Pacquiao/De La Hoya Press Tour Wrap Up

Los Angeles (October 12, 2008)…Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao’s dreams came true this week as they stormed the country from coast to coast to announce their upcoming December 6th mega-fight appropriately titled “The Dream Match” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and live on HBO Pay-Per-View..

The “Dream Tour” tour kicked-off in New York at the Statue of Liberty on October 1st and continued west to the Sears Tower in Chicago, Space Center Houston, the San Antonio Alamo, the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and finally Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles, blocks away from De La Hoya’s birthplace. While each stop was unique in and of itself, the common theme throughout the tour continually focused on the dreams of the fighters and the dreams of those that made those historic landmarks possible, and the December 6th Dream Match between the two fighters.

Over half of the stops were open to the public, and the response was overwhelming. Hundreds of fans of all ages attended the press conferences, proving to the fighters that they do not only represent themselves, but their countries as well. Pacquiao’s Filipino pride and De La Hoya’s Mexican American roots serve as motivating factors for each fighter respectively to deliver a win to their devoted supporters around the world. De La Hoya and Pacquiao took time out of their grueling tour schedules to take photos and sign autographs at each stop of the tour in an amazing out pour of their own fan appreciation.

Now that the tour has come to a close, it is time for Pacquiao and De La Hoya to focus and prepare for one of the biggest fights in boxing history.

Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc. presented by Tequila Cazadores, and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools, Full Throttle Energy Drink and Southwest Airlines. De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao, a 12-round welterweight battle, will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. The fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. For De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao fight week updates, log on to

Please see the below summaries and quotes from the various stops on the De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao press tour:




Thursday October 2, 2008

History was made on Wednesday October 1st as Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao stood at the base of the Statue of Liberty and announced the December 6th “The Dream Match.” The first ever press conference held at on Liberty Island was a success from the second the reserved media ferry departed from Battery Park. As the fighters arrived on the Island, they were overcome with the meaningful start to their “dream tour” around the country. A son of Mexican immigrants and a fighter from the Philippines standing together in the place by which millions of people entered America was truly a sight to behold. De La Hoya quipped “Being here is the best feeling in the world. It is a blessing and an honor.”

Oscar De La Hoya

“Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, when I look at the Statue of Liberty, I feel proud to be American. I feel proud knowing that I am American. It is a privilege to be standing here with our Lady.

“My family came from Mexico as Mexican immigrants. I was very honored and still am to be born in this country.

“Who thought that a kid from East Los Angeles can go on and win the Gold Medal and be an example of hope for a lot of people?

“This is one of the greatest moments of my career. When I stood on the podium at the Olympics with the Gold Medal around my neck listening to the National Anthem, it was a great feeling. Being here is by far the best feeling. It is a blessing and an honor.

“When I read reports from Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao, it is an instant threat. I feel challenged. Every top athlete looks for that challenge to motivate them.

“I need this event to get into the mountains and isolate myself for three months. It is a huge challenge for me. I have to prove to myself that I can still do this.

“We are both going to be in tremendous shape. I know the abilities of Manny Pacquiao. The heart that he has and the fire that he has is a big threat to me.

“Be ready for a long fun fight. The reason I say fun is because with Manny Pacquiao, there is no boring fight. For me, it will be an honor to be with you (to Pacquiao).

“I hope the fight on December 6 can distract us to be with friends and family. We will forget about the economy and the problems for one night to come together and enjoy a classic fight.”

Manny Pacquiao

“I know you are excited, but there is no one who is more excited than me.

“Some people are saying I only took this fight for money. On December 6, I will prove you wrong.

“It will be a great boxing match, you have seen my previous match and you know how Manny Pacquiao fights.

“Fighting Oscar de la Hoya is a great honor and a privilege and I can assure you that I am fighting to give glory and honor to my country.

“Thank you to all of the fans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love New York.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions

“Today marks the start of our press tour, or should I say Dream Tour, for the Dec 6th showdown between Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

“This press tour, just like the name of the fight is all about dreams, starting right here at the Statue of Liberty. It is mind blowing that we are here. It really is an amazing event to start the tour. From here, we are going to Chicago to the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the United States. Many people had dreams as the sailed past the Statue of Liberty, just as they had dreams when they built the largest building.

