Boxing Report: Speed Kills! Pac Man Stops Golden Boy!
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Dec 8, 2008) Photo © German Villasenor, DHB  
The “Mexicutioner”, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 48-3-2 (36), may have ended the career of one of the biggest draws in boxing history by stopping Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, 39-6 (30), Saturday night at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, who surrendered in his corner after taking a brutal beating for all 8 rounds.

Simply put, speed kills! Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach had a game plan, and the “Pac Man” followed it to a tee. Roach said, “If Manny doesn’t beat Oscar, I don’t want to be paid.” How many in the fight game would put that on
the line? Roach will be paid, and probably “underpaid”, for getting the pound-for-pound best fighter in boxing ready for the biggest fight of his life. The talented and popular fighter from the Philippines once again came to the United States and prevailed. The East L.A. idol was defeated.

From the outset Pacquiao’s straight punches were finding the mark. Many of us, including this writer, thought his wild swings would bring him defeat by the bigger man. Wrong again! Referee Tony Weeks probably had the easiest night of his career in this one. Round after round the Pac Man positioned himself to attack the Golden Boy. By the 3rd round Pacquiao’s right hooks to the head and body had taken their toll. In the 6th a straight left rocked De La Hoya. In the 7th his left eye was closing fast from all the combinations he had taken in the corner. After the 8th the only question was, will the Golden Boy go out on a shield or end his career like Julio Cesar Chavez and Kostya Tszyu did before him, in the corner? At 35, De La Hoya surrendered, and as he walked to his conqueror he proclaimed “now you are my idol.”

The bad blood De La Hoya had for Pacquiao came from the latter’s signing a promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions, “after” he had signed one with De La Hoya’s arch enemy, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. Once again experience prevailed, as Arum put his top fighter Pacquiao up against De La Hoya, having to add 7 pounds to the highest previous fighting weight of his career. De La Hoya came in at a light 145 while Pacquiao was 142. Pacquiao was very humble in his victory and announced he would be fighting in the light welterweight division in the future. That pointed toward the only obvious fighter in that division to meet the challenge, IBO champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, 45-1 (32), whose lone defeat was at the hands of now retired Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather. Pacquiao is the current WBC #135 champion, while Nate Campbell, 32-5-1 (24), holds the other 3 belts of the WBA, IBF and WBO organizations. If a Hatton fight does not happen, possibly a meeting with Campbell would.

It looks like De La Hoya’s future will include being a “full time”, promoter. The money will still be there for him to continue, but becoming another Evander Holyfield should not be in his plans.

To the disappointment of PPV and live viewers, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank chose to feature 3 of their fighters in mismatches. Both groups have better matchmakers than the garbage they presented, but when you are told to make your fighters look good they may have taken it to the extreme. The 3 bouts shown prior to the main event totaled 11 minutes of one-sided beatings. The time in between fights consisted of Merchant and Lampley giving us the “same old, same old” while top boxing analyst Emmanuel Steward was allowed little input.

Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs, 13-0 (12), started the broadcast with a light-hitting opponent in Victor Lares, 14-4 (3), Corpus Christi, Texas. Jacobs, fighting his 12th fight in 12 months, rocked the defensive minded Lares just 2 minutes into the fight. Referee Jay Nady put a stop to it after Jacob’s dropped Lares at the 2:44 mark of the 2nd round.

Next up, WBO junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez, 24-0 (22), of Puerto Rico was given a “softee” in Argentina’s Sergio Medina, 33-2 (18), who was there for a payday. Has there been much out of the South American country since Monzon to speak of? After 3 knockdowns and 1:38, referee Joe Cortez was “fair, but firm” in stopping this mismatch as Medina had only landed one punch. Medina had been beaten in the same ring 18 months previously in a WBO super bantamweight eliminator.

Victor Ortiz, 23-1-1 (18), of Oxnard, California, stopped Jeffrey Resto, 22-3 (13), of the Bronx at 1:19 of the 2nd round in a light welterweight fight. A straight left from Ortiz dropped Resto halfway through the 1st round. Just 20 seconds later another straight left dropped Resto again. In the 2nd round a left right combination dropped Resto for a 3rd time causing referee Russell Mora to stop this one-sided fight.

One undercard fight to note was Philly’s Danny Garcia, 10-0 (7), winning a lopsided 8 round decision over Jose Alfredo Lugo, 10-6-3 (5), of Mexico in a light welterweight fight. Garcia and Jacobs are both top prospects with Golden Boy Promotions.

If the top promotions do not start putting on better fights on these PPV shows they will only bring about the destruction of the game. It has gotten to a point that the built up of matches like Calzaghe-Jones and Hopkins-Pavlik just don’t live up to expectations any more than tonight’s main event did. So it is necessary to put on much better undercard fights to bail out the main event if it flops. Both are top promotions and can – and must – do much better. The biggest draw in boxing may have had his last fight. The victor must now carry the torch for boxing. This time De La Hoya didn’t point the blame toward someone else, but admitted he was beaten by a better man. Pacquiao, who can speak English, should be able to relate to the viewers of America unlike Roberto Duran and Chavez before him. The Pac Man has a bright future if matched competitively with a good supporting cast!

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Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com




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