LAS VEGAS - For Manny Pacquiao, there was a call from his president and the overwhelming gratitude of a country that finally has something to celebrate.
For Oscar De La Hoya, there was a trip to the hospital and the grim reality that all fighters must eventually face.
One fighter is on the verge of becoming boxing's next superstar. The other will have to be content with the fact that his bank account is fat even if his reputation is permanently soiled.
Pacquiao, of the Philippines, likely will go on to even greater things, with big fights and bigger money still to come. Assuming he has any brain cells left after the beating he took Saturday night, De La Hoya will go on to a life as a businessman and forget drop thoughts of returning to the ring.
"His close friends and family should tell him it's over," said Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach. "I don't want him to end up with some disease like Parkinson's. He's very clear-minded right now, but that could change."
Roach trained De La Hoya for his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., where he saw for the first time that De La Hoya couldn't throw punches when he spotted an opening. In the opposite corner this time, he watched his fighter give De La Hoya such a beating that he quit after eight rounds of getting punched in the face.
More significantly, Roach has Parkinson's himself.
No one knows for sure, but it's likely he got it from being punched in the head too many times. He, too, was told to quit, but fought five more times and took a beating in four of those fights.
"I hope Oscar has enough sense to call it a day," he said. "I know he doesn't want to go out like this but if he doesn't go out, he might go out really, really hurt."
De La Hoya was noncommittal in the ring right after the fight, saying he wanted to continue fighting but is worried that the reflexes may not be there anymore. They certainly weren't against Pacquiao, who was able to score at will mainly because De La Hoya couldn't pull the trigger on his punches as he came inside.
Pacquiao was so dominant that he won every round on two ringside scorecards and all but the first round on the third. The seventh round was so lopsided that Pacquiao was credited with landing 45 punches to De La Hoya's head while getting back only four in return.
In the end, De La Hoya simply declined to come out for the ninth round. If his career is indeed over, it ended ignominiously, with him on a ring stool, unwilling to take a beating any longer.
He has been the most popular and marketable fighter around, able to draw fans to pay for $1,500 ringside seats and $54.95 pay-per-views. But his toughest act should he continue to fight would be selling himself again after being thoroughly dominated by a smaller fighter who was fighting at 129 pounds just 9 months ago. *