Boxing

Pacquiao, Mayweather would be a true dream match

By Mike Cassell 12/8/08 - They called it the dream match. On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao 47-3-2 (30KO’s), who began his career at only 106lbs., and it was rumored that he had pockets full of coins just to make that weight, entered the ring at 147lbs. to face Mexican American boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya 39-6-2(30KO’s) . The question of the night was, could “PAC MAN” turn this dream match into a nightmare for the Golden Boy, and simultaneously bring an end of an era to the biggest box office draw in boxing history.. De La Hoya stated this was personal for him, Manny merely said, “This is business, I’m a fighter, this is my job, this is what I do”. De La Hoya hadn’t fought at welterweight since 2001, given his 147lb. frame at fight time; you never would have known it. He looked great, he said he never felt better, but from the sound of the first bell he was thoroughly whooped from pillar to post.

It was a savage end to a brilliant career. Manny Pacqioua began on his toes moving brilliantly in and out, shooting his lead left hand like a laser, leaving the older and slower De La Hoya, swatting flies and making him look more like the Tin man searching for his heart, instead of the Golden Boy. The smaller man, with less reach, dominated the fight in the very place De La Hoya made his living, from a distance in the center of the ring. It was embarrassing. De la Hoya got slower and more predictable as the fight progressed, and in round 7 the curtain finally closed. Pacqioua, being the “closer” that he is, saw weakness in De La Hoya, and simply began to hit him with stone pounding combinations at will. After the round, referee Tony Weeks advised De La hoya in his corner that he would not allow the fight to go on any further, if he didn’t defend himself and throw punches. It was clear that the fight was over as Oscar’s corner discussed his fate, as he sat silent.

By the end of round 8, De La Hoya’s corner decided enough was enough. Most experts picked De La Hoya very early on, stating the “size” difference was far too great. There was only one problem with that line of thinking. Manny Pacquiao is the pound for pound best fighter in the world. The last time that could be said about De La Hoya, Bill Clinton was president. Although it is sad to see a legend fall, it was long overdue. De La hoya, unlike Floyd Mayweather Jr. ran from no one. He always challenged himself to fight the best. Mayweather usually went for the sure thing. It was hard for me as a writer to call Mayweather the pound for pound best in the world for those reasons. He virtually ignored a huge part of the welterweight division to fight guys like Carlos Baldomir and Arturo Gatti, while Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto were carrying the hearts of boxing fans everywhere.

The pound for pound crown should go to the fighter who is constantly challenging himself and Pacquiao wears that crown brilliantly. He has losses, because he took chances. It was fitting for a man of Pacquiao’s stature to end the career of De La Hoya, and it would be even more fitting if he could somehow lure Mayweather out of retirement and finish him properly. When Mayweather retired last year, he arrogantly implied racism against the HBO broadcast team, which was a little sad. I think most experts were not being racist when they described Mayweather, they were being realist. They were asking the questions that needed to be asked. If you want to be considered the best, then why not accept all challenges offered? He did not do that. Antonio Margarito spent years chasing Mayweather, while Mayweather chose to fight lesser opponents and get criticized for it. Not to cast a negative light upon Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya, but they were not the best welterweights in the world.

The best part about this “dream match” is that it would totally change all the minds of fans and writers who think that Mayweather’s legacy is marred. It would vindicate Mayweather and allow him to retire knowing he really fought the best fighter in the world, hands down. I doubt he would ever accept this challenge because he allegedly is too busy pondering a fight as an MMA fighter, which is a bad joke. I think he knows what we all know and that is, it would take everything that he is made of, to beat a fighter like Manny Pacquiao. It would take a fighter who can still pull the trigger. It would take the pound for pound best fighter in the world, and he no longer holds that title, and maybe he never really did.

Article posted on 08.12.2008



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