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De La Hoya - Campas 'Robbery without a Gun'?

BY Frank Lotierzo ON April 30, 2003
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Why does HBO-PPV have to gouge the boxing public again, by asking us to pay to see the De La Hoya - Campas fight? Just a couple weeks ago we had to dig into our pockets to see another mismatch in Barrera - Kelly, a fight that in all reality Kelly had no shot at competing in, let alone winning. After that debacle they have the gall to ask us to buy another mismatch in De La Hoya-Campas. This is what is known as being held-up without a gun to your head. Campas, like Kelly has no shot to be in the fight, and I dare not even think that he could upset De La Hoya. What is it that I missed that merits Campas a shot at the junior middleweight title? I don't consider Campas a legitimate title threat at this stage of his career, especially in a division as deep and talented as the 154 pound class? Yes, upsets have almost been the norm so far this year but believe me, there will be no upset here.

Campas hasn't been the same fighter since being stopped by Felix Trinidad back in 1994, and Fernando Vargas in 1998. With the De La Hoya-Mosley rematch already set for September 13 of this year, does anyone think that Bob Arum and Oscar would risk a defeat in "The Golden Boy's" last fight prior to facing Shane Mosley, the only fighter who has clearly beaten him in the ring. Of course not! So we are paying for what boils down to a De La Hoya glorified public workout, with the hope of kicking off the promotion for De La Hoya-Mosley II. Big deal, they're throwing in the WBC Featherweight title fight between champion Erik Morales and Bobby "Boy" Velardez. Both of these fights are HBO Championship boxing caliber, and in no way should they be a PPV event. It's simply HBO taking advantage of De La Hoya's crossover star power in order to milk the boxing public for every last dollar it can. Another reason HBO has to make this De La Hoya workout a PPV fight is because they have Oscar signed to a long term multi- fight contract. This is a means for them to recoup some of their money, by charging the boxing fans to see the fight. The overall buys of the fight aren't paramount to HBO because whatever money it makes is icing on the cake compared to showing it for free on HBO Championship Boxing.

To me a Pay-Per-View fight always signified a Big Fight. A fight worthy of having friends over to your house in order to make a night of it, something you plan ahead with excitement and anticipation. When I think of a PPV fight, I think about a fight that the outcome and significance will be debated for at least the next week. What PPV really is, is having closed circuit in your home. Closed Circuit fights were usually the major fights that warranted their own broadcast because they were so special and wouldn't be shown on home TV for some time, if at all. Some of Closed Circuit's early fights were the two Sonny Liston - Floyd Patterson heavyweight title fights in 1962 and 1963. The exposure of the CC-fights were taken to a new level by the Liston - Clay title fight series in 1964 and 1965. However, the fight that really put the Closed Circuit theatre fights on the map was the March 8, 1971 Frazier vs. Ali fight, commonly referred to as "The Fight of the Century". This fight is the measuring stick by which all big fights as well as PPV fights are measured. This launched over a decade and a half of boxing's most important and major fights on CC until the late 80's when the cable TV boom exploded. The beginning of the PPV era started with the Tyson-Spinks, and the Leonard-Hearns rematch. These are fights most definitely worth the wait and the price of admission. Somehow, De La Hoya-Campas doesn't fit the bill for a PPV fight. This type of fight cheapens the whole aura of the PPV fight in my opinion.

I will not be buying this hyped workout of De La Hoya, I'll wait for De La Hoya - Mosley II. I'd rather save and cherish the memory of those fights that made and shaped boxing history as well as PPV. A PPV or CC fight is Frazier's left, right up Muhammad's Ali in "The Fight of the Century", Ali rumbling past Foreman in the jungle, Ali & Frazier giving us a Thrilla in Manila, it's Hands of Stone taking the welterweight title from Sugar Ray Leonard in The Brawl for it All, or Leonard rallying past Hearns in the Showdown, Holmes turning back the challenge of the undefeated power-punching Gerry Cooney. Some how De La Hoya-Campas doesn't get my blood pumping! How about you?

Some of Boxing History's Major Closed Circuit Fights

09/25/62 Patterson-Liston -Sonny wins heavyweight title
07/22/63 Liston-Patterson- Patterson fails to regain title for third time
02/25/64 Liston-Clay Clay- shocks the World
05/25/65 Ali-Liston -There was a punch
11/22/65 Ali-Patterson -What's my name
02/06/67 Ali-Terrell -Ali regains WBA title
06/23/69 Frazier-Quarry- Frazier retains NY title
02/16/70 Frazier-Ellis Frazier wins Ellis' WBA title
10/26/70 Ali-Quarry -The Champ returns from 43 month exile
11/18/70 Frazier-Foster -Frazier Smokes LH Champ in two
12/07/70 Ali-Bonavena- Ali only fighter to stop Bonavena
03/08/71 Frazier-Ali -No need for explanation
07/26/71 Ali-Ellis -Former sparring partners meet
04/01/72 Ali-Mac Foster- First major heavyweight fight in Tokyo
06/27/72 Ali-Quarry II -Soul Brothers vs Quarry Brothers
09/20/72 Ali-Patterson II- Patterson's last fight
01/22/73 Frazier-Foreman -Foreman wins heavyweight title
09/10/73 Ali-Norton II -Ali avenges Broken Jaw fight with Norton
01/28/74 Ali-Frazier II - Ali evens the score with Joe
03/26/74 Foreman-Norton -Foreman destroys Norton in two
06/17/74 Frazier-Quarry II -Frazier beats the "new" Jerry Quarry
10/30/74 Foreman-Ali- Ali shocks the World, again
07/01/75 Ali-Bugner II- Ali retains title in pre-Manila tune-up
09/30/75 Ali-Frazier III -Ali retains title in a Thrilla
09/28/76 Ali-Norton III- Ali retains title in Yankee Stadium
06/20/80 Leonard-Duran- Duran wins welterweight title
10/02/80 Ali-Holmes -Why Ali is in the condition he's in today
11/25/80 Duran-Leonard- Leonard regains the title (no mas)
09/16/81 Leonard-Hearns- Leonard wins unified welterweight title
06/11/82 Holmes-Cooney -Holmes retains title over undefeated Cooney
11/10/83 Hagler-Duran- Duran takes Hagler 15 rounds
04/15/85 Hagler-Hearns- Maybe best 8 minutes in boxing history
04/06/87 Hagler-Leonard- Hagler loses controversial decision and retires

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