De La Hoya vs. Mayweather: What Should Be?

floyd mayweather jr.09.08.06 - By Coach Tim Walker - Every few years a fight comes along that is so intriguing it would seem a disservice to the sport of boxing, boxing fans and mankind if it were not to happen. Immediately matches such as Ali vs. Frazier, Duran vs. Leonard, or Spinks vs. Holmes come to mind as some of the greatest ring battles to ever take place. Equally, when a fight that boxing fans want to see doesn’t come to fruition it has the potential to taint both boxers’ legacies. Jones vs. Micalczewski, Hopkins vs. Toney or even, maybe a bit of a stretch, Leonard vs. Whitaker are a few of the coulda-shoulda fights that would have tantalized the public. Such may be the case with Oscar and Floyd if the fight doesn’t happen.

To his credit Oscar De La Hoya has only come up short against some of the best the sport has to offer. A loss to Felix Trinidad, another to the bigger/stronger Bernard Hopkins, and two close decisions to Shane Mosely. On the other hand, Mayweather has never tasted professional defeat though many boxing fans believe that he lost at least one of the fights with Castillo.

Still, it is clear that Floyd wants to fight Oscar and for obvious reasons. First, Mayweather knows that a fight of this magnitude will generate millions. Second, he feels that Oscar is his litmus test for greatness. And third, he honestly believes that he can beat Oscar and by beating him he will secure himself in the position of pound for pound greatest and quite possibly, with a few more significant wins, as the best to ever lace them up.

This fight has all the drama that makes us tune into the sport. You have the hero boy next door who seems to always say and do the right things in De La Hoya. Conversely Mayweather is a virtual bad-boy of the sport. He seldom gives his competition any professional credit until after he has tooted his own horn and subsequently pounced on them in the ring. In Oscar you have the dashing movie star good looks that make women sigh. Men want to be like him and thrust him onto their shoulders in victory. Mayweather is of the generation X which is scored by flashy jewelry, baggy clothes and over-the-top expense. He appears self-consumed and boisterous and never apologizes for it. Many fans find themselves in a love-hate relationship with Mayweather and though they secretly root for him they publicly bash him.

Yet, in the day and age of protecting boxers, De La Hoya never seems to duck a hard fight. Win, lose or draw his resume reads like a who’s who in boxing. Mayorga, Hopkins, Mosely, Vargas, Trinidad, Quartey, Chavez, Wilfredo, Molina and many more. Mayweather’s resume is just as if not more impressive. He is undefeated in 36 fights and 4 weight classes while bolstering wins over Judah, Corley, N’dou, Castillo, Chavez, Corrales, Augustus, Juuko and Manfredy. Still, with all Floyd’s professional success and his viewing as the best pound per pound fighter in the world, he still seems not quit accepted as a person. It is apparent that he craves a higher level of acceptance from fight fans, but must know that his part in this story is not of the leading man. In this battle that part is reserved for De La Hoya. Mayweather is more like Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode 3. His internal battles carry just as much weight as his external.

So fans watch and wait and hope that someone’s light-saber is quicker on the draw than his but that never seems to quite materialize. Many hope that De Le Hoya has the tools to pound Mayweather into submission but it is more likely to be the other way around.

Superman always wins in the movies but in real life that isn’t the case. Both of these superb fighters have tremendous hearts and wills and thus this fight won’t come down to that. They never enter the ring unprepared and thus this fight won’t come down to that either. This fight will simply come down to who has the most skill just as it works with gun fighters. This fight will ultimately come down to which guy can get his six-shooter out the holster quickest and empty the chamber the fastest. Let’s hope for boxing history’s sake that they afford us the opportunity to see just how their six-shooters size up in the ring.

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Article posted on 09.08.2006

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