(AFP) – Aug 29, 2008
MANILA (AFP) — World champion Manny Pacquiao has agreed in principle on a blockbuster fight with US boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, a Filipino paper said Friday.
Negotiations for the bout, to be held in Las Vegas on December 6, have been in the works since shortly after Pacquiao wrested the World Boxing Council lightweight title from American David Diaz in June.
"I have agreed in principle to accept the December 6 fight against Oscar De La Hoya," southern Philippines-based Pacquiao said in a statement sent by his lawyer Franklin Gacal to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
"This will be the toughest test in my boxing career because of the reach and height advantage of my esteemed opponent, aside from his great boxing skills," he added.
"This fight, however, will not be a walk in the park for Oscar De La Hoya. The boxing fans will see the same fire and intensity they have witnessed in my previous fights."
Press reports said the fight, at the MGM Grand, will have a 100 million-dollar purse, one of the largest ever, at the catch weight of 147 pounds (66.7 kilograms).
Gacal said the final details of the contract still have to be discussed.
If the fighters fight at 147 pounds, it will be a 12-pound step-up to welterweight from Pacquiao's (47-3-2, with 35 knock-outs) last fight.
De La Hoya (39-5-0, with 30 KOs), who weighed in at 150lb in his last fight against Steve Forbes in May, has won six world titles in six different weight classes and has fought almost every fighter who has been termed the best pound-for-pound boxer.
At 5-foot-10 inches, De La Hoya, 35 stands four inches taller and has a six-inch reach advantage over 29-year-old Pacquiao, who has won four titles in four different categories.
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