THE DREAM MATCH: CAN PACQUIAO DO A DURAN?
By Maloney L. Samaco
Tue, 14 Oct 2008
Several months ago, the Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao fight seemed impossible. De la Hoya has not fought in the 135-pound category for more than 12 years. And Golden Boy is bigger at 5-10 1/2, four inches taller than Pacquiao, who stands at 5-6 1/2 and started his boxing career at 107 pounds. Adding the fact that The Pacman fought at 135 pounds for the first time only in March.
A fast, naturally smaller fighter considered as boxing's best pound-for-pound in the world, Pacquiao held world titles in five divisions. After knocking out David Diaz in June for the WBC lightweight title, he has to increase 12 pounds to face the world?s richest boxer in what was perceived to be as the biggest pay-per-view draw in the sport's history.
?The Dream Match? as the fight is being called, will transcend all barriers in boxing including division titles and alphabet world organization rules. The date is December 6, 2008 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand. It has a big chance of breaking the PPV record earned by Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s triumph over De La Hoya in May 2007.
To win against the heftier de la Hoya, Pacquiao has to do a Roberto Duran, who began his career as a lightweight and had garnered a 71-1 pro record and considered one of the greatest lightweights of all time, moved up to 147 pounds to bestow Sugar Ray Leonard his first loss in 1980.
Duran eventually soared seven more pounds to junior middleweight to knockout Davey Moore for a title and capped his surge with a win over Iran Barkley, scoring a knockdown in the 11th round, to win the world middleweight title in 1989 at age 37. And six years earlier, Duran within one point almost dethroned the greatest middleweight of all time Marvelous Marvin Hagler for the world middleweight title.
But Duran was lethargic and not keen in some fights while Pacquiao has been consistent. One very significant motivation is Pacquiao is still in his prime mentally and physically and he has maintained the speed and stamina which credited him as one of boxing?s most exciting attraction.
But Pacquiao?s skill is still untested at this weight and against a huge opponent with a world class talent. De la Hoya was elegant against Mayweather, controlling the clever foe by using his stinging jabs to counteract his opponent's hustle. But De La Hoya's declining stamina slowed him in the later rounds as he got outpunched by Pretty Boy.
"I think I can beat De La Hoya," Pacquiao said. "I'm faster and stronger than him, and I'm younger. I can beat him in the way I beat Diaz in my last fight. My speed is going to be effective in this fight."
"I do have to change my style around. I do have to adjust to his speed," said De La Hoya. "I know he's a strong fighter, and I have to figure out a way to pull the trigger. I have to find a way to increase my speed. I have quite a task in front of me. We have to figure out quick how we're going to neutralize him. It's going to be an explosive fight. My pride, and Manny's pride."
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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