Even though he had to go up three weight classes and had a 4 inch disadvantage in height, Manny Pacquiao fought as though he was the favorite to win against Oscar De La Hoya Saturday night (December 6) in Las Vegas. If you didn’t tune it, you missed Pac Man’s domination of the Golden Boy.
The Filipino superstar toppled a more experienced De La Hoya to take the win by TKO, when ringside doctor called for a halt to the fight — with no complaints from Oscar — after an eight round mauling.
The fight was lopsided. De La Hoya looked old and sluggish, and Pacquiao took advantage landing blows almost at will. So many that Oscar’s left eye was nearly shut.
Right from the opening bell, a reserved Pac Man took his time, fighting cautiously, but still with the speed and fierceness he’s consistently showcased throughout his career, and was the aggressor throughout.
There wasn’t one defining moment where the Filipino really hurt Oscar with one punch. However, around the six or seven round, the Mexican superstar seemed to have given up, throwing almost no punches and had no answers to Pacquiao’s onslaught.
When the bell rang for the ninth round, De La Hoya declined to come out of his corner, but did to walk across the ring to congratulate Pacquio for the dominating win.
“You’re still my idol,” Pacquiao told him. “No, you’re my idol,” De La Hoya responded.
Oscar gave no excuses during a post-fight interview with HBO’s Larry Merchant, giving the Filipino fireball all the credit.
“He’s just a great fighter,” De La Hoya said. “I have nothing bad to say about him. He prepared like a true champion. He deserves everything for what he’s accomplished.”
Pac Man followed with humbleness and happiness for his win. “I think I did well tonight, I’m lucky,” he said. “I prepared for this fight and that’s why I deserved tonight.”
The stats told the story: De La Hoya landed 83-of-402 punches thrown, while Pacquiao connected on 224-of-585. Also, Pacquiao landed 195 power punches to just 51 for De La Hoya.
Pacquiao’s dominate win helped further prove his status as a superstar and his ability to draw in crowds. He earned his biggest purse to date, a guaranteed $11 million. De La Hoya, on the other hand, was expected to make at least twice that in a fight by the time all the pay-per-view revenues are totaled up.
The Mexican boxing vet’s future, however, is in limbo. Although he didn’t admit that he would retire, but wasn’t too optimistic about his boxing future.
“My heart still wants to fight, that’s for sure,” said De La Hoya. “But when your physical [game] doesn’t respond, what can you do. I have to be smart and I have to make sure I think about my future plans.”