Why De La Hoya Lost: A definitive Analysis
08.05.07 - By Yero Moody: Before I begin to break down De La Hoya vs. Mayweather, I want to take a brief moment to offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Diego Corrales. He will be sorely missed by all. I personally enjoyed watching all of his fights, whether he won or lost. He was and will always be remembered for his true warrior spirit.
Article posted on 09.05.2007
Like many who picked Floyd Mayweather Jr. to defeat Oscar De La Hoya last Saturday, the result came as no surprise. The real surprise is listening and reading the reactions of those who picked Oscar to win and many of whom still think that Oscar won the fight. I'll be the first to say that the fight itself did not live up to the hype. The reasons are many and I will attempt to offer my analysis on just what happened and why.
In order for that fight to have lived up to all the hype surrounding it we needed to see non-stop action from both fighters. That obviously did not occur. The key words being BOTH fighters. Much of the Mayweather critics prior to the fight stated that Mayweather was going to attempt to run and land one or two shots at a time and hope to survive. These same critics, even after the fight, placed the entire blame for the fight being boring at times solely on Mayweather. That is totally biased and most importantly, not true! I saw many, many times during the fight where De La Hoya stood in the center of the ring doing absolutely nothing, as if he was totally confused. The only time he showed any aggression is when Mayweather had his back against the ropes and even then he often missed wildly, flailing away at the air.
He did manage to land some body shots square on the button but they did no damage nor did they slow Mayweather down. Mayweather promised he would punish Oscar brutally and did no such thing. He landed some clean hard shots, which had absolutely no effect on De La Hoya. He fought the fight that he needed to do to win. Nothing extraordinarily different from what he normally does to most of his opponents, which is thoroughly out-box them. I truly do understand why some fans both casual and hardcore, find some of Mayweather's fights boring.
In order for him to be in the top echelon of the all time great fighters, Mayweather needs to beat a big named opponent in a very dominating and exciting fashion. Please don't get me wrong, he absolutely dominated De La Hoya despite that bogus split decision but it lacked the excitement factor. This will continue to haunt him until he delivers that to boxing fans. He will never be remembered in the same category as De La Hoya or Sugar Ray Leonard despite having the talent to do so because he is immature, arrogant and brash. Unlike Ali, who did it in jest, in my opinion, Mayweather is serious.
Let's also remember what De La Hoya and his trainer Roach said they were going to do. Throughout the HBO series 24/7, Roach said that his strategy was to get DLH to set traps for Mayweather and cut off the ring to offset his speed. He also said that he was going to have Oscar fighting much more aggressively. Oscar piggybacked on that point and said that he may even fight a little dirty during one of his interviews. None of that happened! Yet, the Mayweather detractors only point to what Mayweather said he was going to do. Like the great Arsenio Hall used to say "things that make you go hmmmmm..." Both fighters failed to deliver on their word.
Although, being a fighter I know that you may have fully intended on carrying out a particular fight plan but the opponent may force you to change up a bit or you see that it was not a smart plan to begin with once you're in there. I believe Mayweather underestimated the great chin of Oscar, as did I, and Oscar underestimated how difficult it is to cut off the ring and penetrate Mayweather's defense. That's as fair and objective as it can be put.
Why did Oscar lose? He lost because he got outboxed for the majority of the fight, plain and simple. I will elaborate further. Although I'm not a big fan of compubox punchstats they can give you an idea of punch volume at the very least. Of course we know that human beings make errors so some punches that really didn't land get counted and vice versa. According to compubox Mayweather landed 57% of his power punches to De la Hoya's 24%. We all know that some error occured but not by too much. Mayweather detractors point out that Oscar blocked some of the punches with the gloves and that some of those punches got counted as landed punches.
Thats very true. Mayweather also blocked some of Oscar's punches and some of those punches got counted as punches landed. Lets also not forget the enormous amount of punches that Oscar threw that hit nothing but air. That definitely impacted the scoring as well because it gave the image that Mayweather's defense was very effective. Even if you say, as do I, that the punchstats are inaccurate they weren't off by much. It gives you a clear enough picture to see that Mayweather landed more punches and at a higher connect rate. Total punches reflect the same thing. Mayweather 43% to De la Hoya's 21%.
Oscar said that if he didn't go after Mayweather there would be no fight. In his mind and the minds of his fans that may be true but he also has to realize that he stood in the center of the ring doing nothing for long periods of time while Mayweather connected at will. One must also take into account the term effective aggression. No one in their right mind would argue against the fact that De la Hoya was the aggressor in that fight. The bull is always the aggressor versus the matador but its the bull who meets his doom. Was he effectively aggressive is the key question? The answer is absolutely not. He missed far more than he landed. When he countered he often swung at the spot where Mayweather was standing but had already moved from.
I'm stunned when I hear people saying that the judges, commentators and the punch statisticians were all wrong and that De la Hoya really won the fight. Was it a big conspiracy that they all came together and said lets cheat De la Hoya because we hate him and we love Mayweather? If that were the case I think it would be just the opposite. Was there a secret meeting between these SEPARATE entities in which they decided to do this? I think not. Think about it folks! Mayweather won fairly easily and thats the truth. De la Hoya will always be remembered as a great warrior who fought the best of his era.
Thank you for reading and may your prayers go out to our brother Diego Corrales and his family!
Questions or comments: e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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