Every so often in boxing fans are treated to a megafight. The fight tonight taking place at the MGM in Las Vegas is being called just that. Oscar De La Hoya (39-5) will be stepping in with Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2) in a highly anticipated showdown.
To be perfectly honest, when this fight was announced I wasn't too thrilled about it. I kept asking myself why in the world De La Hoya, who has fought as high as 160 pounds, would hand pick a fighter who began his career at 106 pounds and normally weighs in at 130 pounds. The answer I kept coming back to was money and nothing but money. That still might be the case but now I am very intrigued by this fight tonight.
Manny Pacquiao is considered the top pound for pound fighter in the sport by almost everyone. He brings a very entertaining style into the ring with him. The skill level he possesses is top of the line. Great hand speed, superior punching power, and a straight ahead approach puts fans in the seats. He has a big challenge ahead of him when he takes on Oscar De La Hoya.
"The Golden Boy" could change his nickname to the "Cash Register" if he wanted to. He is the most recognized fighter in the world. He has been in a number of lucrative fights in his career. Even though he hasn't won many of them, he has been great for the sport of boxing. Now running one of the biggest promotion companies in boxing, De La Hoya looks to regain his winning ways in the ring.
Oscar has fought and won fights in weight classes ranging from 130 to 160 pounds. Tonight's fight will be at the 147 pound limit where De La Hoya hasn't fought since 2001 when he destroyed Arturo Gatti. That result might be the same thing that takes place this evening.
Both fighters are very skilled and on paper it looks like a very even fight. Even the odds makers now have the fight close to even when De La Hoya opened as a two and a half to one favorite. The biggest key to tonight's fight will be in Manny can handle the bigger stronger man in De La Hoya.
A lot of people aren't giving Pacquiao a chance because of the weight difference and the power factor. Those observers must be forgetting that Manny is one of the quickest fighters in the world, and one of the slickest boxers. If Manny can handle the power of Oscar early on in the fight and stay away from the jab, he will be there in the end.
I don't believe that Pacquaio will be able to knock out De La Hoya or even hurt him that bad, but he should be able to outwork the older Oscar. Punch output will be another key to the fight. Manny is known for throwing a lot of punches and will need to stay busy in order to pull off the win.
De La Hoya respects Manny Pacquiao but feels he should win impressively and win by a knockout. If he gets caught up in that, he might get taken to school by the younger busier Pacquiao.
As a boxing fan, I don't consider tonight a megafight. I consider that to be a fight between two guys on the top of their game in the same weight class fighting for all the marbles. While tonight's fight will be very entertaining and it's between two of the biggest names the sport has ever seen, it could possibly turn out to be a mismatch.
I am looking forward to tonight's action and will be very interested to see how it all plays out.