Boxing icons Manny Pacquiao (left) and Oscar De La Hoya during their New York press conference in 2008.  (Filipino Reporter file photo)

MANILA — Oscar De La Hoya may be siding with Floyd Mayweather if he ever fights Manny Pacquiao, but for him, it is the Filipino icon who commands more respect.

In a report by Rick Reeno, De La Hoya picked the undefeated Mayweather to defeat Pacquiao if the two superstars clash in what is expected to be the biggest fight in the sport’s history.

De La Hoya fought Mayweather and Pacquiao, coming up short in both fights.

He thinks Mayweather has the edge this time over the fighting congressman.

“It’s one of those fights where anybody could win. Who would I give the edge to if it was today, I would have to go with Floyd,” he said, pointing out that it is Pacquiao who has shown more signs of declining skills.

“Three years ago, hands down it would have been Pacquiao. But now I would go with Floyd. If he fights Pacquiao, then Floyd will erase all doubts that anybody might have,” De La Hoya continued.

“Yes [Pacquiao has aged more in the ring], absolutely. Why? Because he’s been in wars,” he added.

De La Hoya — now president of Golden Boy Promotions which he founded — and Mayweather set the record for a boxing match with the most number of Pay-Per-View (PPV) buys, with their 2007 bout selling 2.4 million units.

The De La Hoya-Mayweather showdown also generated PPV revenues of $136 million — a record expected to be shattered by a duel between the undefeated American and Pacquiao.

But the former multi-division champion known as “The Golden Boy” doubts the super fight will ever happen.

And even if that eventually turns out to be the case, Pacquiao will still be the more respected fighter than Mayweather.

“But, who has more respect which is going to live on forever — that’s Manny Pacquiao. There is no doubt about that. With Manny Pacquiao, they are going to say ‘wow he fought all these guys, fought tough battles and gave us [all these fights].’ Now it’s a matter of what matters most,” De La Hoya ended.

(Philippine Star)

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