A new candidate has emerged in the hunt for Oscar De La Hoya whose company has squabbled with Manny Pacquiao over percentages for a December meeting.

The new candidate is big Paul “The Punisher” Williams, who has been seeking an opponent himself the past few months.

“Paul Williams name has come up and we’re definitely thinking of a match between him and Oscar,” said Eric Gomez, a matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s definitely being considered.”

Few gave Williams a chance at all of meeting De La Hoya let alone new WBA welterweight titleholder Antonio Margarito. Recent attempts to make a match with Kelly Pavlik and Winky Wright also proved unattainable.

Dan Goossen, president of Goossen-Tutor Promotions, said his protégé Williams nearly was signed to fight Wright in late September but the fight was ditched by HBO, which decided to go in another direction. Apparently that direction is now Shane Mosley colliding with Nicaragua’s Ricardo Mayorga on Sept. 27 at the Home Depot in Los Angeles.

Williams seemed stonewalled and sought a rematch with Margarito who re-established himself as the killer of the welterweight division after obliterating Puerto Ricans Kermit Cintron and Miguel Cotto.

Margarito wants De La Hoya too but Golden Boy Promotions does not seem to like the match.

“They told me that Oscar didn’t want to fight a Mexican for his last fight,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum last month.

Another candidate is East L.A.’s Sergio “the Latin Snake” Mora, a Mexican-American and not a Mexican national, who captured the WBC junior middleweight title from Vernon Forrest and is set for a rematch on Sept. 13 in Las Vegas.

“If Sergio Mora wins that fight he’s another possibility,” said Golden Boy’s Gomez on Sunday.

With De La Hoya announcing that his last fight will be on Dec. 6, it seems everyone in boxing has offered to be his dance partner for the final fling in the ring including Roy Jones Jr., Winky Wright, and Forrest.

Last month new WBC lightweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao’s name was thrown in the hat but negotiations have stalled and that may signal that De La Hoya just doesn’t like the match with the much smaller Pacquiao, who is considered the best fighter Pound for Pound, but is simply much too small.

“If Oscar knocks him out people will say Pacquiao was too small anyway, and if he loses people will say Oscar was never that good in the first place,” said one matchmaker from a rival boxing promotion company who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s a no-win situation for De La Hoya if he faces Pacquiao.”

Negotiations stalled after Pacquiao refused a 30 percent offer of the purse while De La Hoya would take 70 percent.

Don’t expect De La Hoya to budge on the numbers and here’s the reason why: De La Hoya regularly averages nearly 1 million pay-per-views and set the record at 2.4 million pay-per-views when he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2007.

Pacquiao’s last fight against David Diaz on pay-per-view barely passed 200,000 buys. Those are not strong enough to make any demands.

When asked if Pacquiao was the only real opponent considered Gomez said definitely that was not the case, to the surprise of this reporter.

“Paul Williams is being considered,” said Eric Gomez matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s definitely an alternative.”
restaurant called Sisley’s and wondering who would have the guts to step up. Now it could be De La Hoya but that should be no surprise. The East L.A. fighter has often made surprise picks for opponents.

Here’s a few of those past surprises:

In 2000, after Sugar Shane Mosley ran out of opponents in the lightweight division and found few takers in the welterweight level, De La Hoya shocked the boxing world when deciding to accept a fight with the Pomona speedster. At the time Mosley was considered one of the best fighters nobody knew. That fight made Mosley and also was one of the best welterweight clashes ever seen in California.

Two years later De La Hoya shocked the boxing world again when he suddenly accepted a fight with Oxnard’s Fernando Vargas who had been chasing him for six years. The East L.A. fighter had said for years he would not give Vargas a chance to make money from a fight with him, but suddenly turned around and agreed to meet Vargas. He stopped the former junior middleweight strongman in 2002.

In 2004, the biggest shocker of all occurred when De La Hoya surprisingly accepted a match against middleweight world champion Bernard Hopkins who had dominated the division for years with little pay. In that fight De La Hoya held his own for eight rounds and was even ahead on one judge’s scorecard before Hopkins landed a perfectly placed left hook to the body. The next surprise came when Hopkins became a partner with Golden Boy and then came Mosley.

De La Hoya loves challenges, not easy wins, history has shown. Sure he’s taken a few fights in the past five years that were mere tune-ups, like his bout against Steve Forbes, but not many. It makes sense that the East L.A. fighter would be willing to meet WBO titleholder Williams.

“Oscar has said before that he wants to fight the best welterweight and that’s Paul Williams,” said Goossen. “Williams beat Margarito so it makes sense.”

Now, Williams, who seemed to be left in limbo, has a chance to make at least $10 million if De La Hoya picks his number.

“Oscar is the biggest name in boxing without a doubt,” said Goossen. “Williams is the most feared fighter.”

Boxing chatter

Roy Englebrecht Events presents a boxing card at the Irvine Marriott featuring Aaron Martinez (8-0-1) facing Hilario Lopez in a junior middleweight contest on Wednesday, Aug. 27. For tickets and information call (949) 760-3131.

Former WBO heavyweight titleholder Lamon Brewster (33-4) returns to the ring against Danny Batchelder (25-5-1) on Saturday, Aug. 30 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The match will not be televised. Brewster’s last fight took place against Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF title in July 2007.

The $1.5 million dollar heavyweight World Xtreme Boxing Challenge tournament was postponed and will now take place on Sept. 26 in the same venue, Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. It was scheduled to occur this Friday but due to unforeseen complications the one-day tournament that features eight heavyweights fighting five rounds until a winner emerges has been moved up a month.

Undefeated lightweight prospect John Molina (12-0, 9 KOs) headlines a fight card at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, California on Friday, Aug. 29. Molina faces Danny Perez in the main event on a All Star Boxing fight card. For tickets and information (323) 781-4871.

Ela “Bam Bam” Nunez (8-3) defends her WIBA junior featherweight title against fellow New Yorker Melissa Hernandez (8-1-2) at Buffalo Bill’s Casino in Primm, Nevada on Friday, Sept. 5. Nunez beat Dominga Olivo for the title just three weeks ago.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 9 p.m., Matt Godfrey (16-1) vs. Emmanuel Nwodo (22-4).

Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Mike Jones (14-0) vs. Juliano Ramos (15-1).