Manny Pacquiao has remained a homerun hitting machine ever since he was called up to the big leagues. This weekend he faces a fastball hurler who throws strikes down the middle into Pac Man’s sweet spot and I’m looking for the Filipino to hit this one out of the park.
Here it is, Manny Pacquiao by KO, TKO, or DQ -220 is the bet I am banking on this Saturday when he hosts Oscar Larios in Manila.
In his 46-fight career Pacquiao has won 41 times and stopped his opponent in 33 of those wins, he has three losses and two draws to complete his resume. What jumps to mind when looking at his upcoming fight in his native land is the fact that, since 2002, he has posted an 8-1-1 record with all of 8 wins coming by way of knockout. Also, the one draw was his epic bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, a fight in which Manny dropped his foe three times in the first round. Pacquiao moved up to the big-time from the lighter weight divisions and has left a path of destruction on his way.
His lone loss during that 10-fight span was a great battle with the Mexican warrior Erik Morales that “El Terrible” took by identical 115-113 scores from all three judges. A win over Marco Antonio Barrera by TKO also highlights the massive damage that Pacquiao has caused between 126 and 130 pounds in recent years.
Pac Man avenged the Morales defeat by being the first person to stop Erik Morales when he won by TKO in the tenth round after dropping Morales earlier. The fact that Pacquiao won was not a shocker, but the manner in which he broke down Morales was awesome.
Now, roughly five months after his big win over Morales, Manny takes a shot at another in a long line of tough Mexican fighters as Oscar Larios makes the long trip to the Philippines.
Like Morales, Barrera and Marquez before him, Larios is a typical tough aggressive Mexican who comes forward mixing boxing and banging. He has a solid jab to set up well-thought-of combinations and delivers action-packed fights every time. Similar to the fighters mentioned herein, he delivers a searing right hand when he gets the distance and can chop an opponent down with left hooks to take one’s will away.
At 29 years of age though, it seems that Larios is becoming a visibly older fighter each night out. He has been in 61 fights, many of them all-action, and has been cut up, as he was in his last fight when Israel Vazquez busted him up bad. That bout was in December when Larios was defending his WBC Super Bantamweight title.
Super Bantamweight? Correct, and therein lies on of the keys I feel will open this fight up for Manny Pacquiao. Super Bantamweight is a 122-pound limit and the fight Saturday will be at Super Featherweight. That is a difference of 8 pounds and will be too much for “Chololo” Larios to overcome. Well, that, and the beast that is Manny Pacquiao.
Pac Man is a two-fisted banger who obliterates the notion of southpaws being fancy slicksters. He throws bombs from the opening bell and a 5-punch combination served with bad intentions is the norm, not the exception. Juan Manuel Marquez did everything he could to prepare for the speed and power of Pacquiao after witnessing Marco Antonio Barrera being stopped by the Filipino. All the prep in the world couldn’t prepare Marquez for the speed and power that Pac Man brought to the table. Marquez was down three times before the fight got into any pattern, and Marquez fought incredibly well to see the final bell and bring the scorecards even. For Larios the same problems exist, but they are compounded by the big jump in weight.
Without question Pacquiao will be the bigger, stronger fighter and the fact that he has faster hands and more power create a problem that Oscar Larios will not be able to solve. Larios brings a decent jab that can control the tempo of the fight only if he gets the chance to create the distance and follows up. That is a big “if” though as I believe Manny will be on top of Larios and swarm from all angles and at every opportunity. A jab isn’t enough to fend off the high intensity of Pac Man and when Larios delivers his heavy left hook with the jab, he will be discouraged from doing so when he tastes Pacquiao’s two-fisted counter flurry. Once Larios hold back on his shots Pacquiao will let loose, and an early night is the result with the hometown hero giving the people exactly what they came to see.
Diamond Sportsbook International (www.2betdsi.com) has Manny Pacquiao as an overwhelming -800 favorite while the take-back on Oscar Larios is +600. The total rounds are now Over 8.5 +150 and Under 8.5 -180.
I’m betting on the Pac Attack to bring down Oscar Larios before the end of the 8th round Saturday night in Manila. Officially it is Manny Pacquiao to win by KO, TKO, DQ -220.
(For entertainment purposes only.)