Manny Pacquiao vs Oscar DeLa Hoya

On December 6, 2008, Pacquiao moved up to the welterweight division in order to face the six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand, in a fight called "The Dream Match." Presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, the bout was scheduled as a twelve-round, non-title fight contested at the 147-pound welterweight limit. Although Pacquiao went into the fight widely recognized as the leading pound-for-pound boxer in the world, some boxing pundits had speculated that 147 pounds could be too far above his natural weight against the larger De La Hoya.[54] However, due to rehydration after the weigh in, De La Hoya came into the fight actually weighing less than Pacquiao and close to 20 pounds under his usual fighting weight. Pacquiao dominated the fight and, after eight rounds, De La Hoya's corner was forced to throw in the towel, awarding Pacquiao the win via technical knockout.[55]

Pacquiao was ahead on all three judges' scorecards before the stoppage, with two judges scoring the fight at 80--71 and one scoring it at 79--72.[56] Moreover, Pacquiao landed 224 out of 585 punches, whilst De La Hoya landed only 83 out of 402 punches.[56] After the bout, trainer Freddie Roach stated, "We knew we had him after the first round. He had no legs, he was hesitant and he was shot."[57] The fight would be De La Hoya's last, as he announced his retirement from boxing shortly after.[58]

Pacquiao received 15 to 30 million dollars (share of the pay-per-view), plus a guaranteed amount.[59] Tickets reportedly sold out just hours after they went on sale. Moreover, the total gate revenue for the fight was said to be nearly 17 million dollars, making it the second largest gate revenue in boxing history.[60]

On December 22, 2008, Pacquiao has been decorated with the Philippine Legion of Honor with the rank of "Officer" (Pinuno) in a ceremony marking the 73rd founding anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As an army reservist, he was given recognition for bringing pride and honor to the country through his remarkable achievements in the ring.["

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