Manny Pacquiao shocked the boxing world, and myself, by thoroughly destroying Oscar De La Hoya, whereas Hasim Rahman continued his perpetual "unlucky" streak when he stepped into the ring with Wladamir Klitschko.
Manny Pacquiao TKO8 Oscar De La Hoya (Welterweight) [PPV - HBO]
--[For HD's boxing preview, click here]
Afterword: Having a chance to watch the fight, I was very surprised to see how badly Pacquiao deconstructed De La Hoya. The latter was sincerely trying to put something together and fire off at him, but Pacquiao's speed, constant position shifting, and bobbing-&-weaving made it very difficult for him to accomplish anything meaningful. Instead of initiating a dominating performance, De La Hoya was being pummeled at will, especially in the rounds leading to the stoppage, and was peppered constantly by the speedy left jab. Pacquiao also had little trouble in breaking through his defense and landing some brutally hard combos on him.
It was a shock to see De La Hoya manhandled the way he was. and as pleasing as it was to watch his grandiose scheme blow up in his face, it was a bit sad and disheartening seeing him get completely embarrassed and whipped so badly, enough to have me wincing at some of the poundings he was taking towards the end. De La Hoya's face, besides the markings and the swollen left eye, had echoed those very sentiments and had the looks of a frustrated and beaten man, someone that just wanted to crawl away, one who would sheepishly agree to his corner throwing in the towel after the eight. As for the size difference that was seemingly insurmountable, it was just that and had no impact on the fight. Weight-wise, Pacquiao even came in 1 1/2 pounds heavier than De La Hoya.
Manny Pacquiao tore apart the odds and could possibly enjoy a future fight with Ricky Hatton (seriously doubt Floyd Mayweather, Jr., unless the money big and right for him) back at the lower weights (where a still-vengeful Juan Manuel Marquez is waiting), whereas De La Hoya should be looking forward to enjoying his thriving promotion and publication (The Ring) business, rather than another trip to the boxing ring.
Amir Khan TKO2 Oisin Fagan (Lightweight)
--Hot prospect Khan rebounding from his shocking first round KO loss in September with a second round TKO victory.
Martin Rogan UD(10) Audley Harrison (Heavyweight)
--Ballyhooed prospect bust, and Olympic gold medalist, Harrison underwhelmed the upstart Rogan in their showdown.
[C] IBF, WBO, IBO Heavyweight Champion Wladamir Klitchko TKO7 Hasim Rahman [HBO]
--W. Klitchko continued his run as champion as he took care of a game but overmatched Hasim Rahman. Nothing of too much note, though Dr. Steelhammer looked the best he has physically, and technically, since teaming with seasoned trainer Emmanuel Steward, sporting more well-defined muscles and ever-improving hand work. Rahman, on the other hand, was delivered yet another loss in a big fight situation (save for his first bout against Lennox Lewis and his decision victory over Monte Barrett--both concerning the WBC belt), extending his long history of having such chances end either in (T)KOs, draws, and/or in bizarre fashion (see vs. Lennox Lewis in second bout, Kali Meehan, James Toney, John Ruiz, Evander Holyfield, and David Tua).
[C] WBO Light Welterweight Champion Kendall Holt SD Demetrius Hopkins
--This was originally billed as being the big "rubber match" in the odd saga between Holt and Ricardo Torres, but Torres got injured near the fight date, leading to Demetrius Hopkins, nephew of HOF-to-be Bernard Hopkins and top prospect, stepping in as a replacement. Too bad for him, though, as his undefeated record got blemished by the veteran fighter via split decision. Surely, the original Torres bout will be rescheduled for next year.
[C] (Vacent WBO NABO, IBA Heavyweight Championships) James Toney SD Fres Oquendo (Heavyweight)
Andre Ward TKO3 Esteban Camou (Super Middleweight)
Cornelius Bundrage TKO5 Zaurbek Baysangurov (Light Middleweight)
Eddie Chambers UD(8) Cisse Salif (Heavyweight)
Demarcus Corley KO1 Donnell Logan (Light Welterweight)
Riddick Bowe UD(8) Gene Pukall (Heavyweight)
--Yep, that Riddick Bowe, still trying to fight well past his prime and three years since his last bout...
EDIT [02.17.09]: Fixed date on the second heading of fights, which I never corrected when I copied & pasted...waaay later... -_-;;