Ted Sares fought as an amateur boxer in the Chicago area in the 50's. He has since become a boxing historian and member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He specializes in articles that capture the pathos of the sport. His works have been featured on a number of boxing sites and magazines including East Side Boxing, Fightkings, WAIL Magazine, IBRO Journal, Saddoboxing.com, and many others

Monday, April 02, 2007

Handicapping De La Hoya vs Mayweather

By Ted Sares

Let’s break this super fight down and come up with the odds.

Record: During his amateur career, Oscar De La Hoya's record was 223-5 with 163 knockouts and he was a Gold Medal Winner at the Barcelona Olympic Games.Floyd Mayweather also had a successful amateur career with a record of 84-6. He won national Golden Gloves championships in 1993 (at 106 lb), 1994 (at 112 lb), and 1996 (at 125 lb). He represented the U.S. in the 1996 Olympics and was on his way to a gold medal before a controversial loss forced him to accept the bronze medal. As a pro, Oscar is 38 -4 with 30 ko's. He has a ko percentage of 71%. Pretty Boy is 37-0 with 24 ko’s and a ko perectage of 65%.

Pretty Boy has won four world boxing championships in four different weight classes, from Super Featherweight to Welterweight, and is a six-time world champion. To most observers, two of his defeats should have gone the other way.

I see this as a wash.

Level of Opposition: Oscar has fought a better level including the likes of Trinidad, Mosley, Vargas, Mayorga, Chavez, Quartey, Camacho, Jesse James Leja, Genaro Hernandez, Rafael Ruelas, Troy Dorsey, Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Pernell Whitaker and many other tough fighters. A won lost analysis of his opponents would be astounding as many of them came in with undefeated records.

Floyd, on the other hand, has not fought anywhere near that level. Aside from two with Jose Louis Castillo, his toughest were with Diego Corrales, Baldimir and Judah. He did fight Vargas and Chavez, but they were Gregorio Vargas and Jesus Chavez.Common Opponents: Arturo Gatti and Genaro Hernandez, who were dominated by both.

Big edge to Oscar here.

Age and Dimensions: Floyd is 30. Oscar is 34. Floyd is 5’8 and has a 72’ reach. He is a Welterweight.. Oscar is 5’10 & ½ and has a 73’ reach. He is a light middleweight.Edge to the bigger Oscar.

Style: Oscar is an orthodox fighter who looks to land a devastating left hook following stiff jabs. He also has developed a solid right cross. He can brawl or box depending on what’s required and has solid late round power. He is capable of backpedaling if the going gets rough and this can cost him, as it did against Trinidad in a fight that he should have won. I doubt, however, that Floyd can back him up.

Floyd is the complete package. He is one of the most talented fighters to come along in some time. He blessed with speed, stamina, power, sharp punching, a solid chin and great defense. His old school moves are so subtle, most observers miss them. Whether he can engage in a brawl still remains to be seen, but that’s not his fault. I also see him as a better defensive fighter slipping punches with deft shoulder rolls and head movement. Floyd’s superior speed and great counter punching ability should give him the advantage in any furious exchanges, but he needs to be careful of THAT left hook.

Edge to Floyd Mayweather.

Corner: Roach vs. Mayweather. Slight edge to Floyd as Oscar has had too many different trainers, but you can’t argue with success.

Intangibles: Floyd has a boxer’s pedigree. Moreover, his father may offer sharp insights into Oscar’s weaknesses. Oscar has been taken out (by Hopkins), while Floyd has been seldom even wobbled.

Oscar has been in many mega fights and has great focus. As well, he can cement his legacy as one of the truly great fighters of our time with an impressive win.

As for conditioning and stamina, both fighters will be fit and ready.

Wash here as well.

The Fight: The fight could very well end up being overly tactical and, as such, not particularly compelling. However, if Oscar can use his size to back Floyd up, it could get interesting. But If Floyd begins to punish Oscar with quick in- and-out shots, it could get interesting from another perspective. Still, styles can make fights, and the two styles here suggest a less than exciting fight. I hope I am wrong.

Odds: Even money at fight time with an almost imperceptible lean toward Mayweather.


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