The Manny Pacquiao vs. De la Hoya fight is now set at the MGM Grand Arena on December 6, 2008. MGM Grand Garden Arena is located in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The arena has a seating capacity of 17,157 people and is located at 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South.
The MGM Grand Arena is also the site of 3 Manny Pacquiao bouts in topsy-turvy fashion. He made his debut fight in the U.S. at the MGM Grand Arena knocking out previously undefeated Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in the 6th round winning the IBF world super bantamweight in June 23, 2001. He knocked down Juan Manuel Marquez three times in the first round also at the MGM Grand Arena in May 8, 2004 but the fight ended up in a draw, one of the judges later admitted a scoring error of 10-7 in the 1st round instead of the mandatory 10-6 score for 3 knock downs. Manny Pacquiao was defeated by Erik Morales by unanimous decision in their 1st bout of their trilogy at the MGM Grand Arena, March 19, 2005. Manny Pacquiao won over Erik Morales in the 2nd and 3rd bout of their trilogy later on.
A win in 2001, a draw in 2004 and a loss in 2005 by Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Arena. I don't see any connection with those years, it seems random to me or I am not good in Chinese Feng Shui and I am not chinese. 2008 seems unlucky for the Filipino athletes at the just concluded Beijing Olympics for garnering zero medals. But 2008 seems to be the lucky year for Manny Pacquiao because he won the WBC Super Featherweight belt from Juan Manuel Marquez last March, 2008. He won the WBC Lightweight belt from David Diaz last June 2008. Hopefully Manny would be lucky on December 6, 2008, third time's (in a year) always the charm!
Snapshot of a Las Vegas Newspaper headlining the Pacquiao-De la Hoya done deal, taken by my brother Darwin.
Manny Pacquiao has sparred and fought with boxers taller than him, Nedal Hussein comes to mind...the dirty fighter Hussein who's a notch taller than De la Hoya, Manny won that fight despite being KOed by Hussein in the 4th round in October 2000, well the strength and power of the Pacman was just developing back then.
Win or lose Manny is the clear winner yes, but money isn't everything, mayaman ka nga pero ano maipagmamalaki mo sa mga anak at apo mo, 'anak dami kong milyones pero talo ako sa laban na yan' (You got millions of dollars but what can you tell your children and grandchildren ? that you earned millions because you loss ?) Of course, a victory over De la Hoya sweetenens not only Manny's legacy in the history of boxing but also as a personal pride to his children.
If there's someone who has the credibility and the authority to say that Pacquiao will win the fight against de la Hoya it's none other than Freddie Roach, who have trained De la Hoya and Pacquiao. I'll bet all my life savings that Manny will win this fight based not on Freddie Roach credibilty but based on Manny Pacquiao's flexibility as an indirect follower of Bruce Lee's principles. 'Be water, my friend...'