What’s your favorite Oscar De La Hoya knockout victory? I know mine, and it’s been a favorite, regardless of which fighter KO’d who, for years. It was 14 long ones ago today when De La Hoya smashed the loud mouth that was (still is) Ricardo Mayorga. You remember Mayorga, he was as quick to down a cold beer and puff on a cigarette and he was swift in unleashing a totally offensive insult – Ricardo not understanding in any way the meaning of the term, politically correct.
Oh, and Mayorga could fight a bit as well. (photos by David Martin Warr / DKP)
De La Hoya was perhaps the biggest victim when it came to Mayorga’s, shall we say, colorful language. The wild man from Nicaragua, who had shown his fighting ability in defeating notables like Vernon Forrest (twice) and Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis, fully launched himself at Oscar. Calling De La Hoya, among other things, a “faggot,” a “fake” and a “quitter,” Mayorga was seemingly hell-bent on offending not only Oscar, but anyone within earshot. It made for a memorable promotion of the fight the two would have in May of 2006.
Mayorga had regrouped after losing his welterweight title to Cory Spinks; winning a version of the 154 pound title, this after losing to Felix Trinidad. Mayorga had beaten Michele Piccirillo to snatch the vacant WBC super-welter strap and now he wanted to cash-in in a super-fight with the biggest non-heavyweight star in boxing. And how Mayorga enjoyed himself in the long build-up to the fight. Working himself and others into a frenzy, Mayorga was uncontrollable.
More than once the two fighters got into a physical altercation. More than once did Mayorga viciously insult not only De La Hoya but also his family and trainer. Mayorga really went too far when he called Floyd Mayweather Snr, trainer of Oscar “a monkey.” Through it all, De La Hoya was intent on silencing his foe, making him pay, pay, pay. And he did so.
De La Hoya was coming back after a long layoff, having been beaten in an overoptimistic challenge of middleweight king Bernard Hopkins in his last fight. Did the filthy rich “Golden Boy” still have it? Mayorga found out pretty swiftly that, yeah, he sure did.
After provoking Don King into adding half a mil to his pay day by threatening to pull out of the fight, Mayorga tasted the kind of pain only a foul-mouthed bully can get. De La Hoya, trim, in shape and focused as hell, decked Mayorga early, his intentions clear. Mayorga wore a shocked look on his face. Now it was real, the talking over. De La Hoya never lost a round and he decked the defending champion again in round six. Mayorga managed to get up, but he was then greeted, made to PAY, by an amazing 20 punch fusillade. “El Matador” was saved liked no bull ever has been, by the referee.
Many fans love it when a big mouth is silenced in the ring. This was never more the case than on May 6, 2006. It was Oscar De La Hoya’s best KO. Or at least the most satisfying and enjoyable KO of his distinguished career.