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

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Golden Boy and the Pretty Boy

1. The Hype…

The biggest fight since Lewis-Tyson was held on May 5, 2007. Would it live up to the Hype? This is the mega fight with all the mega-hype.

The De La Hoya camp was calm as Freddie Roach led a focused Oscar through the paces, but unsettling news of feuding between Roger and Floyd Sr. came out of Pretty Boy’s headquarters. Oscar surprised his wife with a birthday cake and Mariachi band, while Floyd was calling him a bitch and mutherfucker from afar while hamming it up with 50 Cent and the home boys. Shades of Holmes-Cooney and the hype around “The White Hope.” But wait, that wasn‘t about race, it was all about money and so is this. Forget the feigned dislike. It‘s pure hype and has everything to do about money. It’s no accident Oscar is well like by other boxers. He has made many of them wealthy. The De La Hoya-Mayweather extravaganza brings to mind other mega fights of the relatively recent past.


Before Iron Mike Tyson met Lennox Lewis on June 8, 2002 in the highest-grossing pay-per-view event in history, he said “I want your heart. I want to eat his children.” ThatVideoSite.com, “Mike Tyson: "I want to eat his children" [Available Online].
Lewis, of course, completely dominated the fight and knocked out the hapless Tyson in the eighth round. Tyson was bleeding from cuts over both his eyes and from his nose when Lewis landed a final shot that sent him sprawling on his back for the 10 count.

The soundly beaten Tyson was humble and contrite after the fight, telling Lewis how much he loved and respected him, and what a masterful boxer he is. So much for the pre-fight hype.


Then, going back to April 1987, another “super fight occurred when Sugar Ray Leonard beat Marvelous Marvin Hagler in a monster upset that was far more tactical than exciting. The decision went to Leonard via split decision. The fight was broadcast on pay-per-view TV and closed-circuit outlets all over the world and was a huge money maker. It was also a huge bore.


In April 1985, Hagler again participated in a super fight, this time against the formidable Tommy Hearns, who was a devastating puncher who ruled the welterweight (147 pounds) and cruiserweight (189) divisions through the 80s and 90s. At stake were the WBC, WBA, and IBF Middleweight Titles.

Unlike Tyson-Lewis or Hagler-Leonard, this one lived up to expectations and was indeed a super fight in every sense. This was World War One in the trenches. Maybe, it was the most explosive first round in boxing history and perhaps the greatest three rounds in history. Hearns won the first round in ebb and flow malice aforethought, but Marvelous Marvin won the fight by savage KO in the third putting an end to the unmitigated violence.


Earlier, on September 16, 1981, Sugar Ray met Hearns (who else). Both were paid handsomely as they put their titles on the line in an effort to unify the welterweight championship in Las Vegas. Once again, this one exceeded expectations as Ray took an early lead only to surrender momentum to Hearns in a classic ebb and flow battle. With a loss staring him squarely in the eye (Angelo Dundee told him, "you’re blowing it son, you’re blowing it!"), Sugar Ray reached down in the 13th and took it to the exhausted “Hitman” with savage shots both upstairs and to Tommy’s thin body. All of a sudden, Ray became the “Hitman” and decked Tommy. Showing great heart, Tommy held his own in the fourteenth until Ray cut loose with a big right followed by a brutal volley of unanswered punches to bring matters to a decisive and breathtaking close.

2. The Prediction…

Oscar De La Hoya has fought better opposition is bigger and maybe stronger. He is an orthodox fighter who looks to land fight-ending left hooks following stiff jabs, but the edge goes to Floyd Mayweather Jr. who is the complete package blessed with superior speed, stamina, sharp punching, a solid chin and great defense. He has subtle old school moves and his great counter punching ability should give him the advantage in any heated exchanges, but he needs to be weary of THAT hook.Late-developing issues between Floyd Sr and Roger seem unsettling, but Mayweather has great pedigree and focus. The Golden Boy has been taken out once and down several times. He has lost two of his last four fights, looked bad against Sturm, and beat a made-to-order opponent in Mayorga. Still, he has been in many mega fights and also has great focus.

The fight will be overly tactical, unless De la Hoya can use his size to back up Mayweather in which case it could spell big trouble. But If Floyd punishes and frustrates De la Hoya with quick in-and-out movement, he will prevail. Styles make fights, and the styles here suggest a less than exciting bout. PBF's overall skill-set and career momentum will result in a UD victory.
As anticipation builds for Mayweather-De La Hoya, don’t look for it to be Hearns-Hagler or Leonard-Hearns.

3. The Outcome…

The hype is over. It's time to get it on. Pretty Boy and Golden Boy now square off in the most highly anticipated fight in recent memory. How eager were fans to see this fight? The cheapest ticket available from StubHub.com cost $778 ... and that was to sit in the back of the upper deck.

It was a tactical, non–compelling fight even though the crowd screamed every time Oscar twitched. With De La Hoya inexplicitly abandoning his jab at the wrong time and not being able to time THAT hook, he allowed Floyd to dictate the action, particularly down the stretch. His superior speed and accuracy resulted in a well-deserved decision, though it should have been a UD as one of the judges (and Jim Lampley) missed it badly. I had it 117-113. Thank God, it was not a draw.

As for the excitement factor, when Floyd Mayweather Sr. becomes the story of the night, something is amiss. The real excitement was the under card war between Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista and Sergio “Rocky” Medina in a solid ebb and flow thriller won by Filipino Bautisita.
Did it live up to the hype? No. Was it a Hearns-Hagler or Leonard-Hearns? Absolutely not.

"Floyd ain't quitting. Too much of this money will make a dead man walk....... Roger Mayweather


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