Oscar De La Hoya - A Storybook Ending?
By Eric Marks (Aug 15, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
Oscar De La Hoya’s big plans for 2008, his stated last year as a fighter, continue to get disrupted. The latest interference is the breakdown in negotiations for a December mega-fight with Manny Pacquiao, a fight that fell through due to financial rigidity from both fighters. It is rather immaterial to debate which fighter is at fault for this bout’s breakdown, given a case could made for either one. Nevertheless, Pacquiao is just the latest spoiler to De La Hoya’s grand farewell. Now the Golden Boy is faced with the prospect of fighting Sergio Mora providing he beats Vernon Forrest in a rematch in September, not a guaranteed victory. Even still, fighting Mora, though a solid
boxer, is probably not the way De La Hoya envisioned ending his illustrious career given his ambitious plan at the beginning of 2008.

To recap briefly, De La Hoya (at the beginning of this year) had his sights set on Steve Forbes in May followed by a rematch with Floyd Mayweather this September and an unnamed opponent to end his career this December. His plan seemed intact after soundly beating Forbes that is until Mayweather retired abruptly. He then had to scramble for a September opponent but was unable to find one given several fighters fought this summer ensuring the turnaround time was too soon. One such case was Ricky Hatton, who it appeared for a moment would cancel a November 2008 bout to fight Oscar in September, though that didn’t occur.

Oscar seemed to handle it well though, as he knew he would have several high profile options available for him this December. Most fans knew his likely opponents would be Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao, or possibly Felix Trindad. The ongoing weight issue ensured the Trinidad fight would not happen, but that was the least attractive of the three opponents, given the timeliness of the rematch and Trinidad’s diminished abilities. Pacquiao’s impressive KO against David Diaz ensured at least that a fight with De La Hoya was possible for December, though Miguel Cotto seemed the likely candidate until Antonio Margarito knocked him out a few weeks ago. The prospect of fighting a big rugged welterweight like Margarito was not attractive for De La Hoya, so Pacquiao was his only other option.

It some ways it seemed like the perfect ending for Oscar given Pacquiao is a huge star, current pound for pound king, and De La Hoya was out of options thus diminishing the likelihood of fans picking on him for fighting a smaller guy. And now the pride of De La Hoya and Pacquiao has ruined this prospect forcing Oscar to settle for Sergio Mora. If this plan breaks down and Mora loses his rematch to Vernon Forrest, then De La Hoya would almost certainly have to fight Forrest, a guy few are interested in facing. The only other viable option for De La Hoya at this point would be Joshua Clotty, but his lack of status in boxing (compared to previously mentioned big names) and toughness are probably not what De La Hoya is looking for, though Oscar holds a size advantage over him.

Will De La Hoya’s plans be broken up yet again? A better question may be will December be Oscar’s last fight? He has said it will, but 2008 has not gone like he thought it would and Mora does little to add to De La Hoya’s fantasy. His storybook ending is in jeopardy and may have to wait until sometime in 2009.

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