by James Slater – Oscar De La Hoya, it has been reported on the net, has admitted he is giving the idea of having a third meeting with old rival and present business associate “Sugar” Shane Mosley some serious thought. The 36-year-old living legend has also agreed with those people who feel he is a fighter who is way, way, way past his best, and that retirement is the most obvious path he should go down. However, such is his pride and ego, “The Golden Boy” would like to go out a winner..
As much of an underdog he would be in going into a third clash with the still magnificent Mosley – who, of course, has just destroyed the once feared Antonio Margarito – De La Hoya doesn’t have many other options in which to go down apart from quitting the sport. De La Hoya has done nothing to either warrant or earn a fight with the reigning WBA welterweight king (which, according to Oscar would have to be above 147, and therefore not for the title), and some would say the fight is not really a sensible option for Oscar right now either – but, as has been proven in the past, what Oscar wants, Oscar gets. And it must be admitted, there would be a little intrigue, at the very least, if a third instalment of the series came off. Would you pay to see it, even if it were a catch-weight, non title affair?
As to De La Hoya’s chances of winning and therefore exiting the game a winner – that would be some long shot; at least going by the two fighter’s last outings anyway. Back in his prime, De La Hoya gave Mosley all he could handle twice. Their first clash, at 147-pounds in 2000, was an out-and-out classic, and “Sugar” was a worthy points winner. Fight two, at 154-pounds some three years later, was not a classic by any means – it was, however, hugely controversial. Fans and experts alike were split down the middle when it came to whether or not Mosley deserved the points verdict he got this time around. As for De La Hoya, he was so incensed he officially protested the decision of the judges. This protest went nowhere, but a lot of people felt De La Hoya had been unfairly treated by the officials.
Then, of course, there is the little matter of the subsequent revelation that going into the September 2003 rematch that was dubbed “Redemption,” Mosley had, unwittingly he claims, taken an illegal substance. Maybe then, if the two ageing stars were to get it on for a third and final time all the various subplots surrounding the fight would make it an attractive one for the fans. Was De La Hoya beaten by a cheat in fight two? Would the styles of the two men make for yet another close fight? Would Mosley score a convincing stoppage win this time around? Has Oscar got anything left at all after the Pacquiao beating?
As close to the end as he is and as lacking of a truly meaningful win as he has been for so long, De La Hoya fighting again would certainly sell tickets. Maybe not as many as in his dazzling peak years, but the curiosity seekers combined with the hardcore “Golden Boy” fans would ensure that the 36-year-old would not go out in front of an empty arena. If it turns out that De La Hoya does indeed go out with a final match against his California rival, this same arena would likely be full. It all depends on how they market and hype the fight, but sometimes “Last Hurrah” type of events go down well with the paying fans.
As they say, fight fans are the most loyal of all sports fans. No-one thought Ali had a chance against Holmes, for one example, but the fight still played out in front of a packed house. De La Hoya’s, possibly sad, exit from boxing would probably do likewise.