A Tale of Two Continents: Pacquiao and De La Hoya

In a tale of two continents two prizefighters of varying degrees fought in foreign lands: one a dimming superstar in the Australian continent and the other a brilliant prospect in the southern portion of South America.

One was sent home bloodied and bowed, the other victorious and departing with pockets full of knowledge.

Fighting overseas can be dangerous but fruitful.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was bludgeoned and battered by Australia’s Jeff Horn in a fight that many felt was unfairly scored. But the man who won world titles in a record eight weight divisions knew the dangers of fighting in another man’s country.

“I respect the decision of the judges,” said Pacquiao, 38, with little emotion.

It was a serious gamble for the Filipino superstar who’s spent many hours at gambling tables and knew ahead of time the risky encounter he faced. Many years ago I visited a casino near East L.A. and saw Pacman at a card table in the early morning hours. This was during training many years ago. He’s a man that loves to gamble.

Nothing wrong with that.

Pacman loves to play the cards and took a major chance against Brisbane’s hometown favorite Horn. The only sure road to a victory was by knockout and Pacman hasn’t accomplished that since 2009. But he tried.

Meanwhile, in Villa Mercedes, Argentina, super bantamweight prospect Diego De La Hoya flew over 20 hours to reach his destination a day before weighing in. The jet lag alone was enough to anchor his legs but at 22-years-old the spring remained in those young wheels and he defeated Alan Luques Castillo by unanimous decision.

De La Hoya

When your last name is De La Hoya people either want to applaud you or destroy you. In this case it was both as Golden Boy Promotion’s owner Oscar De La Hoya was honored by the Argentine township and given a star in the town plaza.

More than 3,000 people packed the arena and mobbed Oscar De La Hoya as he entered the venue. His visit attracted fans from all over the province.

But young Diego De La Hoya, the WBC Youth super bantamweight titleholder, still had to fight and defend against a hometown opponent in Luques. Despite heavy legs due to jet leg and a resilient opponent and Argentine judges, the youngster De La Hoya from Mexicali, Mexico needed to overwhelmingly prove he was the better fighter. He did.

Joel De La Hoya, the brother of Oscar and cousin of Diego, manages the speedy super bantamweight’s career. It’s a carefully plotted journey that he’s planned and guided to a number five ranking.

“I do my research and due diligence on selecting an opponent for Diego,” said Joel De La Hoya who was in his brother Oscar’s corner throughout his Hall of Fame pro career. “I’ve seen enough in boxing to know just how dangerous a fight like this can be. But I was certain that Diego could emerge the winner.”

Luques proved to be as tough as advertised but Diego De La Hoya possesses extremely fast hands and agility. He’s as tough to hit as a mosquito in the dark. You can hear him but it’s hard to hit him. After 10 rounds two judges gave two rounds and another three to the Argentine, but the rest were awarded to De La Hoya who returns home with an undefeated record and a smile.

A month earlier De La Hoya traveled to Tucson, Arizona where he faced young veteran Erik Ruiz, a product of the Oxnard boxing turf wars. It was also seen as a gamble by some because of the resiliency Ruiz has shown many times against top competition. Many see Ruiz as a gatekeeper but De La Hoya won every round according to the three judges that night in May.

“I don’t like giving my fighters soft touches,” said Joel De La Hoya. “I want them learning and thinking.”

With Diego De La Hoya there is no rush for a world title fight. It’s a weight division loaded with talent.

“He has a lot riding as a hot prospect,” said Joel De La Hoya. “I can’t wait until he gets his man strength. He’s still very young.”

Diego De La Hoya continues to be tutored under the guidance of Desert boxing guru Joel Diaz and brothers. It remains one of the most loaded boxing gyms in terms of talent in Southern California.

Traveling to other countries and encountering different boxing styles is a methodology used by Joel De La Hoya and team.

“You don’t want to fight the same style and learn nothing,” said Joel De La Hoya. “You want to face all kinds of fighters in all kinds of situations. That’s a real fighter.”

Homecoming

In the past Pacquiao was able to travel to Japan and Thailand and return victorious two of three times. But those wins came via knockout. The muscle snapping threads that Pacman once possessed that enabled him to render opponents unconscious no longer exist. Plus, prizefighting overseas is for the young.

Perhaps his recent loss is a signal for the great Pacquiao to hang up the gloves.

He still has the love of his countrymen and fans around the world.

For Diego De La Hoya the journey continues. The next great test awaits him, maybe later this year, maybe next year. He fought in a foreign land and returned victorious. That was a feat in itself.

Last weekend saw two starkly different results. That’s what can happen in another country.

