LAS VEGAS– There is speculation that Oscar De La Hoya will fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, provided he gets by Ricardo Mayorga Saturday at the MGM Grand.
Not so, said Floyd Mayweather Sr., Floyd’s father and De La Hoya’s trainer.
“It’s not going to happen,” Mayweather Sr. said Friday, a day before the scheduled 12-round fight between De La Hoya and Mayorga dubbed “Danger Zone.” “De La Hoya is too big for [my son].”
De La Hoya has repeatedly said he would love to end his career with a fight against Mayweather Jr., the world welterweight champion and generally considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.
But he also said he wouldn’t do it without Mayweather Sr.’s approval.
So, rather than Mayweather, De La Hoya may have to look toward middleweight Winky Wright, who is scheduled to fight Jermain Taylor this summer for the undisputed middleweight title; or Puerto Rican legend Felix Trinidad, who is expected to come out of retirement.
Trinidadbeat De La Hoya via controversial decision in 1999.
Meanwhile, De La Hoya has a fight Saturday that many expect to be tough and grueling.
It will also be well-watched, as Mayorga, the defending champion, has talked up the gate and pay-per-view sales with a never-ending verbal assault.
That assault continued at the weigh-in Friday, as Mayorga grabbed his crotch and told De La Hoya, “You don’t have the (balls) to take my title belt.”
Mayorga is indeed a tough test for the “Golden Boy” at this stage of De La Hoya’s career. “El Matador” is durable, strong and possesses one of the hardest punches in the junior middleweight division.
Combine Mayorga’s abilities with the questions surrounding De La Hoya – is he, at 33, too faded to take out a young horse like Mayorga? – and you have another pay-per-view bonanza for the native of East Los Angeles.
Mayweather Sr. says De La Hoya has a lot left. Too much for a limited brawler like Nicaraguan Mayorga.
“De La Hoya is going to fight a smart fight,” he said. “He’s going to use quick combinations and a jab.”
Indeed, if De La Hoya is still able to box as he did years ago, he should have little problem with Mayorga. He is quicker, smarter and much more skilled than his adversary. And that seemed to be the consensus among press row, as only media agency polled by the sweetscience.com picked Mayorga to pull the upset.
But there is still the sense of danger for De La Hoya. He says, if he loses, he will retire.
Fighters such as former De La Hoya adversary Shane Mosley hardly expect that to happen, however.
“It will be an exciting fight, especially early,” he said. “But as long as De La Hoya uses his jab, he should be ok.”