De La Hoya Wins Close Decision Over Sturm

05.06.04 Ė Oscar De La Hoya, looking fat and out of shape, was awarded a close decision by the judges tonight in Las Vegas. However, many at ringside seemed to disagree with final decision based on the amount of booing when the decision was announced. Sturm controlled most of the fight with his jab, and when De La Hoya was on the attack, he was often out punched by the younger Sturm. The fight probably would have been awarded to Sturm (20-1, KOs) if De La Hoya hadnít fought so hard over the last 3 rounds to pull out the fight on the judges card, although he still appeared to lose all three rounds to Sturm.

"Everything went wrong tonight," De La Hoya (37-3, 29 KOs) said. "I tried as hard as I can."

"Everyone knows I won this fight," Sturm said. "I am the true champion. He got the win because he's a big name." It was the first fight as a middleweight for De La Hoya, who lost his 154-pound title to Shane Mosley in his last fight last September. All three judges scored it 115-113 in favor of De La Hoya. East Side Boxing had it 115-113 for Sturm.

De La Hoya showed signs of age in this fight, as he was slower and started getting fatigued early on in the fight. It was all he could do to try and muster enough energy to try to score a knockout in the 12th round, but the tables were turned on him when Sturm stunned De La Hoya with a big right hand that had staggering and exhausted. Fortunately for De La Hoya, Sturm didn't realise that he had him hurt, and he finished the round by being content to merely jab De La Hoya's head endlessly. In rounds 8-12, De La Hoya had little power left on his punches, and began eating lots of clean punches that turned his face a swollen, beet red. A more powerful puncher than Sturm would would have knocked out De La Hoya connecting as clean as he did.

This win for De La Hoya sets up a $10 million dollar fight with Bernard Hopkins in September. However, based on this performance, I wouldn't give De La Hoya much of a chance against Hopkins, who has been the reigning middleweight champion for the past ten years. It might possibly be a massacre. Hopkin's has got a great jab, and he's certainly capable of fighting similar to the way Sturm fought tonight.

The uppercuts and right hands that Sturm landed would be knockdowns if Hopkins was doing the punching because of his far superior power.

In my opinion, De La Hoya should consider going back down to 140 or possibly retiring from the sport altogether. He doesn't have the power he used to have when he fought at the lower weights, and he doesn't possess enough speed and movement to keep the larger middleweights off him. At this point, it looks like De La Hoya will be in big trouble when he meets up with Bernard Hopkins in September. Lets just hope that De La Hoya decides to retire after his beating like Trinidad did.

Article posted on 06.06.2004

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