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Oscar De La Hoya: If they’d fought in their prime, absolutely Pacquiao beats Mayweather

Oscar De La Hoya is currently out in Kuala Lumper, attending the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse fight week goings on, and at the final press conference to further hype this Saturday’s WBA welterweight title fight The Golden Boy had some interesting things to say about Pacquiao, the man he of course once fought – and lost to, badly.

Actually, De La Hoya had some interesting things to say about Pacquiao and another fighter he faced and was beaten by (though in a far, far closer and more competitive fight), in Floyd Mayweather. One reporter out in Malaysia asked De La Hoya if there will, in his opinion, be a Mayweather-Pacquiao return fight should Pac Man defeat Matthysse:

“I hope not,” was De La Hoya’s answer, as quoted by

“Because Manny’s not the same. There’s a reason why Floyd waited so long. There’s a reason why Floyd waited so long to fight me. I’ll tell you the truth, I’ll give Floyd the edge over Manny and day because Manny has been in wars, Manny has fought better opposition in their prime.”

Has Pacquiao faced better overall opposition than “Money” Mayweather? While fight fans will likely debate that, what De La Hoya then said is sure to cause fierce debate. “Absolutely, if they fought in their prime, Pacquiao would have beaten him easily,” De La Hoya said on the subject of Mayeather-Pacquiao, adding how “It would have been very different had they met earlier.”

As fans know, we had to wait the longest time to finally get to see the two finest pound-for-pound fighters of their era get it on, and by the time Mayweather and Pacquiao did meet, it resulted in a dull fight won widely on points by Mayweather. Had the two fought in, say, 2009 or 2010, and not 2015, who knows?

Is De La Hoya right, on both counts: did Manny have a better overall quality of opposition compared to Mayweather, and would Pac Man have beaten Floyd had they met years sooner than they did?

I don’t know about it being easy, but for what it’s worth, I agree with De La Hoya – a 2009 to 2010 version of Pac Man proves too fast, too lethal and too damn good for the pot-shotting Mayweather.

As Oscar says, there’s a reason Mayweather waited so long to finally face the biggest threat to his perfect, unbeaten record.