HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.-Boxing most famous fighter Oscar De La Hoya and the sports most talented Floyd Mayweather Jr. ended the eight-day promotional tour with a final stomp in front of the Mann Chinese Theater where entertainment greats of the past made their footprints.
And one big salvo was fired from De La Hoya’s camp: Sugar Shane Mosley will serve as the primary sparring partner for the Golden Boy in Puerto Rico.
Hundreds of fans lined up along Hollywood Boulevard to catch a glimpse of both fighters before they begin training for their blockbuster showdown that takes place on May 5 in Las Vegas.
After traveling through 11 cities across the United States the two prizefighters ended the tour in Hollywood. Supporters of hometown hero De La Hoya treated Mayweather rudely.
“I was born in East L.A.,” said De La Hoya, 34, who smiled with a hint of embarrassment at the boos directed at his opponent.
“That’s OK,” said Mayweather, 30. “You all can’t fight for him in the ring.”
Across the nation at each stop Mayweather fired verbal assaults at De La Hoya’s abilities and credibility. In Los Angeles, Mayweather pulled out a golden cage with a chicken inside and a nametag that said “The Golden Girl.”
It was the first of many insults tossed in De La Hoya’s direction.
“I’m tired of all the trash talk. It’s annoying,” said De La Hoya as he sat back in his chair with his hands behind his head. “The truth of the matter is, he’s a child. We actually had to give him a time out.”
Aside from the verbal sparring, the promotion and build up to perhaps the most lucrative prizefight of all time has turned into a novella. First De La Hoya’s trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., asked for a $2 million check to assist him against his own son. Now it appears that the father will train his son against De La Hoya.
“I’m full of surprises,” said Mayweather Jr.
In another surprise, Pomona’s Sugar Shane Mosley take the plane ride to Puerto Rico with his business partner and friend De La Hoya. Though it was never mentioned Mosley confirmed what some boxing experts felt was a good fit, use the Pomona speedster to simulate Mayweather.
“Oscar asked me to be a sparring partner and I said yes,” said Mosley, who attended the Hollywood press conference and recently fought two weeks ago. “I’m still in good shape.”
Mosley said he can easily imitate Mayweather, plus he adds one more crucial element.
“I hit a lot harder than Mayweather,” Mosley said. “I should be able to help Oscar.”
With the fight already sold out to a tune of a gate record $19 million, the pay-per-view and closed circuit television are close to their own record goals in this match up between a boxing icon and the sport’s ingénue.
“There’s never been anything like this,” said film producer Leigh Simon who is involved in making De La Hoya’s biopic. “It’s almost unbelievable.”
Simon’s footage of the 11-city tour can be seen by going to www.LeighSimons.com.
Mayweather said that no special tactics will be needed when he fights De La Hoya, but promised to make winners out of those who believe in him.
“Right off the gate we’re going to get it on,” promised Mayweather to a throng of reporters at the Oscar Room (named because it was the site of the very first Academy Awards) in the Roosevelt Hotel. “There are a lot of things he does wrong like he don’t bend his knees. He’s too straight up…he’s only got a left hand.”
De La Hoya feels that Mayweather is entering uncharted waters without a lifesaver.
“You can see he’s nervous, he’s antsy. That’s what happens when in under the big fights, the big stage,” De La Hoya said.
How big is this fight?
“It’s one of the greatest fights in the history of boxing,” said MGM Grand’s Richard Sturm.