Boxing


De La Hoya-Mayweather - Aftermath And Looking Ahead

mayweather06.05.07 - By James Slater: Well, the biggest fight in recent years came and went last night - and a good, engrossing fight it was. Not a classic for the ages by any means, but a fine and well boxed exhibition of the sweet science. I always feel as sense anticlimactic after such a huge fight, and the exciting build-up leading towards, it is over. In this case, perhaps even more so. Like many other fans, I worry what the boxing world has left in store for us, mega-fight-wise at least, in the coming months. Quite simply, there is nothing on the horizon anywhere near as big as what we had last night in Las Vegas. Except, of course, for a rematch. But that's a different story (one I will come back to).

Still, we can rest easy on one front. In the lead-up to "The World Awaits," I wrote a piece in which I stated that my overwhelming urge was for the fight to be a good one, with no controversy and no embarrassing elements. That much was certainly granted us with last night's bout. On the whole the match was a good advert for out sport, with a foul-free and honourably fought fight. Okay, some will/have questioned the split decision in Mayweather's favour, but the verdict cannot be considered one that was in any way a bad one, can it?

As for the action, Oscar did well, I thought. Remember, before the bout many were stating that nothing but a humiliating experience awaited "The Golden Boy" in a fight he had "no chance" of wining. Any such thinking was certainly proven to have been inaccurate. Oscar was fast, almost as fast as Floyd at times, and stuck to a good game-plan of using his size and strength advantages in an attempt at overwhelming "Pretty Boy." There were times when I thought De La Hoya was going to pull it off, I must say. Floyd's facial expression said it all. He had the distinct look of an unhappy and uncomfortable man on occasion. But then came the last five rounds of the fight. This was where Floyd took over, in my opinion anyway.

He warmed to the task and got right into his groove. He was not there to be hit, as perhaps hadn't been quite the case in some of the earlier rounds, and his jabs stung the still advancing Oscar. Indeed, Oscar deserves credit for making the fight. And when he said later, that if he hadn't pushed the action there wouldn't have been any, he clearly had a point. But then again, we always knew Floyd would not go toe-to-toe with Oscar, as he had claimed he would beforehand. Instead, he used his speed and subtle movement to get the win.

Oscar certainly made him work for it, however, and the fight was a close one pretty much to the last bell. Upon awaiting the verdict, I must confess I was in no way sure who was going to get it. Judging by the look on his face, Floyd felt the same way. Overwhelming joy replaced worry on the visage of boxing's pound-4-pound king, though, as the split decision was awarded to him. Oscar felt as though he'd won, and such claims are not the product of a delusional mind in this case, as they often are when a fighter refuses to accept he's been beaten. The scoring of the fight was at least debatable. For what it's worth, I had Mayweather taking De La Hoya's belt by a two point margin. I can understand "The Golden Boy's" chagrin, however.

So, will they do it again? To my mind, a rematch is a distinct possibility. Sure, Floyd has assured us he will retire, and he may well do so. For a while. But boredom will surely set in after a few months. And if Oscar wants a return I think he'll get what he wants, as usual. Oscar is the cash machine and therefore calls the shots. In other words, the ball is in his park. If he wants Mayweather-De La Hoya II to happen there is a good chance it will. Floyd won't be able to resist the chance at beating up "The Golden Boy" again. And who knows, this time he may even improve on the performance he gave last night. I'm sure such a notion has not been lost on Oscar De La Hoya. Therefore he will have to think long and hard when deciding what to do at age thirty-four.

For now, though, Let's thank the pair of them for giving us a good, honest fight. One that brought back memories of a golden era. We could stand such memories being brought back one more time, couldn't we?

Article posted on 06.05.2007



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