Let's Give De La Hoya A Pass On Fighting The Little Guy
9.11.08 - by Amir Peay - It seems that a lot of people are upset at Oscar De La Hoya for fighting Manny Pacquiao, a smaller man who has been fighting 3 to 4 weight classes below him. Especially considering that it will be DLH’s last fight (supposedly) and because he will not be facing Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto. However, I must say that the Golden Boy has walked in the shoes of his upcoming opponent, and did so, in rather similar proportions.
Article posted on 12.09.2008
Oscar turned pro at 133 lbs, and fought as low as 130 lbs. Manny Pacquiao turned pro at 106 lbs, and never fought below that weight. So, at their youngest and fittest, we are talking about a 24 lb weight difference.
Bernard Hopkins turned pro at 177 lbs, and worked his way down to 160 lbs to begin his middleweight reign. So, at Hopkins’ and DLH’s youngest and fittest, we are talking about a 30 lb weight difference.
I think it is fair to say that in boxing, a good judge of a man’s natural size is what he weighed as a young pro. The growth spurts are over, and from that point the weight a man adds is not really in bone structure and density, but the muscle and fat that all men add as they age.
Given the fact that the smaller a man is, the higher the percentage of his total weight one pound is, it is unfair to compare lb for lb when looking at lightweights versus middleweights. So, in this case I think that the 6 lb difference in the weight differential discussed above translates to the basic fact that Oscar went up in weight to challenge a tough fighter about the same amount that Manny is (i.e., 24 lbs for Manny is equal to 30 lbs for Oscar).
I gave a lot of respect to DLH for going up to middleweight to challenge Bernard Hopkins. It was a tough fight to take and he had balls to do it. Keep in mind Bernard had just TKO’d Tito Trinidad and that was what excited Oscar about the fight. Ultimately he suffered the same fate when he was knocked out.
I will admit that I would have rather seen him fight Antonio Margarito, or Miguel Cotto (especially before they fought each other), however I think that this fight will be very entertaining because both fighters are aggressive guys that like to come forward. You can’t really blame Oscar for not wanting to fight Margarito, another Mexican, after what beating Julio Caesar Chavez did to his reputation with Mexican fans. Plus, Cotto lost his chance to fill the December 6 slot when he was stopped by Margarito.
I even give Manny a good chance of winning the fight, as he is the younger, faster fighter in the heart of his prime. I’ve stepped into the squared circle a few times in my life and you learn quickly why they call this game the ‘sweet science’. Unless you are talking about Lennox Lewis versus Mark ‘Too Sharp’ Johnson, size does not do s**t against speed and footwork. I have seen it time and time again, and Oscar ate enough leather against relatively light punching Steve Forbes, that Manny might just do something nobody is really talking about.
Either way I think that this fight will have a lot of action and that there is a good chance one of the guys is going to get stopped. Love it or hate it, this fight will generate a lot of publicity, and hopefully when the fair-weather fans tune in they see an action packed fight that goes into the late rounds, where somebody gets put on their butt. True, it won’t be against Margarito or Cotto, but I think all real fans can agree to just be happy that De La Hoya is not fighting Mayweather again.
Amir Peay is a freelance boxing journalist.
He is also the owner of a line of boxing inspired t-shirts, which sponsors up and coming fighters, to be found at www.UndisputedBrand.com.
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