Champs, Chumps, and Controversies: Fight Fans Reaction To Pacquiao/De La Hoya 'Dream Match'

boxing04.12.08 - By Vivek Wallace, Photo: Chris Farina - Top Rank - In an era where many spectators view boxing as a sport quickly losing ground to the MMA movement, few have stopped to grasp the effects of a mega fight like the one at center stage come Saturday night. As odd as it may seem to some, this once thought to be ridiculous mega fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao is actually good for boxing. Many fail to grasp the concept, but as former New Edition bad boy Bobby Brown once stated, "any press is good press". Some are for this fight, many against it, but no matter which side of the fence you fall on, no one can deny that we're all talking about it. We know what the prominent figures in the sport and the mass media have had to say, but today we're gonna take it directly to the men and women that pay these guys' salary. The Stevie's that wonder, the Joe the Plumbers, and the Dan's holding hands with their number one stunna's! Rarely does any of the media represent for the true fight aficionado's out there, so today we're gonna change that and take it directly to the streets by showcasing the thoughts of the hardcore fan. Each of these excerpts chosen were highly intriguing and some even challenged my own train of thought! After reading them I'm sure you may agree as well....Here's what they had to say:

Thoughts On The Fight......

Brandy E. (Miami, Fl) - Everyone talks about pound for pound this and pound for pound that, but when a fighter actually tries to go up in weight and show that he is 'pound for pound', everyone cast stones at him. Yes, the weight issue is legitimate, but if Pacquiao is considered to be the best man pound for pound, isn't this his best way to seal that legacy and show it? I think people out there need to stop talking, get their popcorn ready, grab a cold one and just watch the damn fight!

Charlie T. (Liberty City, Fl.) - I think this fight is a double-edged sword. It's great for the sport, but it's the worst thing that could happen as well and there's no way to win. If Pacquiao wins, everyone will say that Oscar was a has-been only in it for the money. If Oscar wins, everyone will say that Pacquiao was totally out of his league. If Oscar gets a controversial win, everyone will say that he had the judges in his back pocket because he was the promoter. If Pacquaio gets a controversial win everyone will say that the sport is trying to usher Oscar out to make room for the young guys - who they don't seem to want to promote (which is a contradiction in itself). I don't see how this fight helps the sport even with the major press coverage and all.

Cedric T. (Boca Raton, Fl.) - I think this is a fight that boxing needs. The heavyweight division is gone. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is gone. Paul Williams is doing amazing things but no ones feeling him because the media won't publicize him. There really isn't much out there for the casual fan that would make them wanna get involved. This isn't the BEST fight that could be made, but it makes people talk about boxing. I'm all for that.

Thoughts On Oscar De La Hoya....

RaSaul B. (Brooklyn, Ny.) - I used to like Oscar but this is getting old. The sad thing is that most of the avid fight fans will continue to pay top dollars for having low sense. How can anyone buy this fight? Anyone that pads this mans pockets anymore needs to be ripped off. This will be the third fight in a row that he challenges a smaller man. He couldn't beat Mayweather so he aimed lower. He BARELY beat Forbes so he's going lower against a smaller Pacquiao. If he loses or wins here, he'll go even lower (Hatton). Apparently, lower is the operative word because this is as low as it gets in my book. Speaking of getting low in my book, with this horrible economy, I'm fresh out of checks...I guess I'll be reading about this one! Drop something dope for me on Sunday morning Viv....

Michael R. (Tampa, Fl.) - Oscar De La Hoya has been the biggest draw for non-boxing fans since Mike Tyson. Why would anyone complain about him cashing in on a sport he basically carried on his shoulders over the last few years is pretty crazy to me. I don't know if he'll win or lose, but either way, he'll come to fight and if this is his last fight (which I doubt) I'm fine with the guy going out with a bang. (even if it's only in his pocket).

Regina C. (Orlando, Fl.) - Oscar should be ashamed of himself. This guy hasn't done anything meaningful for the sport in years as a boxer, and his millionaire smile continues to look cheaper and cheaper. I think he needs to focus on promoting and walk away.

Thoughts On Manny Pacquiao....

Chad W. (Philadelphia, PA) - Manny Pacququiao can learn alot from Ricky Hatton. Hatton recently learned how to slow down and let the fight come to him. If Manny can't learn to do that it'll be a short night for the short man.

Tony B. (Bronx, Ny.) - Pacquiao has the heart of a warrior and although Oscar tries to, Pacquiao has the stamina to actually do it. If Pacquiao wins this fight the only Asian figure to come close to him from now to the end of time will be Bruce Lee. This fight will make Pac-man a historical figure if he pulls it off. A knock out and he may go down as the best of this era.

Edgar C. (Denver, Co.) - Manny Pacquiao is the kind of fighter that the sport needs. Many people think that fighters are dummies and just men that slug it out for a living but this guy is humble and his presence in the sport is great. I think he has the potential to be what Muhammad Ali was on a global scale. I could be wrong, but a few more big victories on a global scale and things quickly change.

Thoughts On Who Will Win....

Priscilla T. (Tamarac, Fl) - I don't see how Oscar loses this fight. He's bigger, stronger, more experienced, and Pacquiao has been down quite a bit wherein Oscar doesn't really go down at all - and that's against much bigger punchers. If it goes to the cards it will be interesting, but if it doesn't go the distance, Oscar will definitely be the one on top in the end.

Zachary Kane (Davie, Fl) - I think people are overestimating Oscar's experience and weight advantage. Manny will be too quick and too strong plus his style is awkward which makes it difficult to defend. Manny has fought and beat opponents stronger than him wherein Oscar struggles against smaller fighters. I expect Manny to frustrate Oscar the way Mayweather and Forbes managed to. People underestimate his hunger to be the undisputed king of the sport and I predict boxing analyst will be proven wrong and Manny will win this fight.

Clint O. (Northridge, Ca.) - I think Oscar turns back the hands of time and shocks alot of people by looking better than many predicts he would. He knows that another loss means curtains so he's not gonna go out like that. The guy is way bigger than Manny and has too much to lose. He wants to fight more and this is his ticket. Saturday night he'll punch that ticket, validating his presence in the future.

As witnessed, there were some pretty intriguing perspectives on this fight, and that was only the tip of the iceberg. As cool as I found this experience, in the end, the only talking that will matter the most is the one that takes place after the final bell. But remember, in the game of boxing, unless you're talking about bragging rights it's not the talking afterwards that makes the difference, it's what happens in the ring that gives those people the right to talk. I guess we now know why weight has been such a huge topic relative to this fight lately....It seems that both these guys have a lot on their plate!

(Listed below is the remaining schedule for the countdown to Pacquiao/De La Hoya):

Fri: 'Call Em Out Fridays': (My weekly Friday 'spotlight' article, breaking down the pro's, the con's, and the neutral take on this mega fight).
Sat: Keys To Victory, Four To Explore, and Official Prediction (Talking fight strategy, key effects to watch out for, and fight prediction).
Mon: Pacquiao/De La Hoya - 'The Aftermath': (Posted Monday, Not Sunday - A Recap and a look at where the two fighters go from here).

(Got Questions or Feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, or show some love at

Article posted on 04.12.2008

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