DECEMBER 8, 2008
(STAR) WBC lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao throws a left to the head of Oscar De La Hoya during the first round of their welterweight bout in Las Vegas. AP Oscar "Golden Boy" De La Hoya stopped his "Dream Match" with Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao at the end of the eighth round of their scheduled 12-round fight.

Pacquiao scored a one-sided TKO over De La Hoya.

A crowd, estimated at 16,000 or less, filled the venue at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao won his last eight fights, including two knockout victories over Erik Morales, and one each against fierce rivals Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez. De La Hoya has only fought four times over the last four years, losing twice.

During the weigh-in (Pacquiao at an unbelievable 142 pounds since Freddie Roach had wanted him to weigh in at 145, and De la Hoya at 145 pounds), they faced each other after tipping the scales, but no pushing and shoving.

The odds to this fight had gone up and down over the last five days in Vegas. For Pacquiao they’d gone from plus 155 to plus 140, then plus 135 to plus 125, and plus 165 Friday morning to plus 160 the evening before the fight.

It meant that a $100 bet on Pacquiao (47-3-2 with 35 KOs) won $160. The latest odds on De La Hoya (39-5-0 with 30 KOs) showed that a bet of $190 only won $100.

Both fighters went for the knockout.

Pacquiao's coach Roach had predicted a ninth-round stoppage by Pacquiao, and De La Hoya countered by saying he’d knock Pacquiao out inside five rounds.

Pacquiao is the first Filipino and Asian boxer to win four world titles in different weight divisions.

De La Hoya has won ten world titles in six different weight classes.

Pacquiao is considered the greatest boxer in the planet today – pound for pound. With Abac Cordero

Pinoys cheer Manny's brilliant win By Nelson Beltran Updated December 08, 2008 12:00 AM

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Residents of San Juan City celebrate Manny Pacquiao’s one-sided victory over Oscar dela Hoya at the San Juan Arena in San Juan. Mike Amoroso]

Move over Floyd Mayweather. You too Roy Jones.

To Filipino fight fans and probably around the world, Manny Pacquiao established himself as the best fighter of his generation after he added 10-time world champion Oscar dela Hoya to his list of victims.

The Filipinos lauded Pacquiao’s shocking one-sided disposal of Dela Hoya in their dream bout that turned into a nightmare for the former Olympic gold medalist at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila).

Dela Hoya himself became an instant Pacquiao fan, calling the Filipino fighter “idol” in the TV interview after the 8-round mismatch.

Pacquiao has tarnished Dela Hoya’s reputation, giving Golden Boy a severe beating that could well spell the end for boxing’s richest and most marketable star.

With the embarrassing defeat, Dela Hoya may no longer be considered among the worthiest for the honor as the best fighter in his time.

Neither Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz, who all suffered at the hands of the Filipino ring warrior.

“This bout made Pacquiao the best fighter of his generation,” said North Cotabato Vice Gov. Manny Piñol, a boxing expert, in a radio interview.

Ordinary fight fans and people in the streets were also convinced of the magnitude of Pacquiao’s latest ring exploit.

“He’s not just the best pound-for-pound boxer today. He’s the best fighter in the 21st century. No other can claim that,” said Joseph Lopez, an employee and among those who filled the Silver City main hall to watch the fight.

“It’s unbelievable, Manny Pacquiao climbing two divisions up, fighting a legend and still coming out the winner. What’s more he’s to prove? Nothing,” said Manolo Fortes, a businessman from Taytay, Rizal.

“With his conquest of Dela Hoya, he just made himself the best Filipino fighter of all time and the best fighter in the world in his time,” said Danny Gilloco, another businessman from Quezon City.

A big number of fans, however, hope that Pacquiao will stay just the fighter that he is, giving the country glory with his ring feats rather than enter the world of politics.

Incidentally, the Silver City crowd and from all the other venues for that matter, booed when Pacquiao acknowledged the presence of some politicians in the fight venue during the post-fight interview.

