Houston, We Have Liftoff - Oscar De La Hoya vs Manny Pacquiao
By Vikram Birring, DoghouseBoxing (Oct 6, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Hoganphotos /Golden Boy Promotions)  
The dream match. One man’s dream is to finally be able to beat the pound for pound best boxer in the world, the single accomplishment that has so eluded him throughout his career.

His opponent’s, to win another championship in yet another weight division and solidify his status as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

The dream of going to the moon is probably not in either’s future, but it was as close as Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao will ever get as the press tour ramped up to full acceleration on day three at Space Center Houston.

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Top Rank boss Bob Arum gave speeches that would make the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce blush. To listen to them, one would truly believe that there is a heaven on Earth, in the middle of a desert, of all places.

Spokesmen, and women, of sponsors that would otherwise be as far away from boxing as sane people are from Galveston, lined up and raved of their affiliation with the December 6 mega-event. Schaefer, proving his sharp marketing acumen, suggested DeWalt create two new tools: The Pac Drill and The Golden Hammer, an idea that would probably work.

The MGM’s special counsel declared the obvious; that, in his eyes, the MGM had already won. Dollar signs ran through his eyes during his entire speech.

Arum, displaying his intelligence, only to be expected from a Harvard Law graduate, gave a long, winding, revisionist history lesson on how Philippine soldiers fought alongside Americans against the Japanese in World War II. The lesson, Filipinos are brave fighters with ferocious spirit.

Just as quickly, he proclaimed Philippine women are the most beautiful on Earth. Schaefer quickly disagreed, stating that Mexican women are by far the most gorgeous beings to grace the Earth. A bet was made, that by December 4, Arum find the best looking Filipino woman alive, and Schaefer the best Mexican. The judges? The boxing media.

De La Hoya’s new trainer, Ignacio Beristan, ended all the fun and games when he stated that the train known as Manny Pacquiao would finally be stopped.

Pacquiao’s longtime coach Freddie Roach claimed that De La Hoya could no longer pull the trigger, a symptom of old age. In his mind, Pacquiao will be perfectly prepared for a spectacular victory.

De La Hoya ended things succinctly. After a few rounds, he said there was only one piece of wisdom that Roach would be able to pass on to Pacquiao.

“Houston, we have a problem.”

Questions or comments,
Vikram at: vikram.birring@gmail.com

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