Sunday, December 07, 2008
Boxing fans are well aware of the wonder that is Manny Pacquiao, but it's likely that more of the sporting world will have a better idea of the Filipino's mix of speed, power, and tactics inside the ring after he absolutely deconstructed and demolished Oscar De La Hoya last night with an 8th round TKO. Sadly, I was not able to watch the fight, but after watching Oscar's last bout with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and taking in several Pacquiao fights when they were re-aired, I sense De La Hoya's reach and height advantages would mean nothing.
The beauty of the clips I've seen of Pacquiao is that he makes it look absolutely effortless, it is in his economy of motion. He makes every punch count, there are very few wasted movements. De La Hoya is still a legend in the ring, but he is clearly well beyond his prime and probably knows it's time to step out, after winning only one of eight rounds on the scorecard (and according to some accounts of the fight I've read on the wires, that was generous.)
It's amazing how a lightweight like Pacquiao is good enough to jump two weight classes and dominate. Could we see Ricky Hatton or even a Pretty Boy Floyd fight in Pac-Man's future? Sounds likely, but right now, from the highlights, I can see why Pacquiao is a folk hero in his home country. It's clear even to someone like me, who doesn't follow boxing a whole lot.