Indecision 2009: Oscar De La Hoya's Big Boxing Announcement Iminent
By Brandon Estrict for (April 14, 2009)  
The name, Oscar De La Hoya, should speak for itself by now. There really isn’t much about the “Golden Boy” that hasn’t been documented , or touched on by any other outlet before. The California Charter High School named in his honor, the statue outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the 1992 Olympic Gold Medal, being a part of the highest-selling, highest grossing fight in boxing history, Oscar’s megastar-status has helped to jettison boxing back to a respectable mainstream standing, even in this current state of Pay-Per-View, Alphabet soup and horrific Heavyweights.

So check, we all know Oscar De La Hoya. And when he makes his much anticipated announcement on whether or not to continue fighting Tuesday morning, we should all know not to be surprised either way. When he made his appearance on last week’s edition of ESPN’S Friday Night Fights, in Arizona, he tried his hardest to be non-committal, but the clever questioning of analyst Brian Kenny brought about words seemingly in favor or hanging up the gloves.

But don’t be misled. Oscar didn’t get to where he is today by accident. He has mastered media relations, and practices the art of “leave ‘em guessing.” Would we really be shocked if he were to announce that he’ll continue to fight? Really, with an extremely beatable, young Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. out there fighting at Oscar’s optimal weight of 154 lbs?

The storyline would be huge, as Junior would get the chance to avenge Oscar forcing his legendary father, Julio Caesar Chavez Sr., out of the sport a decade ago when he was nearing the end. Oscar felt a tremendous backlash from Mexican fans for the brutal beatings he bestowed upon Chavez Sr., who is a looked upon as a hero by many if not all in Mexico, something that has always touched a nerve within the Mexican-American De La Hoya. So you have the promotional angle in what would no doubt be an enormous event, sure to draw not only the Mexican fans in hopes of redemption, but Oscar’s mainstream American fan base as well, who would tune in if he fought Julio Iglesias. Love him or hate him, Oscar is butter. He’s money every time, he’s maximum media coverage and I’m sure if he chose to fight me, he’d still generate anywhere from 50 – 100 million and do a million on PPV. Surely, that sort of clout and limelight is hard to give up for any fighter, and this has been proven time and again. We all saw what would become of greats like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson by going to the well one too many times, and making comebacks when the best of their physical abilities had abandoned them.

Personally, and I’m sure these sentiments would be echoed throughout the sport, I’m grateful for and appreciative of what Oscar De La Hoya has done for the sweet science. But he’s fought them all, and while he’s lost most of his big fights, he’s always been competitive with one exception. That doesn’t tell the full story and it’d be unfair of those judging this future Hall of Famers credentials to assume anything by his record, when they may not be aware of the majority of boxing, at the time and now, that believe Oscar did in fact defeat Shane Mosley in their rematch, as well as Felix Tito Trinidad. Oscar deserves his due as being one of the greatest fighters of his generation, despite a few pitfalls in between.

Onto that one exception, a crushing, depressing, battering of a TKO defeat, coming at the hands of today’s number one pound for pound fighter on the planet, Manny Pacquiao. It should serve as a great name on his ledger that Pacquiao was able to move from the Lightweight division all the way up to Welterweight to dominate De La Hoya, but the boxing world, by and large, knows that we didn’t see the real Oscar De La Hoya that night. No excuses are necessary, and no discredit to Pacquiao, but, at 35 years old, Oscar attempted to move down to Welter, a weight-class he hadn’t fought in almost ten years, for that bout and it would prove to be a large part of his downfall, as was plain to the trained eye and as he’s openly acknowledged since.

Boxing pundits should know though, Oscar De La Hoya has nothing left to prove. It’s every warriors dream to go out in that shining moment, but let’s face it, it’s more often just the opposite that ends up being the case. Take a look at one of Oscar’s peers, the great Roy Jones Jr., who just recently won by mid-round TKO in his first fight in front of his hometown supporters and instead of going out on a high-note, it has apparently encouraged him into believing that he can still compete at the top level, something that Joe Calzaghe must’ve been certain that he’d hammered out of Roy’s head 6 months ago at Madison Square Garden.

Add to this, the Chavez Jr. comeback bout seems to be more of a win/win situation for the Chavez family and a shot at the big-time for Jr. instead of the highly publicized, triumphant Oscar victory that it should be. It is for that reason that I can see Oscar calling it a career. And here’s to him, unless he does fight on, then let this serve as an introduction to the final chapter of the Golden Boy.

Hey, would you really be surprised either way??

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