Father And Son Reunion Spells Trouble For Oscar

By Francis Walker
Updated: March 2, 2007

NEW YORK — When Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced that Floyd, Sr., would return to his corner, “The Pretty Boy” dealt Oscar De La Hoya a huge blow toward the end of an 11-city, eight-day promotional tour to announce their epic battle on May 5, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Mayweather, Jr. (37-0, 24 KOs) will challenge De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KOs) for his WBC super welterweight championship. The bout is expected to break the all-time pay per view record of more than 2.0 million buys for the Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson world heavyweight championship fight in June of 2002.
Mayweather, Sr. taught his son everything he knows. Mayweather, Sr. spent the last five to six years training De La Hoya. Mayweather, Sr. was in De La Hoya’s corner when he iced Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga with his left hook.
Mayweather, Sr. was also in De La Hoya’s corner when he looked lethargic against Felix Sturm and was KO’d by Bernard Hopkins in 2004.
“Obviously with my father working with Oscar for the past few years, he can give me a lot sound advice,” Mayweather, Jr. reportedly said.
Mayweather, Sr. knows better than anyone else De La Hoya’s strengths and weaknesses, even more than Freddie Roach who hasn’t even been on the job for a month.
Roach will spend the next couple of months learning the habits of a fighter that he has never worked with before. That could be a detriment to De La Hoya’s chances of beating Mayweather.
Fights are won and lost in training camp. Team Mayweather clearly has lots of momentum and an extra added boost with the return of Floyd, Sr.
When De La Hoya denied Mayweather, Sr. his $2 million training fee to prepare him for battle against his son with a $500,000 (plus a $500,000 bonus) counter offer, it’s not surprising that the Father and Son duo of Floyd Mayweather reunited.
Mayweather is coming off two lackluster, but decisive performances against Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir last year as a welterweight. He is due a spectacular performance and Floyd, Jr. will be fighting a De La Hoya who would not have fought in one year when they meet in May.
Mayweather is clearly the favorite against De La Hoya. A serious hurtle Mayweather will have will be whether his speed and timing will remain as effective at 154 pounds as it was at 147 and 140 pounds.
Mayweather is a natural 130-pound fighter, who seeks his fifth world title in as many weight classes.
One thing about De La Hoya is that he is a very smart fighter. He handpicked Mayweather and challenged him to a fight so big, it has generated a record $19 million live gate.
The only fight that De La Hoya had literally no chance to winning was when he challenged Hopkins for the WBC/WBA/IBF, and WBO world middleweight championships. Even his losses to Sugar Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad were fights that could have won.
It’s difficult to pick De La Hoya over Mayweather because we haven’t seen that left hook that iced Vargas and Mayorga in one year. We haven‘t seen De La Hoya against an illusive 147 pound target since his loss to Mosley in 2004.
Freddie Roach’s task is challenging. Can he train De la Hoya well enough to be as illusive, strong, and as fast as he was before. Will De La Hoya be able to see and pick Mayweather’s punches? Can De La Hoya hit Mayweather with clean, sharp combinations?
There are many questions heading into De La Hoya-Mayweather, or preferably to some Mayweather-De la Hoya. For the first time in a long time, neither Mayweather or De La Hoya have the answers heading into their epic battle.
Mayweather boasts confidence, but he is very nervous as this is the biggest event of his career. Floyd, Sr. has brought Mayweather a sense of relief and assurance. De La Hoya, a true gamesman and one of boxing’s best strategists, will be put to the test in a very challenging and lucrative fight.
Welterweights Collide
The year 2007 will be a treat for boxing, especially in the welterweight division. In boxing, its about the best fighting the very best. WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, WBA kingpin Miguel Cotto, and undefeated, welterweight prospect Paul Williams each made a serious stride toward fighting each other without hesitation and should be commended.
Margarito and agreed to fight Cotto in June at Madison Square Garden on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City. The bout would have unified the WBA/WBO welterweight championships, but Margarito didn’t want to relinquish his title to make the Cotto fight happen.
Instead, Margarito (34-4, 24 KOs) will defend the WBO title against Williams (32-0, 24 KOs)undefeated mandatory challenger, Williams. At 6-foot-1 and 147 pounds, Williams has an 81-inch reach. He can fight, hits hard, and he is a southpaw (left-handed).
Margarito can punch hard himself and he has a great chin. Margarito can also box well and knows the difference between a left hook and a right cross. He can punch is sequence consistently and do a lot of damage. But so can Williams, as well as Cotto.
With Margarito signed to face Williams, Cotto was left without a fight partner to share top billing at The Garden this summer. That was until former IBF junior welterweight and undisputed world welterweight champion, Zab Judah signed to meet Cotto.
Cotto (28-0, 23 KOs) vs. Judah (34-4, 25 KOs) promises to be one of the most explosive fights of 2007. Although Cotto is Puerto Rican, he will be heavily favored in Judah’s hometown because of the Latino community’s support of boxing in the New York area.
Judah, a native of Brooklyn, NY, is coming off a miserable 2006. He squandered the undisputed world welterweight championship when he lost to Carlos Baldomir in a huge upset.
Judah, after being handed the IBF 147-pound title, dropped a 12-round decision to Floyd Mayweather. Judah was fined $250,000 and suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role during a melee that broke out in the ring in round ten. Judah’s license was revoked and suspended for one year.
“It was a big strain, but you know I stuck it out. I’m just cool,” Judah said. “I just want to look to the future. I’m very happy about this fight. It’s a blessing for me, a blessing and the answer to a prayer.”
Cotto and Judah will both appear in separate fights. On March 3, in Puerto Rico, Cotto makes a hometown title defense of his WBA crown against No. 1-ranked, Oktay Urkal (38-3, 12 KOs).
Judah, on April 14, will fight an opponent to be named on an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast in Tunica, MS. Should Cotto and Judah emerge victorious, all roads will lead to June 9.