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Oscar de la Hoya vs Felix Sturm: Not Tonight...
By Jeff Mayweather (June 6, 2004) 
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On Saturday night June 5th at the M.G.M. in Las Vegas there was supposed to be a Collision Course between Oscar de la Hoya and Bernard Hopkins, although in separate bouts. Hopkins vs Allen was so boring I fell asleep, waking up in the final round, just in time for Michael Buffer to announce that Hopkins had once again prevailed over Allen.

Now the third and last fight of the televised show was quite interesting; Felix Sturm gained a great deal of respect from the American boxing fans when he gave a little better than he got from Oscar de la Hoya. Felix Sturm had some really good boxing skills; an extremely good jab and very good right uppercut.

The fight started fast as Oscar set the tone to establish that he belonged in the Middleweight division and he wasn't going to let Sturm's size be the determining factor in the fight. He set a blistering pace in the first round as his punch count ran over a hundred punches thrown. Still, it was also very obvious that Oscar was not going to run through Sturm no matter how many punches he threw. Sturm was not only a full fledged Middleweight but he could also fight.

Oscar easily took the first four rounds but you could still see that Sturm wasn't going to give up his title without a fight. While I gave the first four rounds to Oscar clearly Sturm was consistently landing a very strong jab that busted Oscar's nose and eventually caused a little swelling under De la Hoya's right eye.

In the middle rounds Sturm started to take complete control of the match, constantly landing that piston like jab and a few good right hands as well. Oscar would occasionally dig down within himself to muster up a combination to appease the crowd, but as has been his downfall he started to fade down the stretch in the Championship rounds. Sturm took control of the fight and never really let go. He even turned southpaw and landed some telling blows.

Oscar was man enough to admit that the fight was very close and could have gone either way. He also said that he had fought a great champ and things just didn't come together tonight inside of the ring. Being a former fighter I understand what he was saying because I've been in those shoes before, where leading up to a fight everything seems great but for some reason you can't pull the trigger. Nevertheless that is not Sturm's fault, he came to fight and I thought won the fight maybe by a point or two and should still be WBO Middleweight Champion. I guess it's like poetic justice Oscar found himself on the short end of the stick against Mosley when he clearly won outright. Sturm may be the innocent victim in all of this but it's boxing and it happens.

Felix Sturm showed the boxing world that he is a force to be reckoned with and is certainly one of the elite Middleweights, unless he fought way above his ability and De la Hoya fought way below his. In Felix Sturm I saw with my own eyes a solid fighter that one day will become Middleweight Champion again but not tonight.

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