De La Hoya
Searches for December Opponent
With the abrupt retirement of Floyd Mayweather
last week, Oscar De La Hoyas three fight plan for this year has disintegrated.
De La Hoya had been in negotiations for a
September rematch with Mayweather. With that deal off the table, the Golden Boy
was left without the time, opponent or TV date to retain the September bout. Now De La Hoya has been forced to have one bout left in December in order to
keep his promise to retire by the end of the year.
The short list of potential opponents included
Sergio Mora, Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. Mora is unlikely, as Vernon
Forrest, the man Mora just defeated, is exercising his rematch clause for
another title bout. Hatton has rejected Oscar in favor of defending his junior
welterweight title against #1 contender Paulie Malignaggi in November. Hattons
reasoning for turning down the lucrative bout is that he could not prepare in
time for September after a tough bout against Juan Lazcano.
Pacquiao is an option for December, but one that
wouldnt earn the Golden Boy any accolades. Pacquiao is naturally much smaller
than De La Hoya, who has fought as high as middleweight. He would be heavily
favored to win, but De La Hoya is desperate for a career-defining win that would
lessen the question marks of losing his biggest fights to Felix Trinidad and
Winky Wright released a press statement last week,
again calling out Oscar for a PPV showdown. This is nothing new, as Wright has
been chasing De La Hoya since the late 90s. However, this time fate may be on
Winkys side. Reports are circulating that informal talks have began between
the two fighters about a possible December bout.
The fight would be very tactical, and Wright would
have to be the favorite. Although he looked bad in his last fight with Bernard
Hopkins, that contest was held at 170 pounds where Wright had no business
competing. Junior Middleweight is his best division and where the fight would
likely be fought. De La Hoya would be given fits trying to contend with
Wrights steady, rhythm-breaking jab and airtight defense.
It would be surprising if De La Hoya takes this
bout. Hes stated that he wants his last fight to be fan-friendly, and this
would be anything but that. Also, there is a strong possibility that a
motivated Wright might embarrass Oscar, the last thing the former champion
would want in his last bout.
The only other high profile option would be the
winner of Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito, being held July 26th. The
winner will be the recognized welterweight champ, and give Oscar a defining
win. Plus, both of those fighters offer defensive liabilities that would give
Oscar a decent chance to pull off the win.
Whomever De La Hoya chooses, the next couple of
months will prove very interesting.
Implicated in Murder Plot
After recently making positive news for a great
documentary on his life, Tysons press is back to its normal sullied
The Associated Press reported late last week that
the former heavyweight champ offered to a hire a hitman to avenge the death of
his bodyguard. The allegation comes from Dwayne Myers, who is currently
testifying against Abubakr Raheem, who is on trial for allegedly driving a
getaway car in two gang slayings.
Myers claims that Tysons bodyguard was Darryl
Homicide Baum, who Hip-Hop fans may remember is thought to have been the
triggerman in 50 Cents 2000 shooting. Baum was killed in June 2000, allegedly
by a drug crew led by Damion World Hardy, a former boyfriend of Lil Kim.
Myers claims the killing was due to Baums relationship with a rival drug
Myers states nothing came of the contract after
initial interest from Tyson. At press time, lawyers for Tyson have not
commented on the matter.
Focuses Back on Jones
After early talks fell through, Joe Calzaghe and
Roy Jones, Jr. are back at the negotiation table.
Last month, Calzaghe had reported that talks had
ceased due to Jones high purse demands. From there, Calzaghe began early
discussions to possibly face middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik later this
year. After Pavliks good showcase this month, it seemed everything would be in
motion, but Calzaghe is living up to his word of stating he wants the most
lucrative fights by pursuing Jones.
A Jones-Calzaghe matchup would be intriguing.
Calzaghe is undoubtedly fresher, and would look much better against a now
mostly stationary Jones who can only fight in spurts. However, Calzaghe would
have to be careful of Jones occasional bursts of speed, where his counterpunching
and flashy combos hint at the otherworldly talents the Pensacola native had in
With so much money to be made, especially in
Wales, look for Jones and Calzaghe to come to terms shortly. While Calzaghe
should be favored due to his consistent work rate, count Jones as a very live
Fighter of the Week: Larry Holmes
This past week, underappreciated former
heavyweight champion Larry Holmes was inducted into the International Boxing
Hall of Fame. The Easton Assassin turned pro in 1973 to little fanfare. He
gained much knowledge and experience by becoming Muhammad Alis chief sparring
Holmes first made waves by shutting out Earnie
Shavers in 1978, which set up a showdown with Ken Norton. In an epic battle,
Holmes outslugged Norton to escape with a split decision and the WBC
heavyweight title. Holmes went on to defeat an aged and Parkinson-damaged
Muhammad Ali in a sad and painful bout for both men in 1980.
Holmes defended his title against six undefeated
fighters, and won a racially-charged contest against hard punching Gerry Cooney
in 1982. By 1985, Holmes had been champion for seven years with a record of
48-0. He lost two controversial decisions to Michael Spinks and a highlight
reel knockout to a prime Mike Tyson to close out the 80s.
Larry Holmes continued fighting well into his 40s,
even scoring a shocking upset against an undefeated Ray Mercer and posting a
respectable showing against Evander Holyfield in a losing title effort.
Holmes final record stands at 69(44 KOs)-6. He is
second all time in heavyweight title defenses with 20.