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Old 09-19-2008, 01:26 AM
RON NATHANIELSZ
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Default The Oscar Delahoya Blueprint:how Manny Pacquiao Will Win?

The Oscar De La Hoya Blueprint: How Manny Pacquiao Will Win
By Mike Withers-September 19, 2008

From the day it was announced that Manny Pacquiao is going to fight Oscar De La Hoya on December 6th people began to ask: How could Pacquiao win?

You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see this is going to be an incredibly tough fight for Pacquiao. He has a five and a half inch height disadvantage and is moving up 2 weight classes to meet De La Hoya at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

Aside from the obvious size difference, one advantage De La Hoya has working for him is that he has looked good in recent fights. His bout with Ricardo Mayorga in 2006 was a vintage De La Hoya knockout. He showed speed, power and precision accuracy. He almost defeated Floyd Mayweather, JR., a year later, despite what I believe to be a tactical error in trying to “rough Mayweather up” rather then using his boxing skills. And of course there was his landslide victory over a hand picked Steve Forbes.

Forbes actually may be the best comparison for what Pacquiao will be able to do against De La Hoya. Like Pacquiao, Forbes was a former lightweight champion who was moving up in weight to face De La Hoya. Forbes came right after De La Hoya throughout the fight, even catching De La Hoya with a couple big left hooks. But De La Hoya seemed to handle the pressure Forbes put on him with little or no trouble. When Forbes did connect it didn’t faze De La Hoya, who has an underrated chin.

When you compare Forbes with Pacquiao, the one glaring factor is that Pacquiao has much more power. Common sense would tell you that Forbes is a better boxer, but Pacquiao has boxed his way to decision victories over some of the greatest fighters in the sport. But unlike Pacquiao, Forbes had a lot of experience in higher weight divisions. The Contender (the ESPN series which originally made him famous) series that he fought in was at junior middleweight.

Forbes, who has never been knocked down in his career, was ready for the power that De La Hoya brought into the ring. It is yet to be seen how Pacquiao will react when he gets hit with a huge left hook. I wonder how he will react when one of those punches just lands on his gloves!

De La Hoya is going to come out in this fight with guns blazing. If Pacquiao is able to weather that early storm, and get a feeling for De La Hoya’s power, he has a pretty good chance of winning.

First and foremost, Pacquiao cannot worry about having to bulk up to face De La Hoya. It has been said that Pacquiao walks around naturally at 150-155 pounds. He should look at the 147-pound weight limit as an advantage. Just by getting himself into fight shape he should be able to make weight.

Mayweather bragged that he fought De La Hoya at 148 pounds, which was two pounds less then what he was at the weigh in. This was an advantage for Mayweather because he didn’t have to drain himself of fluids the day before the weigh-in in order to make weight.

Pacquiao can go through his training camp without having to worry about his diet. Clearly he can’t be eating Twinkie’s and drinking whiskey, but he can stray a little from your standard meal of a salad with some water. This allows Pacquiao to come into this fight at full strength. As long as the idea that he will have to bulk up to face De La Hoya doesn’t bog him down, then he will most likely come into this fight in the best condition of his career.

Speed has always been a big weapon for De La Hoya in his career. So it comes as no surprise that when he fights somebody who is quicker then him, it gives him trouble (simply because he is not used to that). Mayweather, Shane Mosley, and even Pernell Whitaker gave De La Hoya problems because of their superior speed.

Manny Pacquiao is fast, really fast! I will never forget when David Diaz, in the middle of a beating, said of Pacquiao: “His punches aren’t hurting me. They are just coming too fast.” Pacquiao has to realize his speed is his best asset in this fight, and he will have to use his other tools in order to let that speed show.

At times in Pacquiao’s career he has been able to rely on the straight left hand to win him fights. This is not one of those situations. Pacquiao has shown really good head movement in his recent fights and he will need to show that again in December if he wants to win.

Floyd Mayweather, SR., has been all over De La Hoya, trying to get him to use his jab on a more consistent basis. The “Pacman” must use his head movement to make De La Hoya miss with the jab, and then he can step inside. When he gets inside, he cannot settle for one or two punches. He has got to throw five, six, and seven punch combinations before he backs away.

Pacquiao has got to throw a lot of punches when he has the chance to do so. He has no choice but to outwork De La Hoya in this fight. It is not likely that he will be able to score a knockout; I don’t think that he can even hurt De La Hoya. So he must throw more punches and be more active from the start.

This is going to be a difficult fight for Pacquiao to win, but not impossible.

He should not worry about bulking up for the fight, and just come in at the weight that he is most comfortable at. In addition he has to use the vast array of boxing skills that he has developed over recent years to land some combinations. He is going to have to take the decision to win this fight. Trying to just impress the judges will not be good enough, he has to leave them with no choice.
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