Floyd Mayweather Sr.By John Martinez, Oscar De La Hoya. The moniker given to him throughout his career was “Golden Boy.” He was touted as a 10- time world champion spanning six weight classes. He was the only American boxer to bring home the gold in the ’92 Olympics. He set revenue records that may never be matched in the boxing world. HBO’s mouthpieces noted that athletes in major American sports don’t even make 100 million in “36 minutes” of fighting once a year.

Such is the power, or WAS the power of the Golden Boy that everyone will now possibly wonder aloud or privately, “was Oscar something great or was he just part of a well oiled, safely marketed product” that in the end now looks more like the bearer of pyrite instead of King Midas himself?

In an interview with Oscar’s former trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr. I asked him to discuss Oscar’s meltdown at the hands of De La Hoya’s hand picked opponent, Manny Pacquaio..

“Joel De La Hoya, Oscar’s brother said, ‘oh we got Nacho Berstein now. This is a blessing.’ Well look what happened. Berstein had nothing. Berstein couldn’t tell Oscar what to do the entire night. If that’s a blessing then I’ll stop praying now.”

“Well the record now speaks for itself. They (Oscar’s trainers, Berstein and Angelo Dundee) did all this talking into their microphones for the media, but couldn’t do anything when it came down to the real thing.”

Though many people have written Oscar’s eulogy regarding his boxing career, Floyd Sr. is not quite ready to join the growing chorus for De La Hoya to hang up the gloves.

“ I think Oscar could’ve pulled it off. He needed to be aggressive. He should’ve thrown flurries. The power shot would’ve come behind the flurries. That’s what was missing.”

“I have never seen Oscar hunch over in a corner the way he did that night. It shouldn’t have happened like that. There was no excuse for him to have taken that beating. Thirty-five is not that old these days in boxing. Oscar hasn’t had that much damage done to his body in the ring before this.”

Mayweather Sr. alluded to signs that the fight was lost long before Oscar stepped into the ring this past Saturday night.

“I can tell you is that it wasn’t all Oscar’s fault. I know personally of two things that went on in Oscar’s training camp. There was a lot of stuff that went on in camp that was counter productive to Oscar’s training. I can’t pull the covers off the people that were in the camp that told me these things, but just know that the trainers never really came up with a strategy. They had nothing and you could see that during the fight.”

“His corner never told him how to chop his man (Pacquaio) down. It was so obvious that even Ray Charles could see that.”

This sentiment was echoed by Eric Brown (Pacquaio’s assistant trainer) as well when I asked him to recap Manny’s sensational victory.

“I’m not sure if Oscar was a hundred percent. It appeared as though he (Oscar) went overboard in trying to maintain his lower weight.

“He may have gone too long in camp in coming down in weight that his stomach shrunk and he wasn’t able to eat properly anymore because he was too drained. I believe he was over trained.”

Brown also thought that Oscar let his ego get in the way and that De La Hoya wasn’t facing just Manny that night, but Freddie Roach, Manny’s trainer, and Bob Arum, head boss of Top Rank, as well.

“Oscar, in my opinion, took this fight to rub Bob Arum and Freddie’s noses in a possible victory of Pac, but I think it overwhelmed him in the end. He made such a big deal about having all of these special trainers and I think it took its toll.”

Like Floyd Sr., Brown shares the same thoughts on De La Hoya’s Dream Team of trainers and advisors, “ he was supposed to have all those experts in his corner and you would think they would’ve known how to properly condition and train their fighter, but you saw what happened. They didn’t have answers and their fighter was drained.”

With what appears to be the end of De La Hoya’s career, the boxing world has moved on to other fights that may come to fruition. One of those fights is a promising clash between Ricky “The Hit Man” Hatton and the Mexican Assassin, Manny Pacquaio.

Both trainers expressed their interest in this fight-taking place.

“If they want Rick, they’re going to get Rick and it won’t end pretty for them.” Floyd Sr. stated empathically.

“I love this fight for Rick. We will dismantle Pacquaio. Guaranteed.”

Brown lobbied for the fight saying, “ This fight on a business level makes a lot of sense. Both fighters have a major following and this thing would sell out quick.”

“Ricky would bring it and Manny would too. Both guys are fighters and this would definitely be an all action fight.”

Finally, both coaches commented briefly on a return of former pound for pound king, the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Brown said that Floyd Jr. being a gifted pugilist would “be the only man that would present Manny with a serious challenge and it would be a difficult fight for Pac” in light of “Mayweather’s brilliance in speed, intelligence, and defense.”

Father Mayweather believes that his son “would beat him (Manny) easy. He (Mayweather Jr.) would do to him what Manny did to Oscar, but worse.”

As a side note, Floyd Sr. assured me that his son would end his retirement next year.

“Oh he’s coming out. He’s coming next year.”

Lastly, Brown and Mayweather did find another topic to agree on, aside from their chafing remarks towards Berstein and Dundee, they equally deem WBA welter weight champion, Antonio Margarito as the one that will have his hand raised on January 24,2009 when he conquers former world champion, Shane Mosley.

Article posted on 09.12.2008

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