De La Hoya/Mayweather: Boxing Preview
02.05.07 - By Grampton James, Photo by Naoki Fukuda-- When you see the most recent Sports Illustrated cover with quotes "The Fight To Save Boxing," you can begin to understand how equivocally important this fight is to the sport of boxing. This is easily the biggest fight in Floyd Mayweather Jr’s career by far, but because of the press associated with it and the projected PPV sales, this may also be the biggest fight of De La Hoya's career as well. That's saying a lot considering that Oscar has been the poster child of boxing since the retirement of Mike Tyson. So the bottom line is, both of these men better come prepared to fight.
Article posted on 02.05.2007
I don't think the pressure will get to either man. De La Hoya is no stranger to the limelight and Mayweather seems incredibly comfortable in front of a camera lense. Don't expect either man to freeze on Saturday night because it's not going to happen. This will be a fight won and lost with no excuses.
So what does this fight come down to? You have to great fighters, one a bit past his prime, but still very dangerous, and one that is considered as the pound for pound champ or the best fighter in the sport of boxing today.
It is generally recognized that Mayweather has the speed and agility advantage and that De La Hoya has power and size over his younger counterpart.
This is a fight that goes exceeds physical boundaries though and will be decided on strategy.
So the question is what does each boxer need to do to win this fight?
For De La Hoya, I think the only way he's getting a victory is if he either knocks Mayweather out or gives the fans their moneys worth by delivering some powerful punches.
I don't think De La Hoya is going to have much success out boxing Mayweather if he wants to win, so at some point he's going to have to use his size advantage and pressure Floyd against the ropes.
Unfortunately for De La Hoya, Mayweather is very slippery and when pressured into situations with his back against the wall, it turns out that he's very hard to hit. So what can De La Hoya do?
When the heat gets turned up, Mayweather generally rolls to his right when with his right hand up to block uppercuts and in a position where it's very difficult to land clean punches on him with any other hand than your left. So if De La Hoya can take advantage of this by pushing Mayweather against the ropes and then throwing hard cutters, or left uppercut/hooks to Mayweather 's body and face, it will hurt Floyd especially because it's De La Hoya 's dominant hand and it will likely catch Mayweather by surprise. To really utilize his potential to do damage, De La Hoya can throw a right hand or flinch to draw Floyd into an oncoming cutter geared towards his face or side.
De La Hoya needs to be careful though because if Mayweather is able to time him, he'll be open for a right straight or right uppercut, and if Mayweather doesn't fall for his right hand, Oscar better look out for a rapid left hook over the top.
In order for Mayweather to win this fight, he needs to keep the fight in the center of the ring. That's his fight, and that's where he can use his speed and counterpunching ability to his advantage and to control the fight.
De La Hoya 's going to find out quickly how difficult it is to hit Mayweather and if he gets frustrated enough may start putting everything he has into his punches in an attempt to hurt Floyd or even knock him down.
If De La Hoya does resort to this tactic or if the fight makes it to the late rounds and De La Hoya gets tired, he'll probably try to stun Mayweather, especially considering he's a natural left hander, with hard jabs and hooks that will hang just long enough for Mayweather to retaliate with his overhand right.
Mayweather 's overhand right is a very dangerous punch once Mayweather gets into rhythmm and any sign of slowdown or frustration from De La Hoya where he lets his punches hang will result in hard overhand right counterpunches from Mayweather that will inevitably take its toll and may actually result in an unlikely, but possible knockdown or stoppage in Floyd's favor.
These are the things that each fighter has to be weary of and depending on how the fighters react could make for a very cautious, very boring fight.
Chances are though, especially considering the situation that both men are in and the importance regarding the fight, the fight will be a great one and leave very few disappointed with the action.
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