The end for Oscar De La Hoya Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) came as he sat in the corner after the eighth round, his left eye swollen shut and his face bruised by punches Manny Pacquiao seemed able to land almost at will.
The decision to call it a night was easy. The decision to call it a career may be a lot tougher.
“My heart still wants to fight, that’s for sure,” De La Hoya said. “But when your physical doesn’t respond, what can you do? I have to be smart and make sure I think about my future plans.”
Pacquiao gave De La Hoya a lot to think about by beating and battering him around the ring for eight rounds Saturday night before De La Hoya declined to answer the bell for the ninth round. The domination was shocking enough, but the fact that it came at the hands of a fighter who just nine months earlier had been fighting at 129 pounds had to be even more troubling for De La Hoya and his legions of fans.