Freddie says De La Hoya’s too old, overstaying

It’s not aired on local or cable TV but it’s a must-watch. I’m referring to HBO’s documentary called “24/7,” which features Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. I first heard about this bio-short film from Chris Aldeguer. The youngest son of ALA, Chris is now in the U.S. preparing for two mega-events: he’ll watch the Dec. 6 blockbuster at the MGM Grand and, just hours later, at 6 a.m. the following day (Dec. 7), he’ll run the Las Vegas Marathon—the first-ever 42-K by Chris after training for over 12 months.

Back to HBO’s 24/7 film, what a story! It contrasts DLH’s training at the immaculate confines of his brand-new gym at Big Bear, California with MP sweating amidst the noise and commotion of the Wild Card Gym.

FREDDIE. As fellow Filipinos, we’ll all cheer for Pacman next Sunday. But majority of the experts, if you scan through Philboxing.com, predict an Oscar win. He’s too big, too strong, possessing too-good-a-left-hook, they say. Plus, these pundits add, Pacquiao has never, in his years of boxing, fought beyond 135 lbs. And now he’s fighting at 147?! He’s crazy, they yell.

But Freddie Roach is optimistic. Quoting Marc Abrams of 15rounds.com, he said: “The career cycle of any athlete is finite. Good habits and good genes can postpone the erosion of an athlete’s talents, but eventually the inevitable catches up with even the best of them. The cruelest examples… are in boxing. Boxing is a young man’s game and it’s dangerous to overstay your welcome. You don’t have to look any further than these four examples: Rocky Marciano ending Joe Louis’ career, Larry Holmes ending Muhammad Ali’s career, Terry Norris ending Sugar Ray Leonard’s career and Oscar De La Hoya ending Julio Cesar Chavez’s career. Sure they may have fought on after their losses, but their careers as elite fighters were over. Next week, the shoe is going to be on the other foot and Oscar is going to find out first-hand how Julio Cesar Chavez felt the night he lost to Oscar the first time, June 7, 1996.”

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