Jan 24 2008, 07:09 PM
I didn't get to read it. Does anyone know what was said?
Jan 24 2008, 07:41 PM
Here's the Insider Blog he posted today. If you ever need any Insider info from that site, let me know. I have an account.
Decisions, decisions …
posted: Thursday, January 24, 2008 | Print Entry
So, Oscar De La Hoya has decided to fight three times in 2008, beginning with a May 3 tune-up fight to prepare for a September rematch with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, followed by a farewell fight in December.
The fight with Mayweather last May, which De La Hoya lost by split decision, was far more competitive than many believed it would be. And De La Hoya, past his prime, came into the bout off a year of inactivity. It's reasonable to believe that had De La Hoya, 34, been a bit sharper he could have pulled it out. Fighting once a year, however, especially when you're in your mid-30s like De La Hoya (38-5, 30 KOs), is not the best way to get ready to fight the best fighter in the world.
That's why De La Hoya wants/needs a tune-up. But whom to fight?
De La Hoya, who will likely fight at about 150 pounds, has narrowed the field to three names: Steve Forbes (33-5, 9 KOs), Paulie Malignaggi (24-1, 5 KOs) and Dmitriy Salita (27-0-1, 15 KOs).
All three fight at 140 pounds and are much smaller than De La Hoya. None is a big puncher either. In other words, they're relatively safe opponents against whom De La Hoya figures to get in some work, not get hurt and move on unscathed to a rematch of the biggest-grossing fight in boxing history.
So if you can accept that De La Hoya won't be facing a topflight opponent -- and remember, at least this one is being planned for HBO, not a $50 pay-per-view, and there are going to be plenty of cheap tickets available -- who would make the best foe for De La Hoya to fight, keeping in mind that the idea is to prepare for Mayweather?
Here's a look at the three candidates:
Forbes, 30, who won a world title at 130 pounds before moving up, is best known for being the runner-up on the second season of "The Contender." In the September 2006 final, he lost a split decision to Grady Brewer -- fighting at 149 pounds, well above his natural weight. De La Hoya is certainly a lot better than Brewer.
Following the loss to Brewer, Forbes faced Demetrius Hopkins, the undefeated nephew of light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, in March 2007 and was the victim of one of the three worst decisions of the year. Ringside media overwhelmingly had Forbes not only winning, but winning comfortably. I was at the fight and had it 116-112 for Forbes.
Guess who was also sitting ringside getting a good look at Forbes? De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions, which works well with "The Contender," put on the card headlined by Juan Manuel Marquez-Marco Antonio Barrera.
Forbes rebounded to take a split decision from one-time top prospect Francisco Bojado in October. Again, De La Hoya was ringside because Golden Boy put on the card headlined by the Manny Pacquiao-Barrera rematch.
Like Mayweather, Forbes is quick with his hands and on his feet. He can counterpunch well and has a similar physical build to Mayweather. In fact, Forbes and Mayweather have sparred with each other and have been friendly for years.
Of the three candidates, Forbes is the obvious choice if De La Hoya truly wants the opponent most similar to Mayweather. Although Forbes could give De La Hoya some problems, De La Hoya figures to handle him based on the physical size difference alone. Forbes is Mayweather-lite and fits the bill. It's my guess that he will get the fight.
Malignaggi, 27, is a reigning junior welterweight titleholder coming off a close victory in his first defense against Herman Ngoudjo on Jan. 5.
Malignaggi is a skilled fighter with good defense and speed. In that sense, he's similar to Mayweather. And, like Forbes, he has almost no chance to hurt De La Hoya.
The flashy New Yorker is also tough as nails and no matter what De La Hoya hits him with, it would take a little bit to knock him out. Anyone who saw the valiant effort he turned in during his only loss, a decision to Miguel Cotto in a 2006 junior welterweight title bout, knows what I'm talking about.
Another plus for Malignaggi is his gift of gab. Maybe De La Hoya would physically handle him in the ring, but the build-up to the fight would be a lot of fun because Malignaggi has a great personality and is one of the best talkers in the game. He's far more outgoing than Forbes or Salita and would add a lot to any promotion.
However, Malignaggi could also make De La Hoya look bad, even in a victory, because of his tricky style. Of the three candidates mentioned, Malignaggi probably has the best chance to pull the upset.
Promoter Lou DiBella says he's had a call from Golden Boy Promotions about Malignaggi's availability, but that was a week ago. That's not a good sign.
Salita, 25, is an Orthodox Jew from Ukraine living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has to be the biggest long shot to land the fight with De La Hoya because he's simply not credible, despite his glossy record.
Salita has faced woeful competition and has been knocked down three times in his past five fights. One De La Hoya left hook could mean a quick end if Salita were picked as the opponent.
Forbes and Malignaggi may be a lot smaller than De La Hoya, but they are world-class fighters with championship experience. Salita isn't.
How suspect is he? When HBO and promoter Main Events were haggling over an opponent to face Arturo Gatti last year, Salita was brought up by the Gatti camp. HBO considered him but ultimately rejected him after one executive attended a March fight and came away extraordinarily unimpressed.
Salita hasn't fought since that poor performance. If he couldn't get approved by HBO to face Gatti how in the world could HBO justify approving him to fight De La Hoya?
And then there is this wrinkle: Because Salita is religious, he won't fight before sundown on Saturday, which is when the Sabbath ends in Judaism. De La Hoya's next fight could take place in Southern California, where it could still be light out when they get in the ring. That means if Salita is selected, he would have to go against his religious beliefs, which I guess he could do for such a huge opportunity. But I wouldn't count on him being put in a position where he has to decide.
Jan 25 2008, 11:07 AM
Boxing Confidential is already reporting that Forbes is a shoe-in.
Jan 25 2008, 12:47 PM
Rafael called Forbes "Mayweather-lite", what a douche. I guess he was one of the douches that thought the DLH-Mayweather fight was close. He is a douche
Jan 27 2008, 08:22 PM
I was hoping for either Paulie or Chavez Jr.
Thank you for the update.