By Erik Schaffer - Time for another installment of The Handicappers Thread as we take a look at the mega fight this Saturday night December 6 between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao from MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. As always I will discuss the betting line, analyze the fight and give a prediction.
Right now Oscar De La Hoya is the betting favorite at 2-1 to beat Manny Pacquiao. This line has dropped from -230 in the last week and should go under 2-1 by fight time. This is due to Pacquiao being the younger and faster of the 2 fighters.. But is that going to mean something in this fight? If it is then I would think the odds would of opened closer then -230. Why did De La Hoya open just over a 2-1 favorite? Why is Pacquiao a 2-1 dog when he is on top of his game right now? When do you ever see the best pound for pound fighter in the world as a 2-1 dog for a fight? This is Vegas telling you this should be an easy fight even for an older De La Hoya and I see no problem with De La Hoya being a 2-1 favorite in this fight and I actually think its a steal. I hope to explain in my analysis of the fight.
Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter and maybe even a better fighter then De La Hoya at this time. The problem is that wont help Pacquiao in this fight. Yes that means I'm getting right to the major size advantages that De La Hoya will have Saturday night. It will be 4 inches in height and 6 inches in reach. Also waiting for a fighter who is jumping 2 weight classes usually helps.Its not only the size advantages that will help Oscar. Its the fighting styles. This fight is all wrong for Pacquiao. When he is fighting Morales, Barrera and Marquez its fine to jump in with no gloves up and do what he does best because they are fighters who cant really hurt him that much. Pacquiao does have a great chin. The problem is on Saturday night that chin is moving up 2 weight classes to face a fighter who lost his last mega fight and doesn't want to lose this one.I see Pacquiao coming out guns blazing like always and that will play right into the bigger and stronger fighters hands. I know this is an older De La Hoya, but I cant see Pacquiao being able to brawl with De La Hoya and I'm not expecting Oscar to be gun shy Saturday night. If Oscar sits back and just tries to win with the jab then the crowd and judges will turn on him for fighting scared against a smaller fighter. I fully expect a fight to break out Saturday night and I expect to see De La Hoya win it easily. I think Pacquiao is the perfect fighter to make Oscar look good. The reason is that even if De La Hoya only wants to use the jab and control the fight from the outside, Pacquiao wont let him. Manny will try to brawl his way through that jab and that will lead to his downfall Saturday night. I'm not suggesting Pacquiao has no boxing skills. I'm just stating that his skills wont help him in this fight. I see this as an easy fight for De La Hoya. I think its just a big mainstream money fight for both fighters and it wont be competitive.
My prediction is an easy De La Hoya victory. Since he should be under 2-1 on fight night players should have no problem taking him to just get the win. If any of you are looking for a final result play then I suggest De La Hoya by KO, which should be a slight underdog bet.
The last Handicappers Thread was a prediction loss with Paulie Malignaggi losing to Ricky Hatton. Our record is 2-1.