Friday, June 27, 2008
Manny Pacquiao vs David Diaz
By Randy De La O
David Diaz and Manny Pacquiao are fighting tomorrow night, Saturday June 28,2008, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in what appears to be, on the surface, an uphill battle for Diaz. Looking at Diaz' record, he hasn't come close to fighting any one near the quality or status of Pacquiao, who has been a force of nature. His reign reminds me of Julio Cesar Chavez in the eighties and early nineties, combined with a young, fiery Roberto Duran. Pacquiao has literally fought the best fighters in his weight class. He's ducked no one. The names include Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Solis to name a few. The fight will be shown on HBO PPV
Diaz on the other hand has fought in relative obscurity but he did gain some attention when he beat Erik Morales in August of 2007, winning a unanimous decision 12 round decision. He didn't beat a prime Morales but he did win.
Is Pacquiao ripe for the picking, and will Diaz be ready and able to step up? Pacquiao has been through some wars and at some point something has to give. It depends as much on what Pacquiao doesn't do, as it does on what Diaz can do. Sometimes it's the fighter that is overlooked and not expected to win, as was the case with Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas. Added to that, Pacquiao will be moving up in weight to in attempting to take Diaz' WBC Lightweight title. Will he retain his power? His speed and stamina? Is he looking past Diaz to a possible super fight with Ricky Hatton? Can he take the punch of a natural lightweight like Diaz? Diaz, though not a big knockout puncher does have 17 KO's in the book. Will Pacquiao be moving up one weight class too many as Alexis Arguello did when he attempted to wrest the WBA Junior Welterweight title from Aaron Pryor in 1982? None of those questions can be answered until tomorrow night. The way I see it, Diaz has a helluva shot.
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