A Tale of Two Continents: Pacquiao and De La Hoya

In a tale of two continents two prizefighters of varying degrees fought in foreign lands: one a dimming superstar in the Australian continent and the other a brilliant prospect in the southern portion of South America.

One was sent home bloodied and bowed, the other victorious and departing with pockets full of knowledge.

Fighting overseas can be dangerous but fruitful.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was bludgeoned and battered by Australia’s Jeff Horn in a fight that many felt was unfairly scored. But the man who won world titles in a record eight weight divisions knew the dangers of fighting in another man’s country.

“I respect the decision of the judges,” said Pacquiao, 38, with little emotion.

It was a serious gamble for the Filipino superstar who’s spent many hours at gambling tables and knew ahead of time the risky encounter he faced. Many years ago I visited a casino near East L.A. and saw Pacman at a card table in the early morning hours. This was during training many years ago. He’s a man that loves to gamble.

Nothing wrong with that.

Pacman loves to play the cards and took a major chance against Brisbane’s hometown favorite Horn. The only sure road to a victory was by knockout and Pacman hasn’t accomplished that since 2009. But he tried.

Meanwhile, in Villa Mercedes, Argentina, super bantamweight prospect Diego De La Hoya flew over 20 hours to reach his destination a day before weighing in. The jet lag along was enough to anchor his legs but at 22-years-old the spring remained in those young wheels and he defeated Alan Luques Castillo by unanimous decision.

De La Hoya

When your last name is De La Hoya people either want to applaud you or destroy you. In this case it was both as Golden Boy Promotion’s owner Oscar De La Hoya was honored by the Argentine township and given a star in the town plaza.

More than 3,000 people packed the arena and mobbed Oscar De La Hoya as he entered the venue. His visit attracted fans from all over the province.

But young Diego De La Hoya, the WBC Youth super bantamweight titleholder, still had to fight and defend against a hometown opponent in Luques. Despite heavy legs due to jet leg and a resilient opponent and Argentine judges, the youngster De La Hoya from Mexicali, Mexico needed to overwhelmingly prove he was the better fighter. He did.

Joel De La Hoya, the brother of Oscar and cousin of Diego, manages the speedy super bantamweight’s career. It’s a carefully plotted journey that he’s planned and guided to a number five ranking.

“I do my research and due diligence on selecting an opponent for Diego,” said Joel De La Hoya who was in his brother Oscar’s corner throughout his Hall of Fame pro career. “I’ve seen enough in boxing to know just how dangerous a fight like this can be. But I was certain that Diego could emerge the winner.”

Luques proved to be as tough as advertised but Diego De La Hoya possesses extremely fast hands and agility. He’s as tough to hit as a mosquito in the dark. You can hear him but it’s hard to hit him. After 10 rounds two judges gave two rounds and another three to the Argentine, but the rest were awarded to De La Hoya who returns home with an undefeated record and a smile.

A month earlier De La Hoya traveled to Tucson, Arizona where he faced young veteran Erik Ruiz, a product of the Oxnard boxing turf wars. It was also seen as a gamble by some because of the resiliency Ruiz has shown many times against top competition. Many see Ruiz as a gatekeeper but De La Hoya won every round according to the three judges that night in May.

“I don’t like giving my fighters soft touches,” said Joel De La Hoya. “I want them learning and thinking.”

With Diego De La Hoya there is no rush for a world title fight. It’s a weight division loaded with talent.

“He has a lot riding as a hot prospect,” said Joel De La Hoya. “I can’t wait until he gets his man strength. He’s still very young.”

Diego De La Hoya continues to be tutored under the guidance of Desert boxing guru Joel Diaz and brothers. It remains one of the most loaded boxing gyms in terms of talent in Southern California.

Traveling to other countries and encountering different boxing styles is a methodology used by Joel De La Hoya and team.

“You don’t want to fight the same style and learn nothing,” said Joel De La Hoya. “You want to face all kinds of fighters in all kinds of situations. That’s a real fighter.”

Homecoming

In the past Pacquiao was able to travel to Japan and Thailand and return victorious two of three times. But those wins came via knockout. The muscle snapping threads that Pacman once possessed that enabled him to render opponents unconscious no longer exist. Plus, prizefighting overseas is for the young.

Perhaps his recent loss is a signal for the great Pacquiao to hang up the gloves.

He still has the love of his countrymen and fans around the world.

For Diego De La Hoya the journey continues. The next great test awaits him, maybe later this year, maybe next year. He fought in a foreign land and returned victorious. That was a feat in itself.

Last weekend saw two starkly different results. That’s what can happen in another country.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

prizefighters

WATCH: Crawford vs. Indongo: One to Look Forward To