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Is De La Hoya-Mayweather II Going To Happen?

LAS VEGAS - MAY 01:  Retired boxer/promoter Oscar De La Hoya attends the weigh-in for the junior welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and Ricky Hatton of England at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 1, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Joe OneillCorrespondent IIJanuary 13, 2010

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Part Deux?

I know, it’s a crazy idea.

Just crazy enough that it could work.

Just crazy enough that Oscar De La Hoya might consider it.

De La Hoya, who hasn’t fought since December, 2008, has been in retirement since Manny Pacquiao overwhelmed him with an eighth round knockout.

He’ll be 37 in February.

He’s lost four of his last seven fights to Pacquiao, Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley.

There’s no reason for De La Hoya to take this fight.

His future is set at Golden Boy.

He’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

He is still a handsome guy.

No reason at all.

But, yet, I think it could happen.

There are a few reasons I think he might come out of retirement and agree to fight Mayweather.

The first is that Mayweather didn’t dominate him in their fight. In fact, it was a lot closer than many people realize. In the back of his mind, he’s probably thinking he could have beaten Floyd.

Mayweather is a great defensive fighter, but he never really hurt De La Hoya.

The next reason is that he looked horrible against Pacquiao. Let’s face it, De La Hoya is not a guy who likes to look horrible. That’s not how he wants to go out of the sport he loves.

He and everyone else knows he would be a long shot to beat Mayweather. If he pulled off the upset, his legacy would be set.

The last reason is the most obvious—ego.

The same ego that kept Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Tommy Hearns, Robert Duran, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Evander Holyfield, and just about every great champion who has ever fought in the game way beyond their prime.

They’re not going to retire. They have to be retired.

I don’t think Oscar believes he’s done. I think he misses the limelight. I think he misses the adrenaline.

And I don’t think he’s afraid of Mayweather.

The question in his mind must be “Can I sell this fight to the public?” Can he get the general public to believe he’s still capable of beating Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

Personally, I think De La Hoya is still good for two million PPV buys. He’s the most popular fighter of the last 20 years. He’s idolized within the Latino community.

As far as Mayweather is concerned, this is his type of fight. Lots of money against a, let’s face it, not very dangerous challenger.

Mayweather is all about the money and his undefeated record.

This fight is perfect for him.

Yes, the boxing purists will scream and cry that Mayweather is avoiding bigger and better fighters. I don’t think he cares. The ‘ average Joe on the street’ will still be interested in this fight.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but I keep wondering why Mayweather  hasn’t announced his next opponent?

Certainly he had a few guys in mind if the Pacquiao fight fell through (which it did). Pacquiao announced his fight with Clottey a day after their fight fell through.

Could he and Golden Boy be hatching this plan?

Floyd and Oscar both know, there’s nobody even close in boxing who has De La Hoya’s name and panache. It takes the sting out of the Pacquiao affair.

Would it be a good fight? I think it would be better than Mayweather facing off against Matthew Hatton or Paulie Malignaggi. I don't think it would be as good as Mayweather facing a Kermit Cintron or Paul Williams.

If you think I’m reaching, that’s what they said when Sugar Ray Leonard came out of retirement and beat Marvin Hagler.

Where can I comment?

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