Boxing will get another attraction, but not necessarily a great fight, in December, with the word that Oscar De La Hoya will meet lightweight sensation Manny Pacquiao in December in Las Vegas in what is being called the last fight of the Golden Boy’s career.
This will undoubtably be a hugely-hyped fight. De La Hoya, though he has lost more than he won recently, remains the biggest box office draw in boxing, and Pacquiao has established himself as a pay-per-view favorite with his fast hands and knockout power. Still, Pacquiao is moving up from the lightweight division — 135 pounds — to face De La Hoya, who will drop from 154 pounds, to the 147 pound welterweight limit. That’s a move that has been done numerous times before successfully — Roberto Duran moved up from lightweight to welterweight to defeat Sugar Ray Leonard the first time they fought. But Pacquiao has been moving up in weight ever since he started as a professional in 1995, when he fought at 106 pounds. Jumping nearly 40 pounds over 13 years is a pretty big move. I doubt he will have the power to hold up against De La Hoya, who has been in the ring with middleweights.
De La Hoya has been looking for a marquee finale opponent since Floyd Mayweather supposedly retired instead of signing a deal to meet De La Hoya in a rematch (Mayweather easily defeated De La Hoya in a decision in their first fight). I still have a hard time believing that Mayweather’s retirement wasn’t a calculated move against De La Hoya, since Mayweather was demanding the majority share of the payday for the rematch — something De La Hoya has never done. If so, the move seems to have backfired — unless there is some hidden personal reason why Mayweather has left boxing. De La Hoya-Pacquiao won’t be Leonard-Duran, but it will likely be worth watching and will likely make huge amounts of pay-per-view money worldwide.