“From Sears Tower we are going to the Space Center Houston. Many dreams have been fulfilled there as well.

“From Houston we continue on to San Antonio at the Alamo where people fought for their dreams of freedom and independence.

“Then we are going to go to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a bridge which is connecting people, just like these two fighters will on December 6th.

“Then we are going to end up in East Los Angeles and it is where dreams are made for Oscar de la Hoya.

“These two fighters will do their best to give us a great night of boxing to all the fight fans around the world.

“Records are meant to be broken and we have the two most exciting fighters in the world today. Will it be the younger, faster Pacquiao or the Golden Boy of boxing De La Hoya? Find out on December 6, you won’t want to miss this fight.”

Bob Arum, Chairman of the Board, Top Rank Inc.

“This is truly a dream match. Oscar de la Hoya—the most famous fighter in the world and Manny Pacquiao, recognized by everyone as the best fighter in the world.

“Some say that Manny might be taking it a step too far. Yesterday, I was in synagogue and read the story of David and Goliath…and we all know who won that fight.

“From New York to Los Angeles, at every one of the six stops of this tour, I know that there will be more Filipinos at those press conferences than any one else. (To the crowd) Tell your cousins, your aunts and your uncles to come out and cheer for Manny Pacquiao.

“Today you have gotten a little taste of the passion this fight is going to bring.

“At Top Rank, we have one abiding principle; we don’t put fighters in fights that we don’t think they can win and this fight is no exception. Sometimes they lose that’s the nature of the sport, but going into it we don’t put anyone in that we don’t think can win.”

Ross Greenburg, President of HBO Sports

“I would like to personally thank Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao for being such an important part of our history at HBO.

“When fights like this are made, it is really boxing putting its best foot forward.”

Bob Halloran, Vice President of Sports, MGM Grand/Mirage

We at MGM have been holding the December 6th date for something special and with De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao, we got our wish.”

Nacho Beristain, De La Hoya Trainer

“I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for making me a part of Oscar de la Hoya’s team. I am going to work as hard as possible to bring a victory to Oscar and to America.

“I read an article that says I am getting a lot of money to give Oscar water and wash his mouth pieces. I can tell you I am very proud to have worked with 16 champs, to have given them water and washed their mouth pieces and I am happy to do it for the seventeenth.”

Michael Konz, Pacquiao U.S Advisor

“When we got the call about this fight, I thought about Oscar being four inches taller and probably 15 pounds heavier than Manny and we did our best to talk many out of this fight.

“We said it was going to be too dangerous for Manny to fight Oscar, but two things happened, when Manny is faced with something people say he cant do, he automatically wants to do it. The other is that he only fears one person and that is the Lord himself, so he told us to do what we had to do to have the fight.

“Manny is not doing it for money he is doing it for the Philippians and pride.

“The only person that can beat Manny Pacquiao is Manny Pacquiao himself.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao Trainer

“This is a big one. I had a opportunity to train Oscar against Mayweather and I learned a lot during that period, and now I am going to use it against him.

“I know his strengthens and his weakness can he still pull the trigger? I don’t know, we will find out.”




Thursday October 2, 2008

Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao continued the “Dream Tour” in Chicago at the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the United States. Both fighters began their day in the “Windy City” at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where they were bombarded with hundreds of employees on the Agriculture and Finance floors. As the fighters walked through the crowds, it gave them an opportunity to interact with their fans. Next stop the press conference at the Sears Tower with the spectacular view of Chicago’s skyline serving as a backdrop. Both De La Hoya and Pacquiao assured media in attendance that come December 6 they will be ready for the fight of the year.

Oscar De La Hoya

“Whoever thought I could be in Chicago at the tallest building in the country? And Manny, did you ever dream you would be fighting me? This is what this fight is all about.

“It is not every year you get this type of event. That the whole world is talking about.

“Bob Arum has me worried, I will make sure there are no sling shots and rocks at the fight for him to beat me up with, as David beat Goliath.

“To have this challenge in front of me, of fighting the best fighter in the world, is just motivation.

“I know Manny is coming to fight and I am going to be there to fight as well. December 6, you will watch the most explosive fight.”

Manny Pacquiao

“This fight will be great on December 6. It will be history for me to win and give the honor to my country. I believe that I have all of the Filipino people behind me.

