De La Hoya can shock the world
By Henry Dyck (September 10, 2004) 
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On September 18th boxing fans across the globe will be treated to a pugilistic eclipse; an event that only comes around every few years. Two of the worlds greatest fighters will collide to, arguably, decide who was the greatest fighter of their time. While Bernard Hopkins has been the man to beat at 160 pounds for quite some time, Oscar De La Hoya has terrorized anyone who tipped the scales from 130 to 154 pounds over the past decade.
In an earlier promotion, both fighters were introduced surrounded by a setting that resembled the days of gladiators and emperors. How ironic that many boxing observers consider the Golden Boy to be a golden sacrifice offered to the middleweight king as a grand meal to fatten his legacy. De La Hoya’s lackluster performance against Felix Sturm holds credence to these beliefs. A clearly unmotivated and out of shape De La Hoya spent the majority of the evening dining on the young Germans jab while serving up nothing in response. Only a very generous decision from the three judges that night preserved the chances of this historic showdown.
Both men have legendary resumes but the physical advantage is clearly on the Executioner's side. Except for his inaugural fight at light heavyweight, Hopkins has spent the last twelve years controlling the middleweight division. And unlike most professional fighters Bernard has aged like an exquisite wine. He is a true warrior that dedicates himself selflessly to his sport. Rarely does he spend long stretches away from the gym, always keeping himself in top condition.
However, despite the overwhelming cry of mismatch, this writer believes that Oscar De La Hoya will be victorious when the night is over. Now, before you request a blood alcohol test let me describe my reasoning for such an irrational thought.

The former gold medal winner doesn’t need this fight. There was no public outcry for the California native to challenge Bernard Hopkins. Having twenty-seven championship fights under his belt, his induction into the Hall of Fame is as secured as his financial health.
Why then would he risk a happy ending to a wonderfully storied career? Why tempt fate with the most dangerous middleweight since Marvin Hagler? In fact, if you believe what most critics are reporting, the only person in De La Hoya’s camp that has anything to gain from this fight is his plastic surgeon.

But I don’t believe this is the case. Bernard Hopkins hasn’t faced a boxer of this caliber since Roy Jones Jr. Tito Trinidad was a minute and forty-two seconds away from lasting the full twelve rounds and he isn’t anywhere near the pure boxer that De La Hoya is. Oscar possesses incredible hand speed, an immense heart and a greatly underrated chin. There’s very little he hasn’t seen over the course of his illustrious career. Of course you could say many of these same things in regards to Hopkins. But with his 40th birthday only a handful of months away, age has to be brought into question. How much does ‘Nard have left? Only he knows. On September 18th everyone else, including Oscar, will know too.
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