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COUNTDOWN TO THE SHOWDOWN: De La Hoya breaks down Pacquiao-Mayweather

When it comes to picking between Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2) and Floyd Mayweather (47-0) in their showdown fight May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, who better to ask than someone who has fought — and lost — to both men.

Oscar De La Hoya, who went from Garfield High School in East Los Angeles to fame as an Olympic Gold Medalist and a hall of fame professional fighter, is one of five fighters who have fought both men.

His bout with Mayweather in May 2007 still stands as the best-selling pay-per-view fight in history with 2.48 million buys.

Mayweather won that fight in a split decision.

Nineteen months later, De La Hoya and Pacquiao met in Las Vegas in what would prove to be De La Hoya’s last fight. Pacquiao won on a technical knockout when De La Hoya didn’t answer the bell for the ninth round. Pacquiao dominated the entire fight.

In the Los Angeles Times April 28, De La Hoya assessed the much-anticipated fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather.

He said both fighters have a strong will to win, stronger than any other fighters De La Hoya ever faced.

De La Hoya said Pacquiao wants to prove he’s the better man physically, while Mayweather would rather outsmart his opponent.

He said Pacquiao will throw more punches than Mayweather and that to win, Pacquiao will have to surprise Mayweather in the first three rounds, take an early lead and then make Mayweather fight him the rest of the way instead of making Pacquiao chase Mayweather.

De La Hoya said he was leaning toward Pacquiao winning the fight, but only if he could keep after Mayweather the entire fight.

The smart money, though, De La Hoya told The Times, was picking Mayweather.

“His picture’s on the side of the MGM,” De La Hoya said. “The close rounds are going to go to Mayweather.”

Mayweather is the betting favorite, according to the Las Vegas oddsmakers.