De La Hoya plans to call it a career after a December bout, one where an opponent has not yet been finalized. However, as it stands now, all signs point to a Welterweight showdown with boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighter, Manny Pacquiao. At first glance, you’d think that the boxing world would take kindly to one of the generation’s best still near his prime facing the top fighter in the sport. After all, it did when De La Hoya fought Mayweather just over a year ago.
However, a tremendous amount of boxing fans are taking offense to this potential match-up, one that has an outside shot to break all boxing pay-per-view records.
Why? Most fans argue that Pacquiao is too small for the “Golden Boy”, but I beg to differ. Yes, De La Hoya will have a distinct size advantage, but its nothing that we haven’t seen before.
The Main Argument Against the Fight
Manny Pacquiao started as a Flyweight. This match-up is at Welterweight, which is 35 pounds above the Flyweight limit of 112. Despite the fact that Pacquiao has tremendous skill and youth on his side, De La Hoya is no slouch and is simply too big for Pacquiao.
If you want to get technical, Manny Pacquiao weighed in at just 106 pounds for his first fight, which is just 1 pound above Minimumweight, the absolute lowest division in men’s boxing.
However, one needs to read between the lines and investigate this further before jumping to conclusions.
- Pacquiao is from a (once) very poor family, in a third world country.
- His debut took place only 5 weeks after his 16th birthday.
My point? Before Pacquiao found fame and fortune, it is very likely that he was not getting suitable nutrition and was not done growing until the middle portion of his career. Therefore, you can’t call him a “natural” Flyweight. That argument is bunk and annoying.
Furthermore, have you seen Manny Pacquiao at a recent weigh-in? His subcutaneous fat levels are minimal. Not to mention, that he gained 12.5 pounds after his first weigh-in at Lightweight earlier this year. HBO weighed him on fight night at 147 pounds. In case you didn’t know, that is just 1 pound less than what Floyd Mayweather Jr. himself stated that he weighed on fight night versus De La Hoya.
With the need to trim down to only 147 rather than 135, it is very likely that Pacquiao could enter the De La Hoya fight at approximately 150 pounds. De La Hoya will hold a slight weight advantage over him, but most experienced boxing fans expect this to only be in the area of 6-8 pounds, which is not a ridiculous difference.
I will admit, if you trust listed measurements, De La Hoya has 6 inches of reach and 4 inches of height on Pacquiao. However, I highly doubt Pacquiao’s listed height and expect that difference to be closer to 5 inches. Nevertheless, combat sports have weight divisions, not height or reach, so this fact is null and void, at least in my opinion.
These are the facts.
- Pacquiao has now grown into a legitimate Lightweight, and will probably end up campaigning at Light Welterweight (140) as he seems to be increasing his musculature like a madman.
- De La Hoya hasn’t made 147 since 2001. He had to strip naked to make 150 in May 2008, so making weight will take its toll on him.
- Truly great boxers can nullify a disadvantage in weight using quickness and timing. Two of Pacquiao’s best assets.
- These are two of the best boxers in last 15 years. People need to shut up and appreciate the fact that they will share a ring together.
Contrary to common belief, this WILL be a competitive bout and one I will definitely watch.
Posted on August 7, 2008 by jcs