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Pacquiao's unexpected destruction of De la hoya - what it means to the sport and where the sport goes from here!

Boxing analysts and experts were right - this was a MISMATCH!

Manny Pacquiao TKO8 Oscar De la hoya ... When I went to Miami Mike's Sport Zone on a snowy Saturday night last week to watch the Pacquiao vs De la hoya PPV fight, which is where I go to watch all of the PPV boxing matches, what I witnessed was a virtuoso performance.

Manny Pacquiao was devastating as he beat Oscar De la hoya from pillar to post, with lightening fast counter punches and beautifully executed ring generalship. Getting inside to fire quick combinations and getting out of harms way, Pacquiao did not give De la hoya a chance to land his bigger but slower punches from long range. By the third round, De la hoya's left eye was already beginning to swell up - product of the Phillipino's punching accuracy. After eight one sided rounds, De la hoya's left eye was practically swollen shut. His trainer for this fight, Nacho Bernstain, had seen his fighter take more than enough punishment and decided to mercifully call a halt to the bout in between rounds. De la hoya, a beaten man, did not disagree or object to the decision of his trainer.

Skills pay the bills and speed kills. This match up was not going to be determined by who was the bigger man. Going into the fight, fans and experts may have had much more to be concerned about with De la hoya dropping nine pounds at the advanced age of 35 rather than Pacquiao going up a few pounds or so. Yes indeed, Pacquiao went up a few pounds. Big deal it turned out to be. Pacquiao, when he made his lightweight debut against David Diaz this past June, he weighed 142lbs on the night of the fight.

Now that the fight is all said and done, I think we can all come to the conclusion that coming down in weight was not necessarily going to benefit De la hoya. Weight decrease certainly was not a benefit to five division world champion Sugar Ray Leonard when he came all the way down to 154lbs, after fighting in super middleweight and light heavyweight title matches, to square off with Terry Norris in 1990. Roy Jones, Jr looked anything but spectacular, after thoroughly outclassing John Ruiz in a fight at the heavyweight limit, when he came back down to 175lbs to fight Antonio Tarver in 2003. When former two-time heavyweight titlist Chris Byrd came down from heavyweight to 175lbs to fight Shaun George earlier this year, he looked unsteady, wasn't throwing punches, and was inevitably embarrassed by George who stopped the former heavyweight titlist in nine one-sided rounds. History once again repeated itself for De la hoya against Pacquiao.

Pacquiao has also been improving skill wise ever since the loss to Morales in 2005. How the odds makers could have had De la hoya as such a substantial favorite is beyond me. Judging from this viewer's perspective, Pacquiao is the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world today. It's no mystery to me whatsoever that Juan Manuel Marquez fought two hotly contested and debatable twelve round fights with Pacquiao. Marquez is obviously is closer to his natural size, is a full time fighter, and he in his own right, is also currently one of the best Pound for pound fighters in the world.

So what's next for the Philippino sensation?

If Pacquiao wasn't such a mild mannered gentlemen and instead decided to challenge Floyd Mayweather by verbally abusing the former pound for pound king, much like Ricky Hatton did after the Castillo fight, we might see Mayweather come out of retirement to fight Pacquiao in a real Dream Match. Logic says Pacquiao will meet Hatton at 140lbs next year - I fully expect him to do something very similar to Hatton as he did to De la hoya.

Keep in mind that Pacquiao is a fighter who used to compete at 112lbs! He's now looking to challenge the best of the 140lb and 147lb weight division. Two scenarios could unfold in Mayweather's mind now. He's either way too prideful to see this so-called little man from the Philippines show him up with his achievements, that he wants to come back and meet Pacquiao in a big mega showdown to settle the score and satisfy his own pride and dignity. Either that, or he's satisfied with the millions of dollars he's earned and hanging out with his family and rap friends, is afraid to lose that 0 on his record, and does not want to risk getting hit more in one fight than he has the 39 others. Mayweather might just find it easier to say to himself "I don't have to mess with a guy who just devastated the man that I sweat out a split decision against last year."

Coming out of retirement could be risky business for Mayweather, but it's also lucrative business. We'll see what happens. I may or may not be subjecting myself to criticism from many of you about this, but as of right now, I would pick Pacquiao to defeat Mayweather. I call them like I see them, but I doubt we'll ever see that fight. Arum is most definitely going to try to make the Hatton fight, as I firmly believe that fight is doable. I think both Hatton and Pacquiao want that fight. It represents a big event in it's own right and it's also a big payday for both champions. Pacquiao will probably meet Hatton. Should Pacquiao emerge victorious against Hatton, it's inevitable that Arum matches Pacquiao with whoever comes out the winner of Margarito vs Mosley vs Cotto.

As for De la hoya, he's been an ambassador to the sport of boxing, carrying the sport on his shoulders for over fifteen years. Credit to De la hoya for doing so, but now is the time for him to retire and focus on the power house that Golden Boy promotions has already become.