With word coming out that Pacquiao-Hatton might be DOA, and that Oscar De La Hoya is considering stepping in with The Hitman on May 2nd in England, it seems like an opportune time to guess whether Oscar will fight again. Of course, Pacquiao-Hatton it seems is now a go, but that doesn't mean the debate on whether Oscar should hang up the gloves, and concentrate on promotion, will cease.

TSS reached out to HBO’s sage, Larry Merchant, and asked him if he though De La Hoya would glove up again.

“My gut tells me, if it’s between 1 to 10, I’d say probably 7, that he fights again,” Merchant told us.

“I can sense that his people are rationalizing what happened against Pacquiao, not with alibis, it hasn’t gotten to that level, but with talk of the weight issue and the new trainer who maybe overworked him and that he had the wrong opponent in front of him. That old adage, that styles makes fights, is most true when it comes to veterans, who don’t want to fight a guy who is really quick.

“Bernard Hopkins fights Jermain Taylor and Joe Calzaghe, and he looks old. He fights Pavlik and he looks ten years younger.

“Oscar could fight someone not hard to find and see what happens.”

Whether or not a whole boatload of people buy the event is another matter entirely. Fans consistently come up to him, Merchant says, and ask him who the next De La Hoya is, and the analyst thinks that his fanbase may be near a tipping point, that they may not buy another event after the Golden Boy has come up short in so many big outings.

But, Oscar’s pride is immense and Merchant can see how the fighter/promoter might like to fight again, to “show everybody they’re wrong.”

The fighter seems to be pulled in different directions. “My family and my wife tell me, 'Enough! Accept it. That's it. You don't have it no more',” he told the Sun.

“I've been on vacation and have not been thinking about it. But hopefully soon I will make that firm and last decision. I've been going back and forth and everybody and their mother is telling me to hang them up. There are a lot of questions out there that need to be answered and I'll figure it out. I have to be certain.”

Merchant thinks Hopkins and Schaefer would vote ‘Yay’ on Oscar fighting again. “He’s still the most important fighter in Golden Boy,” Merchant said. “And people are still talking about his fight with Manny. So, if you put a gun to my head, I say yes, Oscar fights again. Money isn’t an issue, of course, not unless he invested all his money with Bernie Madoff!”

Me, I say with certainty that Oscar fights again, 10 out of 10. He’s laid out the rationalizations/explanations, about his weight and his new trainer and the absence of Floyd Senior. Most importantly, he talks about there being a question in his head. Those questions, that uncertainty, must be, I’m afraid to say, hammered out of him in an even more conclusive fashion than Manny did. He’ll need to fight at the right weight, with the right trainer, and get worked over for him to be convinced that he is now best suited for making fights, not taking fights.