“I will do my best to make people happy. I am training very hard.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions

“Manny Pacquiao is a young and fast lion that knocks people out. Oscar de la Hoya is a ten-time world champion who is trying to get back to the top.”

Bob Arum, Chairman of the Board, Top Rank Inc

“This morning at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Manny was very excited because he is very into being with people and with the fans. He asked to take a tour, and waved to his fans from beginning to end.

“Many people have said to me that Manny is smaller than Oscar. I respond with ‘you do not understand the history of boxing.’ There have been great fighters in the past who do this all of the time.”

Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President of HBO Pay-Per-View & HBO Sports

“For well over a decade, Oscar has taken on the biggest boxers in the sport. He never backs down, always wanting to fight the big ones.”

Nacho Beristain, De La Hoya Trainer

“I can assure you that December 6 you will see a great fight with the best fighters in boxing.

“We as a team are working hard to make sure that Oscar wins.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao Trainer

“I have had an opportunity to train both of these great fighters. Oscar trains hard and Manny is a machine.

“The advantage Manny has is that this is his fourth fight this year, and it has kept him in shape. He will win this fight.”




Friday October 3, 2008 (morning)

In the state where football is king, the throne was vacated for a day as the “Dream Tour” made the first of two Texas stops at Space Centre Houston. Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao took center stage and posed for the crowd with the Space Center Houston mascot astronaut. The on-going drama between Pacquiao trainer Freddy Roach and the Golden Boy continued in front of a replica backdrop of NASA’s Mission Control. De La Hoya prophesized that come fight night, Roach’s only words for his fighter would be “Houston, we have a problem.”

The stop in Houston was much more than just a press conference; it was a chance for the fighters to give back to the city recently ravaged by Hurricane Ike. In conjunction with the Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo (De La Hoya is part owner), De La Hoya and Pacquiao gave $10,000 to start a Hurricane Ike Relief fund and encouraged the media and fans in attendance to give in whatever capacity they can. The president of the Houston Dynamo, Oliver Luck, was in attendance to accept the donation and express his sincere appreciation for the fighters’ generosity.

Oscar De La Hoya

“A fight with Manny Pacquiao, who ever dreamed of it? I never dreamt it and I am sure he never dreamt of fighting me.

“My trainer is predicting a knockout and my CEO is predicting a knockout. I have to head to the gym now.

“We fighters know that this is going to be one heck of a fight. I know Manny Pacquiao comes forward and fights. He is younger and faster. For someone who is 35 years old, I have a lot of homework to do. I have to be in great shape.

“This is one of those fights that the whole world will be talking about. The whole world will wait with anticipation. We have to give one of those performances that people will like watching.

“Freddie Roach has been talking about how I cannot pull the trigger. (To Roach) I am going to get you Freddie!

“And yes he (Freddie Roach) knows me as a fighter. And yes I know Freddie too.

“I know what he is going to say in the corner to Manny. He is going to say ‘Houston, we have a problem!”

Manny Pacquiao

“Dec 6th is going to be a great, great fight between Oscar and me. Everybody knows that I don’t want people to be disappointed.

“I have to train hard this fight to make people happy. I am going to win the fight. It is going to make history in boxing.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions

“Houston has become our home away from home. It is always great to come back here.

“The Space Center in Houston is a landmark of dreams. It took many dreams to send people to space.”

“I know that the city of Houston has gone through some devastating times in the last few weeks. We are starting a hurricane relief fund together with the Houston Dynamo. Both of the fighters have started the fund with an initial $10,000 donation.

“Our hearts go out to those who were affected by the hurricane and I hope this is one of the first of many donations.

“Dec 6th is about two careers, two great fighters, two guys who only know one thing and that is going forward. You want to make sure that you don’t want to miss it.

Bob Arum, Chairman of the Board Top Rank Inc.

“These donations are very important. The essence of being a good American and a good citizen is that we help our neighbors and our brothers. This is something that we all owe to our fellow citizens. We hope you will tell your friends to contribute and help our neighbors with their trouble.

“Why is this fight getting the attention that it is? It is obvious to me. It matches the most popular fighter in the world, Oscar De La Hoya; who has thrilled so many audiences for so many years against the pound for pound best in the world. That alone will be enough to excite most fans.

