Friday, December 5, 2008

Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya

Saturday night's Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 knockouts) vs. De La Hoya (39-5, 30 knockouts) promises to be intriguing if nothing else.

The 12-round fight at welterweight is a battle between the smaller man, Pacquiao (142) vs. De La Hoya (145).

Pacquiao started his career at 106, De La Hoya at 130. But De La Hoya hasn't fought at 147 in years. He's been at 154 or 160 for the most part.

I like Pacquiao for many reasons. He's faster, I believe he's hungrier and he is such a tough fighter when he steps in that ring.

De La Hoya hasn't been been awful in recent bouts, but he hasn't been superb either. Both men have put in a great deal of time for this fight.

But I just have a hunch that Pacquiao will outwork and outhustle De La Hoya. I'm not sure he can knock De La Hoya out, but he can do good things to frustrate De La Hoya. But he can't get lazy or take a round off against De La Hoya, who packs a good punch.

De La Hoya might get frustrated early and might deviate from his game plan. Pacquiao does have weaknesses and he can get hit. De La Hoya must use his jab and keep Pacquiao on the outside.

A loss for De La Hoya has to mean his career is over. He couldn't get over a loss to Pacquiao.

Pacquiao by decision over De La Hoya, 8 rounds to 4.