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22.jpgNEW YORK (October 1) - It’s the type of epic match-up that fight fans dream about, but this is not a dream, this fight is real. “The Dream Match” is on! Two of boxing’s biggest attractions, Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion “The Golden Boy” OSCAR DE LA HOYA and current Ring Magazine No. 1-ranked pound for pound champion MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO will collide in a welterweight showdown that pits boxing’s most popular boxer against the sport’s recognized pound-for-pound king. Scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the bout will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
“Manny Pacquiao is considered the best fighter in boxing today and I always want to fight the best,” said De La Hoya. “I am glad we were able to make this fight happen because while Pacquiao is at the pinnacle of his success and has defeated all of the top fighters he has faced, I am going to show the world that it stops with me. December 6 can’t get here soon enough.”
“This is my greatest challenge,” said Pacquiao. “When I take that walk to the ring to fight Oscar, I will carry all the people of The Philippines – the entire country – on my shoulders. I promise I will fight with all of my heart and that I will give everything I have. Like my trainer Freddie Roach says, I have what it takes to win the biggest fight of my life.”

Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., presented by Tequila Cazadores and sponsored by Ceverza Tecate, DeWalt Tools,Full Throttle Energy Drink, and Southwest Airlines, the fight sold out in hours, making it the second largest grossing gate in boxing history. This exciting and intriguing 12-round, 147-pound welterweight battle pits two of the most recognizable and popular talents in the sport in what will surely be the grand finale of the 2008 boxing calendar year.
Richard Schaefer, chief executive officer, Golden Boy Promotions said, “This fight will have the whole world talking and will be a fantastic night for boxing. Oscar’s career has always been defined by taking on the biggest challenges and fighting the best names in boxing. This fight against a great champion like Manny Pacquiao is just another testament to his readiness to face the strongest competition and continue his legacy as one of the greatest fighters boxing has ever seen.”
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, chairman of the board, Top Rank added, “This fight is what all sports fans are looking forward to, a contest between two champions who come to fight and who are the most popular names in boxing today. Manny Pacquiao is taking on a major task in facing the legendary Oscar de la Hoya, but we at Top Rank are very confident Manny will handle himself extremely well.”
Richard Sturm, president of sports and entertainment, MGM MIRAGE said, “MGM MIRAGE has hosted the greatest names in sports and entertainment and this event will certainly continue that tradition. We look forward to presenting one of the most exciting promotions in the history of boxing and there is no question this fight will have a major impact on fans worldwide.”
Mark Taffet, HBO Pay-Per-View said, “De La Hoya-Pacquiao is a dream match-up which will capture the imagination of sports fans everywhere. It’s the pay-per-view king vs. the pound-for-pound king and an event in which both fighters’ popularity clearly transcends the sport.”
A boxer who has revolutionized the sport, De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) captured the imagination of fans around the world ever since he struck gold for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Since then, “The Golden Boy’s” Hall of Fame-bound career has seen him win 10 world championships in every division from 130 to 160 pounds while facing the elite of the sport including Floyd Mayweather, Julio Cesar Chavez, Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, Arturo Gatti, Genaro Hernandez, Jesse James Leija and Hector Camacho Sr. Along the way, De La Hoya has become boxing’s undisputed superstar, in the ring and at the box office, where his fights are mega events that transcend the sports pages. This was never more evident than on May 5, 2007 when his hard fought split decision loss to Mayweather set records for most pay-per-view buys and most gross revenue attained for one fight in the history of boxing. The 35-year old native of East Los Angeles is still a fighter known for his hand speed, left hook and warrior’s heart. All of these attributes were evident in May of 2008 when he scored a near shutout victory over former world champion Steve Forbes. The win showed that De La Hoya is as relevant to the sport now as he has ever been. On December 6, he hopes to prove this fact beyond the shadow of a doubt by turning back the challenge of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, is the consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Dubbed “Republica Enemy No. 1,” Pacquiao, 29, has blitzed through the best fighters of Mexican descent since 2003 including Erik Morales (KO 3, TKO 10), Marco Antonio Barrera (TKO 11, W 12), Juan Manuel Marquez (W 12, D 12), David Diaz (TKO 9), Oscar Larios (W 12), Emanuel Lucero (TKO 3), Hector Velazquez (TKO 6) and Jorge Solis (KO 8). Pacquiao was named 2006 Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America andThe Ring magazine for his two spectacular knockout victories of Mexican icon and three-division champion Morales, as well as his dominating 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion Larios. The hard-hitting southpaw has won 23 of his last 24 bouts including 2008 world title victories over WBC super featherweight champion Marquez and WBC lightweight champion Diaz. Those victories also made “Pacman” a five-division world champion. Though not a title fight, a welterweight victory over De La Hoya in the same year he held the his previous titles would be equivalent to Henry Armstrong’s historic year of 1938 when he simultaneously held the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight titles.
The De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $54.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.


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