Added On: Friday, December 12, 2008

Oscar De La Hoya Vs. Manny Pacquiao - Speed

Last Sunday, the Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya fought Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Hotel  in Vegas.  

"They said this was a mismatch and it was a mismatch,'' Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said, taking a jab at all the wrong prognosticators, many whom thought the bout should never have been made in the first place because of De La Hoya's size advantage. De La Hoya is 4 inches taller than Pacquiao. Pacquiao, who began his career as a 106 pounder had never fought above 135 pounds.  De La Hoya, ten-time world champion on the other hand has fought as high as 160 pounds.  The Golden Boy was expected to steamroll Pacquiao in the 147-pound showdown.  

In September, a Filipino politician tried to break up the fight between the two citing the considerable size difference.  Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "This bout is just about money. Pacquiao has no chance. We have to protect him. He is a national treasure."

Showing why he's considered boxing's No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Pacquiao repeatedly struck with lightning-quick and precision hand speed to pummel De La Hoya to the face and body almost at will, and stayed fast and light on his feet to dance and dart away from taking a big punch, always circling to De La Hoya's right to avoid his vaunted left hook.

At the start of the 9th round, with his face swollen and his left eye nearly closed, De La Hoya was on his stool when his trainer Nacho Beristain told referee Tony Weeks that the fight was over .  "I stopped the fight because I didn't want him to leave his greatness in the ring,'' Beristain said. "Oscar was in good condition but he couldn't control Manny's southpaw stance or style."

For Pacquiao, the victory over the East Los Angeles-born, Mexican-American icon was the biggest achievement in his long career. He said he would be fighting for the pride of the Philippines and he did his nation proud.

"I knew right away I could win this fight,'' Pacquiao (48-3-2, 35 KOs) said. "I controlled the fight. I was able to defend against his jab. "I said speed would be the key and it was. This is a great victory for me and a great victory for my country."

Lesson in Strategy:

-       Never underestimate Speed; it is deadly as a competitive advantage.

-        Preparation is half the battle. Pacquiao did exactly this in his training, he trained really hard for the fight, perhaps the hardest he has ever trained in his boxing career. He knew he was prepared for the fight and it showed.

-       Push yourself to the limit, only then can great things happen. If this means training hard to achieve bigger and better, beyond your class, do it.

{}[[Update 21/12/08 - I heard on TV One this morning that Oscar aade USD 101 Million from the fight and Manny USD 26 Million.]

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