Mayweather/De La Hoya: The world waited for what?

07.05.07 - By Vanessa McConnell, photo by Naoki Fukuda: I’m glad the witch hunt is not just against me. I was not the only person locked out of this weekends “The World Awaits” fight between Oscar De La Hoya (38-5) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (38-0). Many other proud and very reputable media affiliates were not allowed to take pictures at the weigh-in Friday, nor were they allowed inside the fight at the MGM Grand on Saturday. Forced to watch the fight on closed circuit television, many of us did what we had to do to get the story..

floyd mayweather jr.The night didn’t turn out quite like everyone expected. Even Mayweather fans walked away disappointed. In all respect to the sport, Mayweather was over the top. “Mexican fans were waiting to welcome him with open arms. Come on, this is Cinco De Mayo. He disrespected us by coming out in the sombrero and Mexico colors. Had he not did that, the fans would have embraced him. They were waiting to embrace him, but he crossed the line,” James Salzar said after the fight.

Fans booed after the decision came across the speakers for Floyd. De La Hoya took every punch Floyd threw, shook them off and kept his stance. Floyd was running and hanging on the ropes during the entire fight. The look of fear was in his eyes after every left hook or series of body blows from Oscar. The blame is now being tossed on Judge Jerry Roth, who has not judged a fight in over 5 years. It was his decision that caused the split.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission put Floyd and Oscar in the wrong colored corners and there was talk that maybe the wrong fighter won the decision, but when all the judges confirmed that their decisions stand firm, Floyd walked home with the belt but not the honor and respect from his fans. “He’s a cheater and a sore looser. Even if the judges would have gave De La Hoya the decision, Floyd would have taken the belt out of disrespect, that’s how he is. I don’t think he would have taken no for an answer,” said Walter James leaving the fight at the MGM.

It seemed like Floyd had to be humiliated in the ring before he fought back with force. Out of twelve rounds, only a few punches seem to faze De La Hoya. He never backed away (Oscar); he only came in for more. Floyd spent most of the fight with his back against the ropes. More people were amazed that Floyd went the distance than anything else, no one expected him to go that long against Oscar. “If I hadn’t pressed the fight, there’d have been no fight,” said De La Hoya after the match. Even Floyd Sr. felt De La Hoya won the fight, but the judges have the final word.

Floyd’s reputation was spared by the judges last weekend, because if the fans, Oscar, and Floyd Sr. had their way, Oscar would have won the fight. Oscar seemed to lose gas after the 8th round, and not all his hooks were landing, they were mostly blocked. But you can obviously tell that the body work he threw on Floyd could have possibly taken him down or gave him the advantage had he kept it consistent. “My son had good defense and caught a lot of punches but Oscar pressed enough to win the fight,” said Floyd Sr. after the fight.

The turn of the fight in the 8th round, cost De La Hoya the entire match. He spent a lot of time working him over with the body punches and left hooks, but when he let off in the 8th round; Mayweather took that opportunity to get the advantage over De La Hoya. Regardless of the judge’s decision, Floyd made more enemies than fans that night with his open display of disrespect for the Mexican community. “How would he have felt if Oscar came out wearing a rope around his neck and someone walking behind him with a whip? I don’t think the black community would have like that very much. So why does he feel he have to disrespect the Hispanic community by doing what he did. We support him but how can we say that he supports us?” asked James Salzar.

It was a swift PR move for the Mayweather camp to sweep the big brawl they caused last year at the Mandalay Bay under the rug, when they felt disrespected by a “cowboy.” As they shoved their way into the club, people were not happy about the mischief and when they spoke up, fists began to fly and the entire casino was shut down. All of the clubs, restaurants, and tables were shut down because of the mayhem. So he can disrespect anyone he pleases but there’s hell to pay if anyone dare to disrespect him.

Even though the judges felt Floyd won the fight, millions of fight fans felt he lost for his lack of respect and “motor mouth.” His fight was with De La Hoya but he made it against the entire Mexican community. Now he wants to retire. He has more money that most people will make in a life time, but he’s giving up a long lasting career to hang on to his pride and undefeated streak. Where is the honor in that? It’s not about money because he has plenty of it, most fighters leave the sport because of injuries or age, but Floyd wants to retire undefeated. Why else would he retire when he’s in his prime and on a roll?

This is one fight that will go down in history and will be talked about until Floyd changes his mind and agree to a rematch. If that never happens, then it will be talked about forever. If they stood to make over $23 million for this fight, imagine how much they would get on a rematch? No matter what the judges say, Floyd lost more than the title that night, he lost respect that he may never get back. So he may as well retire before someone eventually knocks him off his throne.

Article posted on 08.05.2007

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