De La Hoya vs. Mayweather: Money, Money, Money, Money.... Mooooooney

27.04.07 - By Jeremy “NR” Ebert: In two weeks, the most anticipated fight of 2007—and maybe since Barrera-Morales 3—finally rolls around the bend and the entire boxing world will be paying close attention. Oscar De La Hoya is THE biggest star in boxing today, as evidenced by the nearly one million PPV buys for his shellacking of Ricardo "BitchMouth" Mayorga... but he hasn't been considered the BEST fighter in boxing since his *dubious quote* defeat *dubious unquote* to Felix Trinidad..

As of late, the undisputed pound for pound king has been his opponent for May 5th, "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. The undefeated Mayweather, who is a former Olympian and multiple weight title holder like Oscar, is easily the most fantastic boxing talent to bless the squared circle since Sugar Ray Leonard, such is his athletic grasp of the sweet science. Nonetheless, Floyd lacks one notable mark on his career that Oscar has achieved in spades—mass acceptance.

Nobody disputes Mayweather's right to the p4p crown, or his historically impressive array of in-ring talents, but as the owner of an almost psychotically unbalanced public persona (aside from the well asserted fact that he's got more ego than Jenna Jameson has vaginal stretch marks)—he cries, he whines, he bitches, he moans, he probably slaps nappy headed ho's (it rhymed, heh)—Mayweather suffers the shadows of more renowned and popular fighters. None moreso than Oscar De La Hoya.

Why this fight came about is simple—money.

Oscar has lots of it, but every extra penny helps (especially when you plan on owning the sport one day, as it could widely be assumed Oscar plans to do)... and Mayweather, well, he knows that to a degree (how highly, is up to your own personal discretion), it's the size of your check that measures the size of your importance/greatness/legacy. With Oscar as his in-ring fistic dance partner, Mayweather is about to get P-A-I-D. Big time.

At this point, the paycheck serves as the most important reason for both fighters signing the dotted line, because neither of them has to worry any about their boxing legacy. Oscar, by now, has ceased to be a working man's boxer. His time is mostly spent being a business stud, as this fight will be only his second in about two and a half years. Yet, there is one figurative reason for taking the fight.

Beating Mayweather, would mean beating a more talented, younger, quicker fighter who's the most gifted fighter of his generation—an accomplishment that usually doesn't happen when you're talking about a sport where age is the most common devil that haunts a fighter. It doesn't happen very often, especially when said younger fighter is in his prime. Even moreso, considering that De La Hoya's worst nightmare are quicker, talented fighters who can make him look stiff—as Mayweather most assuredly can do.

If Mayweather wins, well... he'll make a career sized paycheck, but not much else. After all, Oscar IS 34 years old. Oscar HAS basically been a suit for years, not a boxer. And... despite his best attempts, Mayweather simply does not possess the personality to take Oscar's spot at the top of the popularity ladder. Sure, winning would mean taking a belt in his 5th weight division (WBC Jr. Middleweight), but that doesn't mean much, since alphabet titles are a dime a dozen and both men already have many of those dime's sitting on a shelf at their respective homes already. It's of some legacy importance, but mostly, this is Mayweather's best chance to stand in the brightest lights and display the enormity of his talent.

Since ego is his trademark, this should suit Floyd just fine. It will also suit Oscar just fine, to possibly be the guy who shut the unpopular jacka- um, champion Mayweather's mouth (not likely, but we can hope) for once.

Despite the true reasoning behind this fight coming to fruition—whatever it may be—on May 5th, boxing fans everywhere will either be tuned in or waiting by their laptops, gripping their hands in anticipation of the outcome. For a sport where nights like this are rare indeed, De La Hoya-Mayweather is a dream come true.

To read more articles by “NR” Ebert, please visit The Mushroom Mag:

Article posted on 28.04.2007

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