By CARLO ANOLIN
Boxing great-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya related to the recent defeat of Manny Pacquiao and younger Cuban opponent Yordenis Ugas, citing that age played a role in their respective showing in the ring.
“I thought that Manny Pacquiao looked good. It’s just that Ugas didn’t make him look good,” said De La Hoya. “Being 44, I think he was, Pacquiao, he actually looked good. He went 12 hard rounds with a younger guy.
“That’s the problem with us fighters. We go for the younger guy. It happened between me and Manny Pacquiao when he kicked my ass and because he was the younger guy,” added De La Hoya, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
Pacquiao and Ugas went for an all-out brawl in 12 rounds to dispute the super WBA welterweight belt, which was previously owned by the Filipino fighting senator.
Pacquiao’s signature footwork, however, was missing in action as the eight-division world boxing champion remained flat-footed on a southpaw stance to defend himself against the counterpunching orthodox style of Ugas.
Pacquiao admitted that he was unable to move around like he used to do due to cramps on both legs, which might be the result of overtraining as cited by himself and other boxing analysts.
De La Hoya pointed out that Ugas, much like Pacquiao on his heydays, was the “younger guy with the better energy.”
It would be recalled that Pacquiao scored a technical knockout win over De La Hoya after the latter decided not to proceed heading into the ninth round of their welterweight superfight in December 2008.
“It’s not necessarily that when I was at my peak and I fought Manny, he was the better guy. He was the younger guy with better energy, y’know what I’m saying?” said the 43-year-old American great. “So he fought Ugas and he looked like an old Manny Pacquiao but if he fights somebody his age or whatever, then he’s gonna look great.”
Despite the loss, De La Hoya lauded Pacquiao, who is actually 42 years old, for giving a good showing and still considered him as one of the legends.
“I mean, Pacquiao’s Pacquiao. He’s a legend, he’s the best. I think he’ll probably go down as the greatest fighter we’ve ever seen so it was a privilege watching his fights and it’s probably an end of an era. We enjoyed a great ride and I wish him all the best,” said the six-division world boxing champion.