Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Riding the Hype: Pacman VS. Golden Boy

I hate to admit this but I’m really hyped up with the upcoming Pacquiao-De La Hoya bout this December 6. Though Pacquiao is the obvious underdog in this matchup, I am rooting for him to win. In fact, I have compared several definitive factors to see who has the advantage on what aspect and who has the upper hand on the other. And here’s what I figured out so far:



Height, Size, and Reach

With a towering 5’10 frame over Pacquiao, who is 4 inch shorter, The Golden Boy clearly has the advantage. Add to that the fact that Oscar is a natural middleweight, he has the benefit of tonnage come fight night. Pacquiao, on the other hand, started as a flyweight. But I think he is comfortable around the lightweight division, as evidenced in his fight with David Diaz. Also, with De La Hoya’s longer reach, he can use those jabs all day long while keeping Pacquiao at bay.

Advantage Verdict: De La Hoya

Punching Power

While Oscar has a higher knockout percentage of 77% (39 wins with 30 KOs) compared to Pacman’s 72% (47 wins with 35 KOs), it is quite obvious that Pacquiao has downed more boxers than Oscar. But even with their KO rate being so close to even declare who packs the stronger punch, I think both guys punching power will be affected by the weight movement. Pacquiao is coming up to 147 while De La Hoya steps down 2 divisions to meet him dead center.

Advantage Verdict: Even



Speed

Clearly Pacquiao’s. I believe this is where the age factor comes into play. Pacquiao is much younger than Oscar, which could mean the Golden Boy has slower reflexes and lees agile. As witnessed by many during the Pacquiao-Diaz fight, Pac is still quicker after moving up in weight. If he can maintain that ability to unleash lightning-fast combinations and quickly get out the way, then speed will kill De La Hoya.

Advantage Verdict: Pacquiao

Durability

Both guys can take a punch, err, a lot of punches and still have the energy to celebrate after a 12-rounder. But of the two, Pacquiao possesses the stronger chin than De La Hoya. Also, Pacquiao can take body shots and go toe-to-toe against anyone. Against De La Hoya at welterweight, however, there’s a significant chance that Pacquiao may feel something to any beating Oscar has for him, if Oscar plans to get up close and personal with him. Same goes to Oscar.

Advantage Verdict: Even

Intelligence

Pacquiao is a pure brawler by instinct. And if it goes down the wire, Pacquiao will disregard any instructions and will try to engage De La Hoya for some slugfest. Which could spell bad for the Pacman. So far, De La Hoya is the more polished fighter among the two. I have to give props to Freddie Roach for transforming Pacquiao into a multi-dimensional boxer. But if we are looking for a thinking fighter here, De La Hoya’s the man.

Advantage Verdict: De La Hoya

Overall, De La Hoya has got the odds favoring him at 70-30. The only thing he has to watch out for is the speed Pacquiao certainly has. Golden Boy may have the advantage, but then, I’d still root for the little guy. After all, one punch can change everything.

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