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This is not a match made in boxing heaven. This is a match made in a boxing boiler room with a Swiss banker and a Harvard lawyer.
Both Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer and Top Rank Inc. boss Bob Arum could smell the fresh racks of millions if they could pit the name of Oscar De La Hoya against the hottest fighter in the sport Manny Pacquiao.
Actually, the golden name has worked against almost anybody and lately made an event with a feather punching Steve Forbes filling out the menu earlier this year before a massive crowd at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
The world was not anxiously awaiting another showdown against “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather and eventually Mayweather pulled out forcing the Golden hand to seek out another attractive opponent.
If you’ve seen the landscape of boxing recently you would need a magnifying glass to secure such a name, and if your are Oscar you certainly want to fight someone that you have a chance of beating.
So, that would automatically eliminate such names as Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams, thus the next big name was the red-hot Philippine warrior Pacquiao.
In Pacquiao you get an action fighter who at 29 years old is at the top of his game and the sport, has won eight consecutive fights and fights every second of every round.
You also get a guy who just made his lightweight debut at 135 and easily defeated David Diaz for the WBC title.
He has won 47 fights against just three defeats and has 35 knockouts.
Pacquiao is scary good, but he is also not a welterweight. He is leaping the 140 class to reach 147 and while Oscar has not fought at welterweight in seven years, three pounds off his fighting weight against Forbes will not be a problem.
Sure the Golden Boy is 35 and this week had a bronze statute unveiled of him next to Magic Johnson in front of Staple Center, but when you check out all of the best case scenarios for Pacquiao they just don’t measure up to a victory.
Pacquioa’s trainer Freddie Roach says that De la Hoya can’t pull the trigger anymore.
Roach, who once trained De La Hoya, contends that all Oscar has is a powerful left hook and that he may as well keep his right hand in his pocket.
According to Roach it will be speed that wins this fight and Pacquiao has plenty of it and Roach offered that De La Hoya will be exhausted by the ninth round.
He says that his fight is gaining the extra weight by added protein in his food and liquids and he will not lose his blinding hand speed that has dazzled most opponents.
It sound quite convincing when you listen to it and many of my peers such as Steve Kim are buying into it.
But, I am not sold.
I refer to the logic that Pacquaio’s former promoter Murad Muhammad suggested to me recently.
“I don’t know why Bob Arum would even take the fight. The kid is too small and this fight could ruin his career. Arum is selling the kid out for the money,” said Muhammad.
Now, one might scoff that Muhammad has a bone to pick with Arum because he took away his fighter, and that just might be true. Therefore he should also have a bone to pick with Golden Boy Promotions, which also has signed an agreement with the Pac Man.
I do agree with Muhammad that De La Hoya is too big for the Pac Man. That De La Hoya even at 35 is far from washed up and can still pull the trigger.
Styles make fights and any fighter that comes right to De La Hoya will be in for big trouble because he is a competent counter puncher with accuracy and power.
The only way this fight goes into the later rounds is that De La Hoya wants to carry Pacquiao for fear of people complaining that his opponent never had a chance and the fight was a farce.
De La Hoya will jab Pacquiao into a bloody mess and if the fight is not stopped by Roach or the referee it will be a most devastating conclusion for a young fighter with all the promise and ability in the sport.
Even the ticket brokers are becoming skeptical, lowering the prices on their overpriced stubs for fear of buyer’s remorse.
No reason to cry or complain, It’s an event as Schaefer like to say. The fans get a show, pay a lot of money to watch Oscar at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or on HBO Pay per View for less than $60 and for one night the center of the sporting universe is focused on boxing.