Oscar De La Hoya, near fighting trim, clear-eyed, seemingly serene, referring to "my company" several times, was in NYC for another leg of the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara press tour on Thursday afternoon, at the Hard Rock in Times Square.
He won points with the media for self deprecation, noting that THIS TIME, he truly believed the principle bout was a coin flip scrap, and also touched on other bouts and scrappers, including Floyd Mayweather.
I asked Oscar what he thought of Floyd's showing on May 3; did he see any sign of slippage?
"I don't think he's slipping," Oscar said. "But I saw signs of vulnerability. It can happen to anyone. It catches up to everyone. Eventually it happens to all fighters. Bernard Hopkins, I don't know when...But you can't turn back time. I can't say Floyd's lost a step. It's hard to say, it could have been Maidanas' style. He's awkward, he made him look that way."
And, does a fighter go into denial mode, when his legs felt heavy, the snap, the crackle weren't present in the same way they'd been in the past? "In a heartbeat," Oscar said. He said he went into denial mode a bit after beating Fernando Vargas (in 2002, he went 4-4 after that bout, or 3-5 if you think he lost to Felix Sturm), and said he felt signs of slippage at 35...no...33 years old...no, actually, around age 30, because of how hard he lived off the court, so to speak.
I hear folks debating whether or not Floyd showed clear and present signs of aging on May 3, or not. You guys, what do you say? Father Time got his clamps into the 37-year-old?
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