manny Pac?

Is it Pac’s newly acquired P4P status the Golden Boy seeks? Is this what fans want? Is it good for the sport? Will a devastating win over Pac elevate the status of Oscar in the eyes of fans? Or has Oscar simply gotten old, selfish and bitter? What’s your take?

Article posted on 05.08.2008



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