Pacquiao Breaks De La Hoyas Will to Fight
Youve heard the sage boxing adage for decades now, that a good big man always beats a good little man. Well, lightweight titlist Manny Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 KOs) is an all time great little man, and an unsuspecting Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) found that out last Saturday (December 6) in spectacular fashion after being brutalized to an 8th round TKO.
The size disparity was quickly forgotten in the 1st round as Pacquiao kept De La Hoya from getting his punches set by constantly giving his larger opponent angles. The Filipino star exploded after a quiet first minute with a signature straight left followed by a flurry combination. De La Hoya fired back with a decent right to the body, but was met with more straight lefts.
The Golden Boy sought to assert himself in round 2 and started off the stanza with a lead right hand. Pacquiao returned fire with a hard right hook before easily circling away from De La Hoyas jab and left hook.
Determined to land his eye-catching flurries, the Golden Boy stalked forward with a flurry to the body before getting strafed with a straight right-left combination from Pacquiao, followed by another left and a thudding uppercut.
The blistering speed barrage from the PacMan began to show its effects on Oscars face, which now sported a swelling left eye.
Round 3 started off with Pac again introducing De La Hoyas face to his straight left.
Confused and wary of getting cracked again, De La Hoya remained in defense/counter mode for the first half of the round.
Later, De La Hoya pinned Pacquiao against the ropes and landed a hard body shot, his best punch of the night thus far.
To De La Hoyas dismay, Pacquiao smiled at the punch and clipped the Golden Boy with another lead straight left and then a right hook to the body.
Through 4 rounds, De La Hoya had not won a single round and looked sluggish and lethargic against Pacquiaos speed and power. More alarming for De La Hoyas corner was that the Filipino icons superb use of feints, punch slipping, and lateral movement had taken away De La Hoyas best weapon, his left hook.
Pacquiaos combinations were now landing at nearly 60%.
Pacquiao easily landed triple jabs and his straight left hand could not miss to the head or body.
De La Hoyas touted size advantage just meant a bigger target to Pacquiao, who mercilessly snapped De La Hoyas head back with every left hand he threw.
By the 7th, the crowd murmurs between the wild Pacquiao chants confirmed that many saw this fight not lasting the distance.
De La Hoya could no longer take his opponents combinations, and was knocked back by jabs and straight lefts into a corner.
Smelling blood, Pacquiao punished Oscar with his full arsenal of power shots. De La Hoya attempts to rope-a-dope the shots were futile, and referee Tony Weeks surveyed the massacre closely for a sign he needed to step in.
A sharp left to the body almost did it, but De La Hoya stumbled and held on just long enough to finish the round.
Pacquiao continued his relentless assault in the deciding round, kicking off the 8th with a barrage of body shots. Oscar feebly responded with a lead right, which only made the Filipino blast him into a corner with straight lefts and right hooks. Nearly helpless, De La Hoya almost went down again as the PacMan rained down accurate combinations to the head and body. Again, it was a timely bell that saved De La Hoya from more punishment.
In the corner, the Golden Boy responded to his trainer Nacho Beristain by stating in Spanish I have nothing.
That was all the veteran trainer needed to hear to call off the beating, and Oscar De La Hoyas last fight as boxings top draw was over.
In the post-fight interview De La Hoya conceded that Freddie Roach had been right all along about him not being able to pull the trigger. In addition, Oscar now realizes retirement faces him.
Im not shocked because at this stage, when you face a great fighter like Manny, its almost expected, De La Hoya admitted. I worked hard and trained hard, but in the gym its a whole different story. My heart still wants to fight, but when you dont respond physically, what can you do? I have to be smart and think about my future plans.
Since this was a shocking ending that proved the majority of critics and fans wrong, many will rush to rationalize this beating as a result of Oscar being completely shot. Others will seek to champion, and argue it was the Filipinos skill that made Oscar look like damaged goods. The truth of the matter is that the outcome was a combination of both.
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach was clear that he would not have let this fight happen if Oscar hadnt slipped so much. In his last bout, De La Hoya was repeatedly hit flush and swelled up by light punching Stevie Forbes. Also alarming was the fact Forbes was able to take Oscars punches, many times cleanly, without going down.
On Pacquiaos end, his speed and torrid pace contributed greatly to Oscar looking as bad as he did. When faced against the PacMan, many elite fighters become reluctant to throw after tasting his stinging straight left, and his unpredictable combination punching. The grim acceptance seen on De La Hoyas face and his body language has also been viewed from Pacquiao victims Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales.
In the end, Manny Pacquiao proved one boxing adage correct speed kills. And with it, he adds another Mexican legends scalp to his resume.
Floyd Mayweather or Ricky Hatton?
Two blockbuster matchups await Pacquiao in 2009 in retired former pound for pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather and 140 pound RING champ Ricky Hatton.
Both fights would not only be needed financial blockbusters for boxings image, but also action packed fights (when has a Pacquiao fight not been?).
In Hatton, Pacquiao would have a dominant champion who would come straight at him with many defensive liabilities to exploit. However, Hattons underrated footwork would close the gap on Mannys deadly mid-range game and cause many nasty toe-to-toe exchanges on the inside. All in all, Hatton presents a very exciting matchup.
