Franchise Thoughts: De La Hoya-Pacquiao One Step Closer to Reality?

Unthinkable as it would have seemed just six months ago, the once laughable idea of Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao facing off in the ring is looking more and more like it might happen. ESPN's Dan Rafael is reporting that Golden Boy and Top Rank began formally negotiating for a Dec. 6 showdown.

Normally I'd feel that having smooth negotiations between De La Hoya's people and Bob Arum would be one of the signs of the Apocalypse, but when there's as much money to be made as this fight would generate, just about anyone can work together. Indeed, both Arum and Richard Schaefer are quoted in the article saying that money is the main issue, as matters like gloves and weight class really aren't that big a deal.

Think about that last statement for a moment. Manny's last fight was his first ever at 135 pounds. Oscar has fought as high as 160 - four weight classes above lightweight. Even if he comes down to 147, which is what Arum and company seem to be pushing for, it's a huge jump for Pacquiao.

Much as I'd love to see Pacman wipe the omnipresent smile off the Golden Boy's face (Disclaimer: All staff members of BoxingWatchers.com are part Filipino!), it may be too much even for him. At some point, every boxer who keeps stepping up in weight finds one where they've gone too high.

And what about De La Hoya? While he and his camp can always point to the fact that most experts say Pacquiao is the current pound-for-pound king, there's no denying that if he wins the fight, he beat a much smaller man. As Kevin Iole points out, except for money, what's there to gain from that?

I always thought that boxing's many weight classes impose too many restrictions on fights that could be made. But if Pavlik-Hopkins and De La Hoya-Pacquiao are the kind of fights that are made when thinking outside of the weight class box, maybe they serve a good purpose after all.

Around the Internets: It was kind of surprising when Ricky Hatton and trainer Billy Graham announced they were parting ways. I missed this last week, but apparently Hatton may be turning to Floyd Mayweather Sr.... Don't forget that CNBC will have extensive coverage of boxing during the Summer Olympics. Cliff Rold has a good breakdown of the U.S. boxing team on MaxBoxing.

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