“I hope he doesn’t dare plunge into the political arena again,” said Maria Fe Ganzon, a Makati executive, of Pacquiao, beaten in a congressional derby in the last elections.

Many also expressed dissatisfaction on the performance put up by Dela Hoya.

“Of course, I rooted for our fighter but I was not happy with what I saw. Dela Hoya didn’t put up a fight,” said Pedro de Guia, a storeowner from Caloocan.

Some others think Pacquiao suited finely at 147 pounds.

“He should stay there. That’s the perfect weight division for him. He looked very comfortable in that division,” said Boy Flores, a carpenter.

Alfredo Flores said the man Pacquiao should avoid is Marquez. He said: “Marquez is Pacquiao’s real nemesis. If there’s one who really gave Pacquiao a tough time, it’s Marquez.”

Hatton says he's the next big ticket seller By Joaquin Henson Updated December 08, 2008 12:00 AM

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Ricky Hatton (left) meets Marco Antonio Barrera (right)].

LAS VEGAS – IBO lightwelterweight champion Ricky Hatton of Manchester is lining up for an appointment with Manny Pacquiao.

Shortly after Pacquiao demolished Oscar de la Hoya here Saturday night (yesterday morning, Manila), Hatton said now that the Golden Boy is out of the way, he’s the next big ticket seller in boxing.

“Manny did an outstanding job against Oscar,” said Hatton. “It’s obvious I’m next in line. I think it’ll be a great fight. Manny has a great following among the Filipino people and I have a great following with the English people. If we get it on, imagine the people of both our countries going crazy.”

Hatton said fighting Pacquiao would be “an honor,” considering the Filipino icon is the world’s No. 1 fighter, pound for pound. But he mentioned a possible problem in the negotiations is the weight limit.

Hatton, 30, fights in the 140-pound division. Pacquiao, 29, tipped the scales at 142 for De la Hoya and showed up in the ring weighing 147 1/2, a fraction over the welterweight limit.

Pacquiao’s lawyer Franklin (Jeng) Gacal confirmed that he has spoken with Hatton’s lawyer about the possibility of a showdown, perhaps at the Wembley Stadium in London where over 100,000 fans could jam the open-air football field.

Gacal said from what he knows, Hatton is under a two-fight contract with Golden Boy. Pacquiao, on the other hand, has a promotional contract with Top Rank until 2010, stipulating at least two fights a year.

Hatton was a TV commentator on the British broadcast panel that covered the Pacquiao-De la Hoya fight. He was introduced as a Golden Boy fighter during the weigh-in last Friday.

Pacquiao’s trainer Buboy Fernandez, who joined the fighter and Freddie Roach on stage for the weigh-in rites, said he overheard Hatton wishing the Filipino good luck.

“Hatton came up to Manny and told him, good luck in your fight (against De la Hoya) and see you in England,” said Fernandez, inferring the Hitman gave notice of his availability.

Hatton has won two in a row since losing to Floyd Mayweather on a 10th round stoppage last year. Last month, he halted Paul Malignaggi to raise his record to 45-1, with 32 KOs.

“Hatton is perfect for Manny,” said Fernandez. “He’ll come straight at Manny. He’ll be an easy target. It will be a war because you’ll find both fighters engaging right at the first bell.”

Hatton is an inch taller than Pacquiao but has a two-inch reach disadvantage.

Before the Pacquiao-De la Hoya fight, Hatton was seen conversing with Marco Antonio Barrera who said he wants nothing to do with the Filipino anymore after suffering two losses to the Pacman.

“I’ll continue to fight,” said Barrera. “But Manny’s too big for me now. I can’t fight at his weight category. The same with Erik Morales who’s now training for a comeback at junior welterweight. “

Barrera weighed 137 1/2 for his most recent fight, a fourth round knockout over Sammy Ventura in China last month.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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