I’ve rounded up the best links and a number of informative videos for the mega-fight between Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao Saturday night. Whether you’re a newbie or die hard boxing fan, this should just about top you off.
I’ll kick things off with links to The Queensberry Rules’ own recent coverage of the bout. I evaluate the stakes here; the keys to the fight, in two parts, here and here; the undercard here; my final preview, here (and via Bleacher Report here). My enterprising co-blogger Sean rounds up opinions from other boxers, such as the sharp Nate Campbell, here. And we’re not done yet — you should join us Saturday for a live blog of the pay-per-view and much post-fight analysis.
Now, some basic introductions. If you don’t know much about Manny Pacquiao, I wrote up this “get to know the world’s best boxer” piece in June. If you don’t know what Oscar De La Hoya has been up to lately, Sean and myself offered contrasting views of his performance in his most recent fight. If you want to access their career records, Boxrec.com is the most reliable source. And our pal SC at Bad Left Hook looked at the fight from the point of view of the two men.
But pictures are worth a thousand words. I’m not sure how HBO selected the below highlights as the “Greatest Hits” of Pacquiao and De La Hoya, but it’s not a bad glimpse of how the two men fight and it includes a smattering of important fights from each man’s career. At about five minutes each, it’s a speedy way to get a feel for each man if you’re out of the loop.
Speaking of HBO, they’ve really got some good content up on their site. I’d commend you to the 24/7 documentary series, which got a little more interesting as each episode progressed; the classic first meeting between Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez; and a very astute breakdown by boxing historian Bert Sugar. For some reason, Mario Lopez of “Saved by the Bell” figures into things.
As with every big fight, ESPN.com’s Fight Credential is vital. Its video section is especially helpful this time, with an ESPN E:60 feature on Pacquiao and SportsCenter interviews with both combatants. I also recommend the “What to look for” item and the blog, providing running color about the build-up to the event, and the breakdown of Pacquiao’s top fights (also selected strangely, but still informative).
Betting outfits have De La Hoya as the increasingly narrow favorite. The right bet may make plenty of money for the bettors, but there is some question about whether the fight will do as well on pay-per-view as originally predicted.
Some folk who have first-hand knowledge, expertise or an interest in the outcome also have made predictions. Ricky Hatton, the likely opponent of the winner, predicted a De La Hoya win. Bernard Hopkins, a business partner of De La Hoya and the only man to knock him out, predicts a De La Hoya knockout of Pacquiao. Sergio Mora, a potential De La Hoya opponent, goes with De La Hoya via slaughter. Teddy Atlas, who serially picks the underdog, is going with Pacquiao via De La Hoya choke. A whole slew of folk weigh in at FightHype.
Several pubs have provided roundups of writers. Over at FightHype, Sean and the gang provide their predictions, and went 11-4 in favor of De La Hoya. The Fight Game Blog rounds up writers from all over. ESPN writers make their prediction at the above Fight Credential link, and are all De La Hoya. I can’t link to Ring magazine’s list, but its own accounting of boxers, analysts etc. went with De La Hoya by a 18-2 margin.
Fancy publications that don’t always cover boxing have gotten in on the game. Vanity Fair’s series — one, two and three — has been beautifully written. The Wall Street Journal clearly is going to keep covering the big fights, so maybe they don’t belong on this list. Reader’s Digest — the Asian edition — sits down with Pacquiao.
And then there’s always the respective music careers of De La Hoya and Pacquiao. Click on the below videos at your own risk.