Poet Dylan Thomas penned "Do not go gentle into that good night" but in the case of Oscar De La Hoya, I hope he goes gently and quickly. It is this which makes the upcoming De La Hoya-Mosley fight a must-see: it very well could be Oscar's last appearance in the ring.
Consider this - win, lose, or draw, what more does De La Hoya have to prove in the ring? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The Golden Boy has taken on, and beaten, the best his divisions have had to offer for years. Yes, he lost to Mosley, but that is why this second bout is taking place. The loss to Trinidad was controversial, and beyond that he has a clean slate. Oscar has his physical and mental heath. He has been a success in business. He has his family.
In and out of the ring De La Hoya has been a success - temporary amnesia sets in as we forget he ever did record that CD - and there really isn't anyone left for him to fight. If he beats Mosley you could make a case for a third tilt with Sugar Shane, if not there would be no point, having been beaten twice. It looks as though Felix Trinidad has taken well to a life of waking up at 10 in the morning and staying in his pajamas until well past noon, so the prospect of him coming back for Oscar to avenge that loss seems remote.
A second fight with Fernando Vargas really wouldn't prove anything as Oscar truly outclassed "El Feroz" in their bout. He would have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by fighting Vargas a second time. Winky Wright is always ready to fight any of the top fighters, however the top fighters are often not as excited about facing him. Wright does not have the drawing power to make a mega-fight with DLH, although it seems every fight Oscar is in becomes a mega-event. He could take apart 147 pound champ Ricardo Mayorga - who has been calling him out - but that would prove little. Exposing a one-trick pony as a one-trick pony really serves no purpose other than to upgrade the stable conditions of said pony. So why go on?
Maybe he won't.
"Though wise men at their end know dark is right,Because their words had forked no lightning theyDo not go gentle into that good night."
I consider Oscar De La Hoya to be a "wise" man and although he may not be at his "end" he should "go gentle into that good night". His fists have "forked" some serious "lightning" on the top opposition of his time and he has made a positive impact on the sport of boxing and society through works outside the ring. To me, there is nothing left for him beyond Mosley. He certainly can't need the money - unless a sizable loan to Mike Tyson at loan sharks' vigorish is on the horizon. He doesn't need the fame, has all that one could want, music CD in hand. He has a beautiful wife - not to suggest that fame and fortune have any relation to having a beautiful wife, of course. Oscar has it all and after avenging his loss to Sugar Shane the pieces will all be in place for a graceful exit. The only thing one can think of to keep the Golden Boy in the ring would be a grand unification at 154. That would mean a match with the current IBF Super Welterweight - the aforementioned Wright, all due respect to the WBO and their titleholder Daniel Santos.
No matter the outcome on Saturday night, I don't see De La Hoya as one to "rage, rage against the dying of the light". With his head held high and a million dollar smile in tact, he just might "go gentle into that good night".