De La Hoya Has No Chance

de la hoya27.04.07 - By Wray Edwards: For the last six months or so, there have been literally thousands of ads for a home equity loan company featuring, IMO, a most obnoxious dork who hawks the financial product. It has gotten so that the instant this ubiquitous ad appears we immediately change the channel. Sometimes even that doesn’t work as they simulcast on many stations at exactly the same time. Oscar and Floyd’s promoters have evidently gone to school on this practice as the ultra-hype of their May meeting permeates every nook and cranny of TV media.

It’s gotten so thick that they practically have to put on a “show” rather than a boxing match to entertain what will probably be a very large number of viewers who have quite limited experience with the sport. The hype has reached such a fever pitch that the sport of Boxing is now vulnerable to being judged by many potential fans reacting to what they see during this one event having paid a pretty hefty PPV fee. What could go wrong? Well, at the top of my list is the title above: “De La Hoya Has No Chance”…why?...let me count the ways.

First, DLH is only .500 in his last four fights (if you give him a generous charity pass v Sturm) while FMJ is undefeated against some pretty good challenges. DLH was a bobble-head doll v Sturm who was faster and more accurate, but not as fast as Floyd. I’ll bet that Oscar would have rather seen Felix pounding his glove on the canvass after that B-Hop liver shot than being there himself. You do the math on that one. Additionally, Oscar’s last “victory” was against a guy who leads with his chin and is proud of it…Ricardo Mayorga.

The younger Mayweather, 30, who is moving up to what will probably be the heaviest of his fighting career, is defending a perfect record against the likes of Corrales, Castillo, Baldomir and Chavez. The match boils down to speed versus hulk. That FMJ is not a KO puncher per se, does not mean that can’t chop you up, and Oscar chops up rather nicely witness his red, raw kisser post Sturm. That he went the distance in his last two outings against two who have been KO’d by others just means that he is more a boxer than a KO puncher in the elite range.

Now you Hoya-Huggers mustn’t get all bent out of shape over all of this. After all, he’s approaching the upper age limit for most around that weight (Mosley excepted), has more money than…well…God, and can look to a grand career in promotions.

The more senior De La Hoya, 34, will probably play “El Toro” to Floyd’s “Matador”. With the slower footwork, he will probably attempt to bore in as Mayweather turns to sting him with picadore punches. Floyd would do well to move clockwise away from Oscar’s left which will add leverage to his rights behind left jabs. Certainly a mere one inch reach advantage will not significantly increase Oscar’s chances. Against Sturm it was obvious that Oscar was gassed pretty early in the fight having to lug around 160 or more pounds. He probably won’t be far from that by fight time.

De La Hoya’s only chance will be to KO Floyd, which is just another way to say, “a puncher’s chance” which is usually faint praise. There is no way he will out work Floyd. His history with boxers who can deliver fast, accurate combinations like Mosley (twice) and Sturm, is probably a good indicator of Oscar’s greatest vulnerability.

It will be in both boxer’s interests to stretch the contest a bit to give the fans, old and new, a bit of their money’s worth. After all the hype (literally thousands of spots) they better. Speaking of money…both of these guys definitely play to the bucks. The tours of Floyd’s house were interesting…especially the Imelda Marcos style shoe collections in his closets. Oscar is rather more, low key (one might even say more mature) when it comes to self-promotion through gaudy displays of material possessions.

They do, however, have some things in common besides being the pretty boys of Boxing. They both manage themselves and they have both been trained by Mayweather guys. Though Freddie is now in Oscar’s corner, DLH must certainly still have his notes from Floyd senior. Roger Mayweather, who has been working with another quick-handed fighter (Sultan Ibragimov) certainly emphasizes speed and mobility…which Floyd most assuredly has in excess over Oscar.

Roger told me in New York that he likes to “work on everything”, but that “speed and mobility” are always imperative when a smaller guy goes up against a naturally larger opponent (Ibragimov-Briggs, Mayweather-De La Hoya).

As this contest will probably be the most advertised boxing event in the history of the sport, they better pony up a good show. ESB will be ringside for Freitas-Diaz and Ibragimov-Briggs. See you at the fights.

Article posted on 27.04.2007

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