For Oscar de la Hoya, anything less than knocking out pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao would be a disaster.
In his latest worldwide teleconference, de la Hoya did not hide how personal the “Dream Match” is going to be for him.
“I’ll be extremely disappointed if this does not end in a knockout,’’ de la Hoya said in a report posted on boxing website TheSweetScience.com. “It would be a total disaster.’’
The former six-division champion, who has only won one of his five biggest fights he had, seems hell bent on seeking redemption and “honor”.
De la Hoya said December 6 will be “payback time” for Pacquiao for reportedly failing to honor their deal when he signed up the Filipino to fight under his promotional outfit Golden Boy Promotions.
"That night we signed a deal and he turned his back on me. He's going to have to pay come December 6… It's very personal for me,” he said.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, refused to bad-mouth his opponent.
Instead, he marveled on the importance of the Dream Match for his colorful boxing career.
"This is the biggest fight in my boxing career," said the 29-year-old Pacquiao during Monday's open work out.
Although the 5 foot 6.5 Pacquiao concedes a four-inch height advantage, the Filipino feels his speed will be decisive.
"I feel very comfortable at that weight," he said.
"This is the hardest training I have done in my boxing career and we have focused on speed because that will be the key."
His coach Freddie Roach maintained that the 35-year-old de la Hoya would not last the pace.
"You look at the history of boxing when the older guy fights the younger guy, like when (Muhammad) Ali fought (Larry) Holmes or when Joe Louis got beaten by Rocky Marciano," Roach told Reuters.
"It's the younger man's time. I am 100 percent confident. I don't think Oscar will be able to keep up and I think we will knock him out in the late rounds," he added.
Pacquiao claimed the WBC lightweight championship in June by knocking out American David Diaz, improving his record to 47-3-2 (36 KOs).
De la Hoya, in the twilight of his career and arguably the biggest name in boxing, has a 39-5 record with 30 knockouts. With a report from Reuters