QUOTE(Col Reb @ Jun 10 2008, 04:36 PM) [snapback]392097[/snapback]
Anyone know what was said in Dan Rafael's blog?
De La Hoya sweepstakes kick off posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | By: Dan Rafael
The most immediate fallout from Floyd Mayweather's sudden retirement on Friday involves Oscar De La Hoya. The Golden Boy was supposed to fight him in a Sept. 20 rematch, but now that's out and De La Hoya is scrambling for a new opponent.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is working on signing an opponent, despite being laid up with the flu this week. So, while the situation is playing out, let's take a look at the field of fighters in the running in what I believe is the order of likelihood:
• Ricky Hatton: It's by far the biggest money fight of those that are realistic for De La Hoya. It's a cinch hit on HBO PPV, would receive the most mainstream media attention, would do massive money in the United Kingdom and would undoubtedly receive HBO's "24/7" treatment (they both starred in "24/7" series last year before their fights with Mayweather). And just imagine if Golden Boy Promotions decided to stage it in England. Pay-per-views normally don't take place overseas because of the notion that if it's out of the country, it will lose a certain amount of American business. But if the fight was held at a place like Wembley Stadium, the gate would be so enormous that it could potentially make up for whatever shortfall there might be in American PPV business. The fight might draw 100,000 people in England, not to mention huge PPV business in both countries. It's a PPV that would easily exceed 1 million buys in America alone.
It's also a fairly easy fight to make because Hatton recently signed with Golden Boy. However, there's one hitch: Hatton has a signed contract to face Paulie Malignaggi in the fall. I called Malignaggi promoter Lou DiBella the other day to ask about the status of his contract. He said it's "a signed, ironclad deal." Then I asked whether he and Malignaggi might step aside for the right payout. DiBella's response: "Richard has my number." The point is that De La Hoya-Hatton is a potential $100 million-plus grossing fight. Golden Boy surely could find a few bucks to induce Malignaggi and DiBella to get out of the way of this juggernaut fight.
Oh, and by the way, let's set aside Hatton's supposed dismissal of the fight as nothing more than a negotiating ploy.
• Sergio Mora: The first-season winner of "The Contender" reality series put himself squarely in the sweepstakes with a stunning upset victory against Vernon Forrest on Saturday night to win a junior middleweight title. The win gave Mora serious credibility. Moreover, he and De La Hoya are both Los Angeles-born and bred and the fight would pack the Staples Center. It would give De La Hoya a chance to win yet another belt, which would be the cherry on top of his Hall of Fame-worthy career. And don't underestimate this factor: "Contender" promoter Jeff Wald really wants to make the fight and he can be awfully persuasive, not to mention the fact that he and Schaefer have done good business together in the past (like De La Hoya versus Steve Forbes last month) and they have a very good relationship. Bottom line: If De La Hoya wants the fight, it could be made in five minutes and time is of the essence.
What an interesting promotion it would be. Who in a gazillion years would have thought that "The Contender" winner would enter a fight as a champion and De La Hoya, the 10-time champion in six divisions, would in essence be the contender?
• Manny Pacquiao: Some will laugh and say this isn't a realistic match because of the size difference. But you know what? They would be wrong. The fight is entirely possible and I am told that it's a fight that De La Hoya is interested in. Obviously, Pacquiao would have to beat David Diaz June 28 for a lightweight belt and look good doing it. I'm not sure De La Hoya wants to wait that long to set his fight, particularly because it's no lock that Pacquiao beats Diaz. But the Pacquiao side would take the fight in a heartbeat. Back in October, when I first wrote a blog detailing my conversation with HBO's Larry Merchant, who conceived the fight, I called Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank for his thoughts on Merchant's fantasy. Here's what he said back then: "We'll take it. I don't even have to call Manny. I am sure he would accept the challenge without question."
I asked Arum about it again last weekend when I was with him in Atlantic City covering Kelly Pavlik's fight. Again, Arum said they'd be interested. He and Pacquiao know it's a huge money fight. If it happened and Pacquiao lost, he could easily retreat to the lightweight division and go about his business.
Let's not forget about a couple of interesting subplots: De La Hoya would be going against his former trainer, Freddie Roach. And who can forget that De La Hoya once signed Pacquiao with a briefcase of cash in the backseat of a limo at LAX in the move that led to all-out war between Top Rank and Golden Boy. I say if this fight does happen, the winner's purse should be paid in cash in a briefcase in the ring after the match.
• Felix Trinidad: It is the one fight De La Hoya has always said he wants more than any other. He threw away their 1999 mega fight when he ran for the final three rounds, believing he had the fight in the bag. To a degree, fairly or unfairly, those last three rounds define De La Hoya's career to some and he would love a chance to set the record straight. They've talked about a rematch seemingly forever, but it's a long shot for two reasons:
1.Trinidad and promoter Don King have always insisted on a 60-40 split of revenue in their favor -- a flip of the terms they gave De La Hoya for the first fight. They have always stubbornly insisted that because they won the first fight, they should have the favorable terms in a rematch. De La Hoya will never, ever take the short end of the stick in any fight, nor should he.
2. Weight. Trinidad could never come down to 154, or even 160. He struggled to make 170 for his January loss to Roy Jones. Maybe, just maybe, he'd be willing to make 168 or even 165. De La Hoya would be at a massive disadvantage if he went up that high. Remember how awful he looked at 160 pounds? De La Hoya should not fight above junior middleweight and he knows it. This fight is a huge long shot.
• The winner of Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito: Competitively and actionwise it's the best of the bunch, but it's not realistic, and it's not because De La Hoya is looking to duck anyone. Cotto and Margarito square off in the summer's most anticipated fight July 26. The turnaround to Sept. 20 is simply too short of a window for the winner to adequately recover from what will undoubtedly be a grueling fight and then train for Sept. 20. And don't forget that any big PPV fight typically needs 90 days to properly promote it. There's just not enough time for this one to happen in September, although if De La Hoya moved his fight to a later date it could be more realistic.
• Shane Mosley: Mosley owns two wins over De La Hoya, one clear decision and a controversial decision in the rematch. Although both men are highly competitive and would give their all in the ring against each other, it's simply not a credible fight given their business and personal relationship. Their friendship has grown over the years and Mosley is De La Hoya's business partner as a part-owner of Golden Boy Promotions. I also get the feeling that they don't really want to fight each other again. I also don't think either wants to deal with the tremendous amount of negative publicity that would be generated by stories about Mosley's admitted steroid use (he says it was done unknowingly) before the second fight. Forget about this one.
• Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.: De La Hoya beat Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., the Mexican icon, twice. Fighting his son would be the biggest revenge match you could possibly make. But it's just not ripe yet. Chavez Jr. has virtually no recognition among non-Hispanic fans and has not faced a single credible opponent to warrant a fight with De La Hoya. This one is a nonstarter for September, but I could definitely see De La Hoya wrapping up his career next May against Chavez Jr. on Cinco De Mayo weekend. It would be a gargantuan fight. Arum, who promotes Chavez Jr. and promoted De La Hoya for most of his career, loves the idea and insisted to me that Chavez Jr. would knock De La Hoya out. Let's not get carried away, Bob! That said, I'd like to see this fight before De La Hoya retires. It's just not going to happen in September.