Credit must go to Freddy Roach for designing the perfect strategy. I watched Roach in the intro saying that he knew how to beat De La Hoya for having trained him, which is pretty typical bluster. But actually, I think that was exactly right. Pacquiao built his entire offense over straight left hand leads, a punch which I've never seen him throw as often as he did last night. Roach knew that De La Hoya, with his famously ineffective right hand, would have no answer for that, and it won Pacquiao the fight. About a round and a half after I made this realization, the guys from HBO discussed it at length, which unfortunately makes this point a lot less original.
More credit must go to Manny Pacquiao for executing that strategy perfectly. I've never seen someone develop so impressively so late in his career. As late as 2005, when he was already 26 and a three-division champ, he was a one dimensional jab-cross bomber. Since that trilogy with Morales, Pacquiao has varied his offensive arsenal and learned how to spin guys and use angles much like Terrible himself used to. I can't think of a suitable boxing analogy for that kind of change, so I'm looking elsewhere: Pacquiao's mid-career growth is comparable to John Grisham's next three books winning the Pulitzer.
My only complaint: the fight was way too long. It should have been stopped during the seventh, when De La Hoya stopped throwing punches for a minute, and was outlanded in power shots 45 to four. He was moving like a guy who wanted to be out of there, regardless of what he said after the round. A puncher's chance shouldn't be enough to warrant anyone taking such a beating. The fact that the doctor, the referee, and De La Hoya's trainer were discussing whether or not to stop the fight was silly; they obviously all had misgivings about it continuing, so any one of them should have ended it.