26.06.06 - By Mike Casile: Oscar De La Hoya has never backed down from any challenged thrust his way. Entering the ring with his gold medal, his golden smile and titles in five weight classes, he will be forever remembered as one of the greatest and most tenacious champions ever to grace the ring. He also has his hands in promoting fights, as well as recording music..
Article posted on 26.06.2006
He announced last week that he will not fight again this year, saying "It was just too much for me. It was overwhelming." What made Oscar so appealing to fight fans was the fact that he was willing to fight anyone, anywhere, with tremendous confidence, back to back. Now, he sounds more like a school girl that can’t decide who to take to the prom, or what dress to wear.
Oscar made a living trying to prove that his golden boy image, his pretty boy mystique, was just that, an image. He stood toe to toe, with some of the fastest, hardest hitting punchers, in the history of the game, and even if he lost, he always fought very hard and kept it close. He never thought so hard about whom or when he was going to fight, he just simply fought them.
It seems like it was just yesterday that De La Hoya lost a controversial decision to Felix Trinidad, and then almost immediately decided he was going to fight the undefeated Shane Mosley. There was nothing to think about or discuss or wait for, it was just what had to be done. Now, at 33-years-old, coming off the lopsided destruction of the amateurish Ricardo Mayorga, Oscar is throwing around the word retirement and either backing out of, or putting off his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. until next year. The golden rule of boxing is, “you fight while you can, and get out before it is too late”.
There just seems to be two very good reasons not to take the Mayweather fight. The first reason is the most obvious; Maybe Floyd Mayweather Sr., who happens to be the estranged father of Floyd Mayweather Jr., could possibly suspect that De La Hoya would get easily defeated, as was the case against Bernard Hopkins, or maybe it would somehow cause a bigger riff in his already turbulent family. Either way, Oscar should be very careful how he handles his relationship with Floyd Sr. He has done an excellent job with Oscar, and he will be needed if Oscar decides to take another big fight, (estimated at 30 million) before he retires.
The second reason, is simple, what else does De La Hoya need to prove? He has accomplished so much, made boat loads of money, is an extremely successful businessman and promoter. By all accounts, he is one of the few who can walk away from the game with dignity, money, and a bright future. It seems to me his indecision, is already making his decision for him. If there is a window of opportunity that had opened, Floyd Mayweather Jr. seems to be closing it very quickly.