Pacquiao dominated his bigger and more famous opponent from the opening bell Saturday night, giving De La Hoya a beating before De La Hoya declined to come out of his corner after the eighth round.
The fight was so lopsided that it could mean the end for De La Hoya, boxing’s richest and most marketable star.
It was only the second time in his 16-year professional career that he was stopped in a fight, and it came at the hands of a fighter who fought at 129 pounds months earlier. At 35, he seemed not only well beyond his prime but unable to offer any answer to the punches that Pacquiao was landing almost at will.
De La Hoya’s left eye was closed shut as he sat on his stool after the eighth round and the ring doctor, referee and his cornermen discussed his condition. De La Hoya had no complaints when his corner decided he had enough, walking to the center of the ring to congratulate Pacquiao.
“You’re still my idol,” Pacquiao told him.
“No, you’re my idol,” De La Hoya said.Two of the three ringside judges scored all eight rounds for Pacquiao, while a third gave De La Hoya only the first round.