1. FANS were shocked when Oscar De La Hoya announced he would be returning to 147lbs to take on Manny Pacquiao on December 6, 2008. The Filipino, who won his first world title at flyweight and had fought just once at 135, was thought to be far too small for his illustrious opponent. De La Hoya, although in decline, was still regarded as one of the sport’s premier fighters.
2. SOME insiders, like trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas, thought that dropping back to welterweight might put a strain on the “Golden Boy’s” 35-year-old body. Oscar – who had recently campaigned at light-middle and middle – had not fought at welterweight since thrashing Arturo Gatti in 2001.
3. PACQUIAO’S trainer Freddie Roach was exceptionally confident his growing charge would triumph. The esteemed coach had worked closely with De La Hoya, training him for his tight 2007 loss to Floyd Mayweather, and declared the veteran could no longer “pull the trigger.”