De La Hoya Might Have More Of A Chance Than We Think Against Hopkins

19.07.04 - By R.Hingley - - The up and coming Hopkins De La Hoya megafight has, on many occasions been compared to the Hagler Leonard superfight of the eighties, and for good reason….

Lets start with Hopkins, like Hagler, Bernard is the ageing dominant middleweight of his generation who has made numerous mandatory defences of this unified crown and has struggled to sucure big pay-days through out his career. A throwback to the old days when a fighter had to earn his shot at the title and would defend it with pride.

Now De La Hoya has and always will be compared to Leonard and rightly so, both the golden boys of their generation, known by far more than just the boxing hardcore and transcended the sport. Disliked by some for getting undeserved title shots and big money fights while deserving contenders were pushed to the back of the line, the comparison is almost uncanny, especially as they were both heading for the biggest challenges of the respective careers.

Now for the fights themselves.

De La Hoya’s last outing against unheralded Sturm was unimpressive and doesn’t bode well for him against the champion, but what about Leonard’s bout prior to the Hagler meeting. He looked more than unimpressive against Kevin Howard, getting floored for the first time in his career. “Imaging what Hagler will do to him” were the thoughts running through my mind at the time, just as “Bernard will walk through him” are echoing now. Whether you thought Leonard won the fight or not (personally I thought it could have gone either way) Ray competed far better than I and most at the time thought possible, so to the conclusion.

Leonard was far more of an underdog going in to the Hagler fight (only one fight in five years remember) than De La Hoya is going into the Hopkins fight, so if Ray could do it against all the odds, would it be such a supprise if De La Hoya can pull it out of the bag?

Maybe just like his predecessor he will need a little help from father time and the Judges, but even if he does, De La Hoya will have done far better than most of us think he’ll do.

Article posted on 19.07.2004

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