In Mayweather, Pacquiao would face a trickier fighter but also a more compelling back story.
Mayweather would be coming out of retirement undefeated to face the man thats succeeded him as the pound for pound best in the world. Already, the public is buzzing about how much better Pacquiaos performance was against De La Hoya (ignoring the fact that the Pretty Boy fought that contest at a ridiculous weight of 154 pounds). Plus, their legitimate contrasting personalities make for the perfect subplot for casual fans.
Mayweathers time away from the ring (which would be close to two years by the time this fight could be made) would work against him. Money Mays timing would be rusty, a tool that would be his best asset against Pacquiao. The pound for pound #1 would represent the fastest fighter Floyd has ever faced.
During camp, Freddie Roach remarked that a dominant Pacquiao victory would entice Mayweather out of retirement. Roach further stated that if they could come to terms that fight would be at 140 pounds, a great weight for both men. Unfortunately, Pacquiao is promoted by Bob Arum, who is still engaged in a bitter feud with Mayweather, his former star fighter.
Let him (Pacquaio) celebrate Christmas, the New Year, and the birth of his new baby. Then well talk business, a non-committal Arum stated at the post-fight conference.
Who would you rather see Manny Pacquiao face in the next 12 months?
Mosley Steroid Use Verified By Federal Testimony
As Shane Mosley prepares for a guaranteed war on January 24 against Antonio Margarito, the persistent steroid accusations that cloud his career have now resurfaced.
According to the New York Daly News, just released sealed documents from the infamous BALCO drug case detail Mosley admitting to steroid use.
In Mosleys 2003 grand jury testimony, the veteran star testified that he injected himself with EPO, a performance enhancing drug right before the rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. At the time, many were suspicious of Mosleys ripped physique that disappeared in his very next fight against Winky Wright.
For most, this has been the worse kept secret in boxing. Everyone loves Mosley due to his affable nature, and so far he seems to be getting a pass for this shameful indiscretion.
At the least, the De La Hoya rematch should be changed to a no contest. Unlike other sports, you dont play boxing. It is a savage contest of wills that leaves lingering mental and physical damage, and in some cases ends lives. Mosleys steroid use inevitably upped the risk of him seriously hurting his opponent due to an inhuman advantage.
Hopefully, BALCOs fall marked Shanes last trip to the clinic.
Williams Walks Down Phillips, Arreola Survives Shootout
Who wants Paul Williams (36-1, 27 KOs)? There still wont be anyone answering that question anytime soon, as The Punisher put a massive body beating induced stoppage on wily veteran Verno Phillips (42-11-1) to pick up the WBO junior middleweight title on November 27.
Early on, Phillips found success launching lunging counter hooks onto the lanky Williams from the outside. While rattled occasionally, Williams promptly focused on raking Phillips to the body, particularly with painful looking right hooks to the kidney and liver.
An accidental headbutt opened a bad, gushy cut above Williams right eye. However, Williams was unfazed and went back to strafing Phillips to the body in rounds 3 and 4, and knocking him back with long jabs and straight lefts.
Williams continued the heavy punishment in round 6, now dropping hooks on the inside to the head and body. Phillips now began to slow and show the effects of the damage. A chopping left hand stunned Phillips who was knocked around the ring by power punches to end the round.
Round 7 saw Williams now clip Phillips with repeated uppercuts on the inside. Phillips came back strong with his own haymaker hooks, but the steam of those punches were gone due to the consistent body work from Williams.
The deciding round 8 had Williams continuing business as usual with his stabbing right hook to the body. To punctuate the stanza, Williams delivered a triple right hook combo to the head and body which caused Phillips to stumble around the ring. Back in the Phillips corner, the referee and ringside doctor determined Phillips had suffered enough, and called off the contest before the 9th round.
This win gives Williams 3 consecutive knockouts in 3 different weight classes: welterweight (Carlos Quintana), middleweight (Andy Kolle), and junior-middleweight (Verno Phillips). Expect there to be considerable demand for the winner of Margarito-Mosley in January to step up and face the Punisher. If that fight cannot be secured, he can look at possible matchups with junior middleweight titlist in Vernon Forrest (WBC).
In the opener, a flabby Chris Arreola (26-0, 23 KOs) survived a wakeup call knockdown to score an exciting KO over power-punching Travis Walker (28-2, 22 KOs).
Arreola was content to work behind a peek-a-boo defense in the first round, mostly letting Walker flail away with power shots while he languished against the ropes. In the second, the Mexican-American was dropped to his knees with an accurate straight right hand. Stunned but still aware, Arreola wisely took the 8 count and came back to drop Taylor twice in the round with haymaker hooks on the inside.
Arreola went right in for the kill in round 3. A counter left hook sent Taylor crashing into a corner, prompting referee Jose Cobian to call the fight off without a count.
The bout was a IBF title eliminator, and Arreola in the post-fight interview promised to come in much better shape should he get the call against champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Hopefully he will, because the young, undefeated contender will have to show 10 times the ability he showcased this past Saturday to even stand a chance against Klitschko.