THE great Oscar De La Hoya said Manny Pacquiao has to do one main thing if he is to inflict a first career loss on rival Floyd Mayweather Jr.
‘Cut off the ring.’
“Pacquiao is going to force the fight. It’s a matter of, if Pacquiao can cut the ring off and connect them,” said the man dubbed the ‘Golden Boy’ in an interview with Andrew L. John of The Desert Sun. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful fight.”
To the uninitiated, the term ‘cut off the ring’ is a maneuver usually used by fighters against fleet-footed opponents who dance around the ring.
Mayweather, a clever and smart fighter, is one fighter who uses the entire ring to his advantage that helped him compile a perfect record of 47-0 (26 KOs) going to his May 2 welterweight title showdown against Pacquiao.
In contrast, Pacquiao is a known slugger who’s widely regarded as one of the hardest punching fighters in boxing history.
The contrasting styles between the two boxing superstars is what makes their 12-round bout an exciting one, according to De La Hoya.
“I feel that come May 2, it’s going to be such as great fight because of their styles,” said the 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold medalist.
Of course, De La Hoya is familiar with both Pacquiao and Mayweather.
The native of East LA suffered one of the worst beatings of his boxing career when he was forced by Pacquiao to retire in his stool during their celebrated 2008 welterweight bout, propelling the Filipino boxing icon to boxing superstardom.
A year earlier, De La Hoya also lost to Mayweather via split decision in a welterweight title clash that went down as one of the richest fights in boxing history.
De La Hoya and Mayweather were actually set for a rematch in 2008, but Mayweather suddenly announced his temporary retirement from boxing, paving the way for the Pacquiao-De La Hoya match.
De La Hoya didn’t categorically say who he is picking to win, although he thinks the 38-year-old Mayweather needs to ‘sustain the pressure for 12 whole rounds’ against the raging Pacquiao.
Although thrilled like millions of boxing fans about the highly-awaited fight finally becoming a reality, De La Hoya believes Mayweather was pressured into agreeing to fight the 'Pacman.'
“I believe that Mayweather was boxed in from the pressure coming from Les Moonves (CBS chief executive officer), the pressure coming from Bob Arum, the pressure coming from Pacquiao, and the pressure coming from Golden Boy,” De La Hoya said.
De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions earlier penciled a May 2 schedule for one of his prize fighters in Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez against a still unknown opponent.
But he decided to give up the promotions to make way for the Pacquiao-Mayweather title clash.