Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De la Hoya are going to meet on December 6, 2008 in the biggest boxing match of the year. In my analysis, here are the factors that spells the advantages and and weakness of both fighters.
Speed favors Pacquiao. Even De la Hoya admits as much. The additional weight may make Paquiao lose some of his swiftness but still, he has the edge when it comes to this.
Power. De la Hoya unintentionally packs more punch, at least with a powerful left hook that he has effectively used during times of offense and backward movements. Pundits say that all that it requires is for De la Hoya to hit Pacquiao with that powerful left and it will be game over for the smaller fighter.
Pacquiao on the other hand, is also known to pack his own killer left and most recently, shown how fast and strong his right hand is when he used it extensively to stop David Diaz, when the two fought for the WBC world lightweight crown. Back to his left hand, Pacquiao is so deadly with it that an American blogger once wrote that the Filipino champ has brought boxing back to the days of the coliseum, when gladiators bludgeoned each other to death, to the delight of the audience.
Absorption. There is a question whether Pacquiao's punches would have any effect on De la Hoya. Having started in the 110 lbs category, knocking down a champion who has taken and repeatedly knocked down world class fighters in the 147 lbs category and upwards looks like a tall order.
However, Pacquiao has fought and knocked down taller and heavier sparring mates. There is therefore, a possibility that he can take De la Hoya's punches and unleash his own powerful left. However, most people believe that De la Hoya can absorb Pacquiao's punches more than Pacquiao can take De la Hoya's powerful jabs.
Endurance. This seems to favor Pacquiao more than De la Hoya. De la Hoya has been observed to have gotten slower in the later rounds of his last few fights and Pacquiao has performed consistently during his last bouts. His fight with Marquez and Barrera both rented the distance and yet, he remained fast. In his last fight, he knocked out David Diaz in the 9th round.
Pacquiao Vs. De La Hoya: Pre Fight Analysis
While De la Hoya may have the height, reach and power advantages, Pacquiao has speed, agility and endurance. If he is able to pierce into De la Hoya's defenses and avoid the accused left hook, he can potentially win on points. His stamina, speed and agility can be used with great effectiveness to deprive De la Hoya the opportunity to land that killer left hook. In addition, Pacquiao's left, which has knocked out a number of opponents in the lighter categories, can start to become lethal in the later rounds, when De la Hoya may have tired.
As for De la Hoya, the golden boy must use his height and reach advantages to the maximum. As soon as he is able to find his rhythm, he should be able to unleash that accused left hook. If the pundits are to be believed, all that De la Hoya needs is one solid left.