Arum recalls attempts to ‘save’ Manny Pacquiao from De La Hoya beating

Oscar De La Hoya Manny Pacquiao

Ed Mulholland

In a recent interview with World Boxing News, promoter Bob Arum outlined his memories from the remarkable career of Manny Pacquiao.

Recently retiring from boxing, Arum had signed Pacquiao to his Top Rank outfit for the most extended portion of his tenure.

Winning several world titles together, Arum had a plethora of superb wins to choose from when asked by WBN’s Dan Rafael to recall his best.

During the chat, Arum pointed out the worry stemming from his own country about a possible 2008 fight with Oscar De La Hoya.

Campaigning as high as a middleweight in 2004, De La Hoya agreed to drop down in weight to face Pacquiao at 145 pounds.

Even then, political figureheads in the Philippines wanted the event scrapped as they feared for their champion.

“The De La Hoya fight because the repercussions of taking that fight,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News. “Remember, they passed a resolution in the Philippines congress that they shouldn’t let him leave the country because Manny Pacquiao was going to get led to slaughter.

“I had never, ever seen an outcry so much against a particular fight. And then what happened? The outcry should have been from De La Hoya.”

Pacquiao battered the “Golden Boy” for eight rounds in a stunning performance, eventually halting De La Hoya on his stool.

It’s widely remembered as one of Pacquiao’s most dominant victories. Congress needn’t have worried so much about the outcome.

Asked to recount another highlight, Arum added another where Pacquiao didn’t have the same ammunition.

“That fight [De La Hoya] and the [Miguel] Cotto fight were two of the fights that stick in my mind.

“Cotto was the naturally bigger guy. He was a very, very good fighter then and afterward. But Manny took him apart.

“That and the De La Hoya fight are his two greatest performances.”

Bob Arum
Mikey Williams


On their amicable split in 2017, the Hall of Famer reiterated his belief that Pacquiao should have stepped away after the controversial Jeff Horn loss.

“We always remained friends,” Arum said. “We went our separate ways. After the Horn fight, I really didn’t think he should fight anymore.

“I wasn’t as enthused about promoting him as I had been before.

“And then certainly, because of the reaction of the public, I wasn’t up to guaranteeing him the same money I had previously.”

Pacquiao would prove Arum wrong by continuing and becoming the oldest welterweight champion of all time when beating the previously undefeated Keith Thurman two years later.

After retiring officially last month, Senator Pacquiao will run for President in 2022.


Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.