“I too am excited to be in Houston, so you can catch some essence of what this event is about. It was in this town that the George Forman Grill was announced, and George really cleaned up!

“Take our guy because our guy is going to win. We will see what happens on December 6, but we are going into this fight with extreme confidence and enthusiasm.”

Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President of HBO Pay-Per-View & HBO Sports

“For the sport of boxing, it is critical that at least once a year there is a match up that truly transcends the sport; something that has everyone talking and everyone buzzing. De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao is that fight.

“I am happy to say that all 18 of Oscar De La Hoya’s Pay-Per-View fights have been on HBO.

“While the indoor is sold out, 70 million seats are still available in the electronic area, in your homes on HBO Pay-Per-View.”

Nacho Beristain, De La Hoya Trainer

“Dec 6 is going to be a very important date for Oscar De La Hoya and our team.

“We are going to stop the Manny Pacquiao train. We are going to derail him. Manny Pacquiao is going to be over on December 6.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao Trainer

“This is a big fight. When I heard about it I didn’t think it would happen at first.

“I think this fight is a big fight money wise, but it is not about that. It is what it does for Manny Pacquiao as a super star.

“I had the opportunity to work with Oscar De La Hoya. We had a good fight against Mayweather. I keep hearing that Oscar is too big for Manny. That is not what is going to win this fight. What is going to win it is speed, speed and speed.

Oliver Luck, President of the Houston Dynamo

“We would like to thank the fighters for these initial donations. Our residents have lost a lot in the recent past and we appreciate your generosity.”




Friday October 3, 2008 (afternoon)

Thousand of fans came out on a hot sunny day in San Antonio to see their heroes, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao, stand in front of the Alamo and announce their upcoming December 6th fight. De La Hoya and Pacquiao shared the energy of the Alamo as the fans equally cheered for both fighters during the fourth of six stops of the press tour. At a place engulfed with history, De La Hoya encouraged “everyone to remember the Alamo” by promising a knock out. The fighters displayed their appreciation for the fan turn out labeling San Antonio “the best stop thus far on the tour.”

In addition to the dynamic and enthusiastic throng of supporter, a special moment took place when the fighters announced a $10,000 donation to Oscar Diaz, accepted by his sister, Theresa Zdunczyk, who attended the press conference. Diaz who is slowly recovering from a brain injury he sustained in his last bout was acknowledged by crowd and the entire boxing community in attendance during this heartfelt time of remembrance.

Oscar De La Hoya

“It is always overwhelming being in San Antonio, I remember fighting here and these are the best fans.

“I have all these people saying that I am fighting the young, fast, champion fighter, this kind of fight is what gets me going and makes me want to prove everyone wrong especially Freddie Roach.

“My heart will always be in San Antonio. This is the city I met my beautiful wife, but come December 6 I am going to knock you out, Manny and why do I say this here? So you can all remember the Alamo.

Manny Pacquiao

“I would like to first thank God for good health and also thank all of the fans here today without you guys here we are not here.

“It will be a great fight and I will do my best, I love to fight and I promise you will not be disappointed, don’t miss it.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions

“Of all the cities we have been in so far this is by far the best.

“The Texans fought for independence and they won it here, this fight will not be about independence but about their fans and pride for their countries.”

Bob Arum, Chairman of the Board, Top Rank Inc.

“If the battle of the Alamo had been postponed forty years, the Texans would have won because there would be more Filipinos and they know how to fight the best.

“A lot of people are saying Manny is so much smaller than Oscar how is he going to win? In boxing history, lightweights have come up and won. It is not the size of the fighter but the heart.”

Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President of HBO Pay-Per-View & HBO Sports

“ The last time we were in San Antonio was in 1999 when Oscar fought Trindad. I have to tell you after seeing this turnout, it will not take us nine years to come back.”

Nacho Beristain, De La Hoya Trainer

“On December 6, the son of two Mexicans is going to win for them. He is going to win for all of the Mexicans.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao Trainer

“Oscar, good luck you are going to need it.

Theresa Zdunczyk, Oscar Diaz’s Sister

“Thank you Oscar and Manny for this donation. Last night when we told Oscar goodbye, he raised his arm and waved which may not seem big to you, but it is huge for us. Thank you again.”




