Is De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao In Jeopardy?

By Richard Wacha: Apparently the mega fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao is already in jeopardy due in part because of disagreement over the purse split between the two fighters. De La Hoya's team is offering a 70-30 split, whereas Pacquiao's team is looking for a 60-40. Also at issue is glove size, with Pacquiao wanting the smaller 8-oz gloves, which allow for more speed and power, while De La Hoya wants the bigger 10-oz gloves. Ultimately, the glove issue probably won't be as critical as the money, but there's still a long way to go before the two sides come to an agreement on purse split..

The fight itself hasn't exactly pleased many boxing fans. I don't know if De La Hoya thought of the ramifications ahead of time of him selecting a super featherweight as his last opponent for his December 6th bout. While there are many fans that see the fight as interesting due to the popularity of the two fighters, as well as the size differences between them, perhaps even more fans are angry with De La Hoya for choosing such a small fighter as an opponent. I think for many fans they wouldn't mind it so much if De La Hoya hadn't done it before, namely against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Steve Forbes - De La Hoya's last two opponents.

However, for him to now do it a third time consecutively, and to drop down as the super featherweight division to find an opponent, it strikes some people as De La Hoya trying to cherry pick an opponent. In hindsight, De La Hoya probably would have been better off looking at fighting a top welterweight, someone like Antonio Margarito, Andre Berto or even Miguel Cotto as his last opponent. For obvious reasons, a fight against Cotto, who was recently defeated by Margarito in an 11th round TKO, would also likely be frowned upon by the boxing public, making it seem like De La Hoya was somehow avoiding Margarito.

But it wouldn't be nearly as bad as De La Hoya's choice of facing the smaller Pacquiao, which seems to have been a poorly thought out idea by De La Hoya. I think the public wouldn't mind De La Hoya facing Cotto, or even Berto, the WBC welterweight title holder, but they obviously would prefer that De La Hoya fight Margarito. That probably won't be happening, though, because Margarito is too dangerous for a fighter as old and as seemingly past his prime as the 35 year-old De La Hoya is.

Minus that, I think Berto would be the best option for De La Hoya at this point. Berto is still undefeated, small like Cotto at 5'8", and would probably have trouble with De La Hoya's long reach advantage. I doubt that De La Hoya would win given Berto's incredible speed and power, not to mention his youth, but at least De La Hoya wouldn't have to take so much criticism from the public. Berto hits hard and reminds me of a more powerful version of Mayweather. In terms of excitement, a bout with Berto would be worth watching, because at least there would be a good chance that De La Hoya could lose the fight. With Pacquiao, I don't get that same feeling because of his lack of size.

Article posted on 12.08.2008

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