Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

After the KO, it’s all downhill for pacquiao

January 1, 2013

COMMENTARY | To many fans, the image of Manny Pacquiao falling face-first to the canvas and staying there, motionless, for an uncomfortably long period of time was quite jarring. To see a pound-for-pound elite fighter, one of the best of this era, knocked completely unconscious is always upsetting.

RICOA chocolate shorts ad falls flat on face.

However, what happens to the fighter, himself?


Fighters are bred to be the bravest of the brave, literally putting their life on the line to earn their living. The biggest fallacy among fans and media is that any fighter is afraid of another– especially at the elite level. Sometimes certain fights don’t make sense from a business perspective, but that by no means is an indication of fear. A fighter just doesn’t become a world class pugilist by having any sort of yellow streak among his character traits.


But psychologically, a crushing, brutal loss can sometimes affect a fighter and the way he engages in battle. He may be consciously willing to pick up right where he left off, but subconsciously, some doubt has been injected into his game, some hesitation is interfering with his ability to execute his pre-loss style.


Even a fighter as accomplished and as supremely confident as Manny Pacquiao could fall victim to this involuntary psychological drama.


Recently, Oscar De La Hoya spoke to radio station Power 106 about whether this might be the case with Pacquiao:


“…psychologically, he is always going to be feeling that punch. He’s always going to be looking out for that punch. He will be doubting himself [and telling himself] ‘can I do this again’ – even in training, even in training [he will be doubting himself]. History shows this, and I’m not making this up…history shows that it’s impossible to come back [from that kind of knockout]. Can he come back? It’s up to him. You look at Paul Williams [at how he got knocked out]. Back in the day Thomas Hearns knocked out Roberto Duran and he landed face first. You look at Ricky Hatton at how he got knocked out. You look at history in boxing.”


Perhaps this is all wishful thinking from De La Hoya, whose promotional company, Golden Boy, is currently engaged in a turf war with Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, but the former 6-division world champ certainly makes a valid point.


The most recent example of this came when Miguel Cotto suffered a brutal beating at the hands of Antonio Margarito in 2008. The physical damage sustained in that TKO loss was healed soon enough, but the psychological damage was there. It lingered as Cotto showed subtle signs of hesitance and reluctance to go full-out in a firefight against elite-level opposition for, at least, three years.


The specific details of how Cotto was affected by the Margarito beating can be disputed, but there’s little debate that pre-Margarito Cotto and post-Margarito Cotto are two significantly different fighters.


Ask Miguel Cotto, though, and he’d likely deny any difference and scoff at the idea that something deep in the back of his psyche was holding him back.


Manny Pacquiao would likely have the same reaction to this idea, but nobody will know what’s what until that first moment when the 8-division former world champ gets hit, slightly buzzed, and/or pushed to retreat.


Pacquiao’s style depends so much on launching himself into attacks, daringly darting in and out of range to quickly inflict his punishment. Confidence is the key to Pacquiao’s offense. It’s the blind leap of faith that he can launch himself into attack mode, score his shots, and then get out of range.


The last time he darted in for the attack, a big right hand was waiting for him and it laid him out. Maybe next time he doesn’t rush in so fast, doesn’t take that chance. If that happens, Manny Pacquiao ceases to be Manny Pacquiao.


It can happen..It has happened. And all it takes is that sliver of a doubt to bring down a fighter.


Pastors milking Pacquaio

June 24, 2012

Pacquiao milked by pastors

6:06 pm | Sunday, June 24

IS END COMING? Timothy Bradley, left, lands a punch against Manny Pacquiao in their WBO world welterweight title fight last June 9, 2012, in Las Vegas. Bradley won the fight by split decision. AP PHOTO/CHRIS CARLSON

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines—Protestant pastors have been coming in droves to Manny Pacquiao’s mansion here. And their number is increasing each day.

One day, seven of them coming from different religious factions arrived. The next day, the number rose to 10. They take a bath, sleep and eat right there as if it is their own house.

They are forming to be the Achilles’ heel of the boxing icon. They follow him wherever he goes—from here to Baguio and even the United States.

They started stalking the Filipino ring idol after the Pacquiao-Marquez fight in November 2011, when the world’s eight-division boxing champ decided to change his lifestyle and began holding daily Bible study with his family, friends and supporters.

But there were just two or three pastors then attending the Bible study.

A source close to Pacquiao told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that these pastors have been abusing the man’s kindness and generosity.

“They are making our boxing idol a milking cow. The real Manny Pacquiao doesn’t know how to say no. But if they are real disciples of God, they should be ashamed of what they are doing,” the source said.

The source said that one pastor was given an iPad but seemingly not contented with what he got, he still asked for a new service vehicle. “Now, he is sporting a brand-new pickup, courtesy of Manny Pacquiao,” the source added.

Another pastor asked for cash, while still another abandoned his flock somewhere in northern Luzon just to be with the boxer-lawmaker.

Another pastor joined the Pacquiao team during the training camp in Los Angeles. “He asked for 36 tickets in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. The guy got what he wanted,” the source said.

