Oscar De La Hoya has revealed that he believes Manny Pacquiao will defeat Floyd Mayweather when the pair meet on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
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De La Hoya has pointed towards Pacquiao’s aggressive style which he believes will make the difference next Saturday night, although he has been left unimpressed by the appointment of Kenny Bayless to referee the bout.
Given that the ‘Golden Boy’ has been in the ring with both men previously, he is undoubtedly in a good place to give his opinion on who should be favoured, but a lot has changed since his two meetings with the pair as both have arguably regressed.
While questions are being asked of Pacquiao’s power and whether or not he is still capable of hurting his opponents to claim a stoppage, Mayweather’s legs have been brought into question as many believe he doesn’t have the same speed as he used to.
Those questions will be answered in just over a week’s time, but De La Hoya believes that the Filipino will have the edge and inflict a first loss on his long-time rival.
“I feel Pacquiao has to win the first two or three rounds, because it’ll make Mayweather have to come from behind and he’ll have to start to pressure Pacquiao, to be the aggressor, and Mayweather does not like to be the aggressor,” he told the media, according to Sky Sports.
“So if Pacquiao can start well the first two rounds – winning those rounds – the fight can go in Pacquiao’s direction.”
De La Hoya’s analysis echoes the thoughts of many others predicting the fight, in that Pacquiao must start quickly and take the early rounds otherwise Mayweather will settle into a rhythm and adjust to his rival.
In addition, it is widely acknowledged that Pac-Man will be the fighter to bring the excitement to this bout, with Mayweather expected to continue to box smart and defensively as he has always done which has taken him to 47-0 in his career.
However, De La Hoya added that Pacquiao starts a point down already with Bayless in charge, as he shared the same concern as others that the referee has a history of protecting Mayweather.