by Nick Giongco
KUALA LUMPUR — Oscar De La Hoya has two visions of Sunday’s world welterweight title fight starring Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse.
The Golden Boy arrived Thursday morning and he told scribes at the 36th floor of the Hilton that he sees two scenarios.
“If Manny wins, he’s going to win by decision. If Lucas wins, he will win by knockout because Manny Pacquiao throws too many punches. Lucas hits hard and his right hand is lethal.”
“You have to look at Manny’s last fights. He hasn’t knocked out somebody since 2009. Lucas has a good chin,” said De La Hoya, whose Goldenboy Promotions (GBP) is conniving with Pacquiao’s MP Promotions in staging the show at the Axiata Arena.
While Pacquiao is no longer the same fighter who displayed dazzling hand speed, De La Hoya insists that the 39-year-old eight-division champion remains a dangerous foe.
But De La Hoya warns that Pacquiao’s mental state will be crucial.
“I don’t know how distracted he can be. (But) I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined and this is the fight of his life. Depends on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Are we going to see a distracted Pacquiao?”
De La Hoya knows how hard it is to deal with Pacquiao, who, despite his age and the mileage he has accumulated over the years, could still bang with the best.
“Pacquiao is very tricky. Has a unique style and when I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired and he never got tired. (But) I don’t know what Pacquiao I am going to see on Sunday but I know he will be dangerous if it goes 12 rounds,” he said during an interview.
During his prime, De La Hoya won ten world titles in six weight divisions, something he thought would never be matched until the southpaw from General Santos City came along.
De La Hoya mentioned Pacquiao as the best he had ever faced.
“His conditioning, skill, and power,” said De La Hoya, remembering how “Pacquiao made me get old.”
On Sunday, De La Hoya would like to see if the same thing would happen when Pacquiao locks horns with Matthysse.