“I was the one so ashamed when he asked Manny Pacquiao to get eight hotel rooms for his family in the US,” the source added.

According to the Inquirer source, it was the first time that someone asked for 36 tickets and eight hotel rooms from the boxing champ.

When Pacquiao and his entourage arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on June 16, this same pastor was seen brandishing a big Louis Vuitton bag.

“Now, there are so many pastors. I want to be a pastor, too,” the source stated.

Another source has admitted being convinced that religion is the opium of the masses.  “And the preachers are the pushers,” the source added. “Before, we were expecting that these pastors would help or guide Manny Pacquiao towards the path of salvation. We didn’t expect that they would abuse his kindness and generosity.”

The poor, the source claimed, need Pacquiao’s help more than the pastors do. “The poor people are more deserving of such blessings. I hope, one day, they will realize their mistake and that they will stop asking any kind of favor from Pacquiao.”

The sources said the preachers have been planning a “grand religious concert” for Pacquiao at the Araneta coliseum on June 28.

“They assigned Manny Pacquaio as the main speaker. From what I’ve heard during the discussion, they wanted Pacquiao to settle all the bills before the staging of the concert,” the source disclosed.

However, according to the source, Pacquiao insisted that all the bills for the venue rental, catering, transportation, etc., be settled only after the concert.

“Of course, it can be read between the lines that someone is bound to make a killing out of this concert. This is a multimillion-peso event,” the source said.

The same sources further revealed that a rift has developed among Pacquiao’s political backers, boxing circle and the pastors.

“Manny Pacquiao tends to listen to these pastors more than to his advisers and friends from political and boxing circles,” one of the sources claimed.

Those from political and boxing circles, the source said, believed that Pacquiao’s involvement in religious activities has hurt his boxing career.

Before, the source said, the distractions in Pacquiao’s life were his gambling and drinking buddies. “Now, the distractions are the pastors and they are far more costly than the previous ones.”

“The old Manny Pacquiao is gone. Atop the ring, he is no longer as ferocious as before. Unless he learns to temper his newfound passion and obsession, we would no longer see knock-out victories in his future fights,” the source averred.

Pacquiao era begins with De La Hoya demolition

December 7, 2008

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LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao unequivocally established himself as the finest fighter in the world Saturday.

But he accomplished an even more stunning feat when he not only defeated Oscar De La Hoya but battered him into retirement with a shockingly one-sided victory in their welterweight bout before 15,001 at the MGM Grand Garden.

De La Hoya, the 1992 Olympic gold-medal winner and a professional world champion in six weight classes, was hammered as he never was in 44 previous bouts before trainer Nacho Beristain mercifully asked referee Tony Weeks to halt the carnage after eight one-sided rounds.

The fight ended any debate whether Pacquiao or light heavyweight Joe Calzaghe deserves the top spot in the mythical pound-for-pound race, but it also sent a one-time legend into retirement.

De La Hoya, who was taken to a local hospital for a precautionary examination, never in his illustrious career had absorbed such a beating. Pacquiao’s hands were far too quick and, despite the fact that he was moving up from lightweight, his punches were much too hard for the Golden Boy to handle.

It was clear by the third round that De La Hoya was going to need a miracle to reverse the pummeling he was taking.

Pacquiao displayed every punch in the arsenal, raking the Golden Boy with straight lefts that nearly closed De La Hoya’s left eye and stunning him with hooks, jabs and uppercuts.

It was so savage of a beating that it was hard not to feel sorry for De La Hoya. At the end of the bout, a thoroughly beaten De La Hoya trudged across the ring and met his one-time trainer, Freddie Roach.

“You’re right,” De La Hoya said to Roach, who had prepared Pacquiao brilliantly. “I don’t have it any more.”

Pacquiao was a 2-1 underdog, largely because he was challenging a man who had fought at super welterweight or middleweight exclusively for the last seven-and-a-half years. Pacquiao had only fought once as high as lightweight and had fought 75 percent of his bouts before Saturday at super bantamweight or lower.

But Pacquiao unofficially weighed a pound-and-a-half more than De La Hoya – 148½ to 147 – and was clearly stronger and better Saturday.

“The media, the press is never wrong,” Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said. “You all said it was a mismatch and it was a mismatch.”

De La Hoya didn’t officially announce his retirement, but his business partners, Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley, spoke of his career in the past tense. In his brilliant career, De La Hoya took on most of the greatest fighters of his generation, but never before was he beaten as cleanly and decisively as he was by Pacquiao.

Not when he was knocked out by a brutal shot to the liver by Hopkins in 2004, not when he dropped a split decision to then-pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year and not when a tactical mistake cost him a victory against Felix Trinidad.

“Pacquiao was phenomenal,” Hopkins said.

Pacquiao was never threatened by De La Hoya’s vaunted left hook, negating De La Hoya’s best chance of winning the fight.

It was something Roach had worked tirelessly on in the gym and something he unwaveringly told the world that Pacquiao would do.

