De La Hoya: I can’t lose
WITH just more than a week away from what could be the greatest fight of the year between two of the best boxers at present, the legendary “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya has formulized a strategy to defeat Filipino world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in their upcoming Dec. 6 super fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
De La Hoya believes that his new trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain will be the key to his victory in his fight with Pacquiao.
“Neutralizing his speed. I don’t think it’s about being the bully in the ring. That’s where Nacho comes in. How do I beat him, Nacho? … Strategy is very, very important. I can have anyone train me physically to get in shape and go in there and do what I do, and I could probably beat him. But to make the fight easier, to make the fight so that I’m never in danger, that’s where Nacho comes into the play. The strategy, little things. That’s what he brings,” the 35-year-old former Olympian said in an interview with the Ring Magazine.
De La Hoya—who boasted that he has very good conditioning and can last the whole 12 rounds—feels he can stop the Filipino boxing icon in the early rounds or the later rounds, whichever comes.
“Maybe in the first few rounds, maybe that’ll be my moment to go in there and finish him off. Or maybe it’s the later rounds the way (Fernando) Vargas faded. So, you know, we’ll have to wait and see,” said the six-division world champion.
However, De La Hoya’s main concern is Pacquiao’s speed and unpredictability.
“Being unpredictable with his punches. He’s a wild child. He throws punches from all angles, from different angles. And he’s fast. And he’s lighter. We have to find a way to neutralize him,” said De La Hoya.
Even with Pacquiao’s bulking up 17 pounds from the last time he saw action to reach their catch weight battle of 147-pounds, De La Hoya thinks that the 29-year-old Gen. Santos native will be as fast as ever.
“I think Manny Pacquiao is still going to be quick at 147. He’s really fast at lightweight, like fast. Even if he gains 10, 15 pounds he’s going to be fast. A slow Manny Pacquiao is still a fast opponent,” said De La Hoya.
When asked by The Ring Magazine if he will hang his gloves for good if he loses to Pacquiao, De La Hoya replied, “It’s not even crossing my mind. There is no way I can lose this fight; it’s out of the question. Losing this fight … I mean (would be) devastating. That’s one reason I chose this fight, because it’s so motivating. You train harder because you don’t want to lose. I can’t lose.” (EKA)