Saturday October 4, 2008

As the “dream tour” continued west, the temperature wasn’t the only thing rising. The sun broke through the clouds as the press conference loomed behind the venue overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge just as tempers began to flare up as trainer Freddy Roach finally fired back to the De La Hoya’s claims that he would not only defeat Manny Pacquiao, but knock the pound-for-pound champion out. Sticking by his claims that De La Hoya could no longer “pull the trigger” in the ring, Roach pulled a toy gun from a bag and told De La Hoya it must be his because the gun had a faulty trigger.

Pacquiao’s presence in San Francisco drew the largest contingency of Filipino fans of any stop along the tour. Over a thousand fans waited in line hours before the press conference began to get a glimpse of their heroes and were not left empty handed. Both fighters appreciated the turnout and stayed long after the conclusion of the press conference to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

Oscar de la Hoya

“We have been traveling to all of the major landmarks and right now we are standing here with the Golden Gate Bridge behind us. I can say I am very proud to be a Mexican American and I am proud to live my dream. This is what this fight is all about.

“Manny, on December 6 I want you to be ready like you always are fight hard, but don’t come to me saying ‘I left my heart in San Francisco.’

“All of the fans are making this event the biggest in boxing, I will see you on December 6 for the war.”

Manny Pacquiao

“Oscar, you say to remember the Alamo but I don’t even know the story behind the Alamo.

“What I can say is don’t just say you can do it, just give me a good fight on December 6.”

Bob Arum, Chairman of the Board, Top Rank Inc.

“In Houston, I said that Filipino women are the best looking and on the other hand they said that the Mexican women are the best looking. We are going to search for four of the most beautiful Filipino women and four most beautiful Mexican women and bring them to Las Vegas. Thursday night of fight week we are going to pick the winner and it will be announced at the weigh in.

“As it said here in San Francisco, make love not war, we will see you at a war.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao Trainer

“I love it here and its great to be here. Oscar, I found this gun and I can’t pull the trigger it must be yours, Manny can pull the trigger and would love to do your retirement party.”

Nacho Beristain, De La Hoya Trainer

“I wanted to say that I am very disappointed in Freddie, he has lost all ethics and respect, Oscar couldn’t pull the trigger because Freddie couldn’t teach him how.”




Saturday October 4, 2008

On the final day of a press tour spanning five national landmarks, De La Hoya returned to his own “historical landmark” and with pride hosted Manny Pacquiao for the final press stop in East Los Angeles, CA. Standing under the Whittier Boulevard Arch, a true symbol for the East LA neighborhood, the fighters spoke in front of 5,000 fans, mostly there for De La Hoya, who came out to remind their “favored son” that he is incredible success story and a well-respected icon for the community.

De La Hoya and Pacquiao were joined on stage by local radio personality Piolin and emcee actor/comedian George Lopez. Speaking to the hometown crowd, De La Hoya displayed his gratitude by addressing the audience first in Spanish. Almost 3,000 tacos were distributed by Porky’s on Whittier Blvd. as the Golden Boy extended an invitation for the crowd to enjoy lunch on him.

Oscar De La Hoya

“We have been traveling all over the country stopping at all historic landmarks, Statue of Liberty, Sear Tower, the Alamo, Space Center who ever thought we would land on the moon, Golden Gate bridge, and now ending it in East LA because this is our historical landmark.

“This is home to me and will always be home to me.

“See you there December 6, it will be a great fight, I love you and I will take East LA to my grave.”

Manny Pacquiao

“You all have the right to dream, but I will tell you that only God knows who will win, I will do my best to make you happy.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO Golden Boy Promotions

“A billion Mexicans in the world will be supporting Oscar. Everyone from Mexico will be behind him.”

Bob Arum, Chairman of the Board, Top Rank Inc.

“I sort of feel the way that John McCain would feel in Harlem. There are nine million Filipinos in the world that are backing Manny Pacquiao. There are also a lot of Mexicans that will be backing Manny as well.”

Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President of HBO Pay-Per-View & HBO Sports

“This is an unbelievable turnout for the first time in his neighborhood and it is beautiful to see you all here to support him (De La Hoya).”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao Trainer

“Manny started training today and I hear Oscar will be starting tomorrow, we will see you on the 6 and let the best man win.”

Article posted on 12.10.2008

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