“Taking the left hand away was a key,” Roach said. “We took Oscar’s left hand away from him and once we did that, the fight was over.”

Pacquiao called De La Hoya his idol and said he was honored to have had the opportunity to face him. But he didn’t spare his idol any pain, working his plan like a hired gun.

“It was nothing personal,” Pacquiao said. “I just came to do my job.”

He was far more impressive against De La Hoya than Mayweather, who retired in June as the widely acknowledged best fighter in the world. Pacquiao declined to say whether he’d

be willing to fight Mayweather, saying it was up to Arum to decide.

Arum said he wouldn’t discuss a potential opponent for Pacquiao until after the holidays, but it’s clear he’s sitting on a gold mine. With De La Hoya expected to wander into retirement, Pacquiao will take his mantle as the game’s biggest draw.

Fights against Mayweather, if he comes out of retirement, and Ricky Hatton are going to be massive events that would likely guarantee each men eight-figure paydays.

Arum wanted none of that talk, preferring to revel in one of the most satisfying victories of his nearly 50-year promotional career.

“Next to the night when George Foreman won the heavyweight championship of the world by knocking out Michael Moorer, this is it,” Arum said. “These are my two most memorable fights as a promoter.”

This was the boxing rite of passage that has become all too familiar over the years. It happened to Joe Louis against Rocky Marciano, to Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes and to Julio Cesar Chavez against De La Hoya.

A younger, faster and better man snuffed out the star of one of the game’s all-time greats.

“Hats off to Manny Pacquiao, because he was incredible,” said Mosley, who has two wins over De La Hoya. “Remember what Oscar has done, though. He made this sport a great sport, and created this so that all of you people could come to see a great event.”

But De La Hoya didn’t have that one last great fight left and was forced to accept a beating as the final act of a Hall of Fame career.

“It happens to everyone,” said legendary trainer Angelo Dundee, who assisted De La Hoya in camp.

Dundee had trained Ali, Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard, among many of the game’s greats, and had seen this scene before.

“I thought Oscar had what it takes to beat Pacquiao, but this happens when you let the guys fight the fight,” Dundee said. “You just have to give the other guy credit.”

Yes you do.

Oscar De La Hoya is the past.

It’s Pacquiao’s time now.

AGAINST PACMAN : Hoya favors Marquez style

September 14, 2008

Tickets for megabuck December fight down to 2,000

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: September 14, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—Oscar De La Hoya hopes to defuse Manny Pacquiao’s fiery style the way Juan Manuel Marquez did in their two previous encounters which the Filipino ring icon barely survived.In an interview with the, De La Hoya said he has been studying tapes of Pacquiao’s two fights against Marquez to make sure that he’s prepared “when he comes in with his explosive style and his hard punches.”

And what better way to prepare him against the smaller but feistier Pacquiao for their Dec. 6 fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, than hiring the renowned Mexican trainer of Marquez—Nacho Beristain.

Beristain, considered as Mexico’s top trainer, guided Marquez from three knockdowns in the first round to a split draw with Pacquiao in their first fight in 2004.

Last March, Pacquiao had to settle for a split decision win over Marquez for the WBC super featherweight crown in a fight many thought could have gone either way.

“Obviously I have to be smart. I have to use my jab. I have to be rangy in that ring, just the way Juan Manuel Marquez did against him both of their fights,” De La Hoya was quoted as saying. “He (Marquez) was using that long jab. He was using those long right hands.

“I just have to make sure that I have my hands up when Pacquiao comes in with that explosive style and his hard punches.”

De La Hoya said in a recent interview in Las Vegas that he is inclined to tap Beristain after his long-time strategist Floyd Mayweather Sr., opted to train Ricky Hatton, who is fighting Pauli Malignaggi for the IBF junior welterweight title late November.

“I’m going to want someone who’s experienced. I want someone who has the knowledge of Pacquiao and Pacquiao’s style,” De La Hoya told

Pacquiao, who is scheduled to leave for the US tonight, visited his relatives in Cebu after attending mass in a chapel he built from his earnings.

Meanwhile, Top Rank president Bob Arum said there will only be a few tickets left for the public to buy as his company, De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions and the MGM Mirage had placed bulk orders for the fight.

Arum didn’t say how many tickets Pacquiao ordered but the Filipino ring icon normally gives away hundreds of tickets to his friends during his fights.

“I am not a ticket broker or seller. But the demand is wild. This fight is going through the roof. I was a bit skeptical at first due to the size difference but this is what the public wants,” said De La Hoya’s top close adviser Don Chargin in an interview with

Earlier reports said TR, GBP and MGM are placing 5,000 tickets each, reducing the number of tickets available to the public to no more than 2,000. The MGM Grand seats 17,000 people.

Tickets are priced $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500 and $250, but Arum admitted that no ticket will be available at face value anymore.

Brokers and online ticket sellers have started peddling tickets that are expected to sell as much as $42,000 for the precious floor-seats.

During the box-office hit De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight last year, gate receipts reportedly reached $20 million.

Arum, in a recent radio interview, said there’s a big possibility the fight could top that record mark.