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Does Oscar Stand A Chance?
By Aaron Imholte (June 7, 2004) 
Photo © J.P. Yim
It was a tale of two fighters Saturday night. Bernard Hopkins performed at his usual "super-champion" level as he defeated Robert Allen decisively en route to a unanimous decision. Oscar De La Hoya on the other hand had more than his hands full with WBO middleweight champion Felix Sturm. Oscar walked away with the decision, but he knew he would before the fight had even started. The only way Sturm could derail the mega-showdown in September, is by doing nothing short of knocking De La Hoya out cold.

Now we look ahead to September. Before Saturdays events took place the prospect of a De La Hoya-Hopkins bout made me drool uncontrollably. Now it makes me worry for Oscar's well being. If he performs the way he did against Sturm, and Hopkins performs like he did against Allen, we are in for one of the most one-sided beatdowns in mega-fight history.

So what happened? Did stepping in the ring with bigger fighters intimidate Oscar? No, that can't be it. Oscar doesn't scare easily at all. In fact, he was the one who initiated the Hopkins challenge in the first place. While the move up in size may not have scared or intimidated him, it certainly took its effect. Sturm's size, arm length, and great body protection seemed to give Oscar fits. Perhaps he took Felix too lightly. Perhaps he's not middleweight champion material.

After Fight Video: 
Watch and hear what every fighter had to say after their Fights.  Hopkins, De La Hoya, Sturm and Allen all speak and tell you their thoughts.
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While Sturm's stock rose immensely, De La Hoya's is in danger of tumbling in the very near future. He can't fight like this against Hopkins because like Bernard said, "It's suicide!" The fact that Bernard Hopkins' body is seemingly immune to the effects of aging is not good news for Oscar either.

Honestly, I believe Bernard is going to destroy De La Hoya whether or not Oscar shapes up and fights a better a fight. The middleweight division is Hopkins' and nothing but retirement is going to change that. He is, in my opinion, an all time great P4P. Oscar can collect a nice payday and see what he wants to do from there, but I honestly believe he has very little chance, if any, of beating Bernard Hopkins. I'm not the first writer to say this, and I won't be the last but, prepare for an execution.

What about Felix Sturm? Where does he go from here? This is really a moral victory for Felix.

Everyone knew no matter how he fought he would not win, so nobody was expecting it. The way he performed, however, opened a lot of doors for him. Why not try to get a fight with a name like Howard Eastman or Jermain Taylor later this year and if he can get past one of those two, challenge Bernard Hopkins for the middleweight champion's 20th title defense.

As far as Oscar De La Hoya goes, please believe that Bernard smells blood and is licking his chops waiting for this super paycheck and his 19th successful title defense. De La Hoya is a longshot in my opinion. But that's all it is, my opinion. Take it or leave it.
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