USA TODAY's J. Michael Falgoust is ringside for Saturday night's long-awaited showdown between Oscar De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It's the sport's pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter (Pacquiao) vs. the No. 1 box office draw (De La Hoya). After both fighters weighed in under the 147-pound limit on Friday (Pacquiao was 142; De La Hoya 145), HBO's unofficial weight numbers tonight show Pacquiao at 148 1/2 pounds with De La Hoya at 147.
Ring walk-ins are underway now that the national anthems of the Philippines, Mexico and the United States are complete. Pacquiao has begun his entrance to Queen's "We Will Rock You" into an arena that appears to not have an empty seat. De La Hoya enters the ring at 11:08 p.m. ET. Both fighters are at ring center receiving instructions from referee Tony Weeks. It's 11:13, and the fight is underway.
Round 1: Both are reluctant to open up, with De La Hoya walking him down and trying to avoid Pacquiao's left. Lots of feinting, but Pacquiao lands a series of hard left hands that appear to catch De La Hoya's attention. Pacquaio stays off the ropes and avoids getting trapped. Pacquaio finishes strong. 10-9, Pacquiao.
Round 2: Pacquiao isn’t rushing in as he's accustomed to fighting. He’s touching De La Hoya with lead lefts. De La Hoya tries to go hard to the body with little success. Pacquiao is landing his left at will. Good body shot by Pacquiao. A clean left to De La Hoya’s head. A lead right uppercut, left hand for Pacquiao lands flush and is the best combination of the fight. Another lead left hand by Pacquiao. Oscar’s face is firehouse red. 10-9, Pacquiao.
Round 3: De La Hoya is still walking him down, but Pacquiao's accuracy is impressive. Good body shot by Pacquiao. De La Hoya is focusing on rights to the body but he can't land consecutive punches. They trade body shots. Pacquiao's right hook is hard. A lead left land for Pacquiao. 10-9, Pacquiao.
Round 4: Pacquiao is responding every time De La Hoya lands anything. A good right hook by Pacquiao. Then he buckles De La Hoya with a straight left to the body. Pacquiao is attacking De La Hoya's body now, and his left eye is swelling shut. A left hand hurts De La Hoya as his legs straighten up. He's being battered like never before in his career in this round. 10-9, Pacquiao.
Round 5: Pacquiao is landing at will. A reverse 1-2 combination stuns De La Hoya. Every punch Pacquiao throws he lands, and De La Hoya has yet to show the ability to make Pacquiao respect him. Now Pacquiao goes back to the body. Hooks, straight lefts, uppercuts, they all land. Oscar attacks on the ropes but doesn't land much. They trade, Pacquiao takes some hard shots and comes right back. This is a clinical beating being given to De La Hoya. 10-9, Pacquiao.
Round 6: Pacquiao is now walking down De La Hoya and cutting off the ring. He appears ready to try to finish De La Hoya. Oscar's left jab is absent, as is his signature left hook. Huge straight left from Pacquiao. De La Hoya needs a game-changer, otherwise this will be a blowout, if not a stoppage. Pacquiao's legs are still crisp. De La Hoya is flat-footed. Another hand lead left by Pacquiao. 10-9, Pacquiao.
Round 7: Not much clean being landed to start this round. Right hook by Pacquiao lands. Oscar can't trap him to get off his offense. He's too slow. Now Pacquiao gets De La Hoya on the ropes and he's pounding his body. He buckles De La Hoya on the ropes, great body shots. Oscar's left eye is almost closed. He has to hold onto the ropes to stop from going down from a wicked combination. Three consecutive lefts by Pacquiao land. Big left to the body. Oscar is ready to go now. Huge right hook from Pacquiao. Oscar is on the verge of being stopped. He's helpless. But he comes back with a left uppercut to Pacquiao's chin, and the Filipino takes it. This is a mismatch. 10-8, Pacquiao.
Round 8: Pacquiao is walking him down again. Gets him on the ropes and Oscar won't leave. His legs are gone.There's a huge knot under De La Hoya's left eye. Pacquiao is having his way again. This is target practice. Pacquiao gets him on the ropes again and tees off. De La Hoya flurries to the body and Pacquiao taunts him to say it didn't hurt. Now he comes back in the last 10 seconds and rakes De La Hoya to the body in the corner. De La Hoya's right foot comes off the canvas from the body shot and almost goes down again. 10-9 Pacquiao.
Pacquiao wins TKO 8: De La Hoya fails to answer the bell for the ninth round as he quits on his stool as referee Tony Weeks stops the bout. De La Hoya walks across the ring to congratulate Pacquiao.
Note: De La Hoya doesn't attend postfight news conference. He was sent to the hospital for observation.
The undercard was completed quickly, with Victor Ortiz pounding Jeffrey Resto to the canvas three times en route to a second-round TKO in a junior welterweight match (140). Also, Juan Manuel Lopez blew out Sergio Manuel Medina in the opening stanza, scoring three knockdowns in a junior featherweight bout (122); Richie Mepranum won a unanimous decision vs. Cesar Lopez in a six-round junior bantamweight match (115); Roberto Marroquin scored a first-round knockout of Isaac Hidalgo in a junior featherweight bout (122); Adrien Broner scored a first-round technical KO of Scott Furney in a lightweight match (135); Jose Angel Beranza scored a unanimous decision victory vs. Jesus Manuel Rojas in a junior featherweight match; and Daniel Jacobs stopped Victor Lares in two rounds in at supermiddleweight (168).