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Knockout Nation: De La Hoya Dominates, But Can He Beat Mayweather?

oscar

Oscar De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) proved too strong and busy

for a game Steve Forbes (33-6, 9 KOs), as the

Golden Boy outworked his smaller opponent for a lopsided but competitive

unanimous decision win. With a stiff jab and trademark flurries, De La Hoya was

able to keep Forbes at bay while piling up

points.           

               

Through round five, Forbes’ head was repeatedly snapped

back by De La Hoya’s jab. At mid range, De La Hoya varied his combinations to

the head and body in hopes of wearing the former Contender star down. Undeterred, Forbes connected with clean hooks of his own, in particular when he

went inside and punched with his larger opponent. Despite Oscar’s high punch

output, the more damaging and cleaner punches came early on from Forbes. A

mouse under the left eye and abrasions on De La Hoya’s nose reflected these

sporadic assaults.

               

Over the second half of the bout De La Hoya was able to

pull away due to his work rate although the majority of his combinations were

not landing clean. Forbes was forced to counter in isolated spurts which were

not enough to win rounds.  But in rounds eight and eleven “Two Pound” was

able to land jarring uppercuts and kept Oscar aware he was in with a tough opponent.

               

Final scorecards read 119-109 twice, and 120-108 all in

favor of De La Hoya. In the post fight interview Oscar revealed that while the

rematch with Mayweather is not finalized, he prides himself on “fighting the

best” and that “I’m going to go after him because I know I can beat him.”

               

HBO’s team did their best shill job to convince the buying

public that De La Hoya has a chance against the Pretty Boy. Emmanuel Steward

spent his time gushing over Oscar’s jab while Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant

took every opportunity to remind us how De La Hoya’s stamina has improved. They

have to keep it up, as it’ll take more than one telecast to erase memories of a

faded De La Hoya getting easily out boxed down the stretch by Mayweather at a

weight the Pound for Pound king had no business being at (154 pounds).

               

Despite HBO’s

efforts, the same glaring weaknesses remain that’ll sink a 35 year old De La

Hoya against Money May. First, Oscar exhibited very limited head movement last

Saturday. When Forbes let his hands go, he had no problem finding Oscar’s face.

He was able to counter in the middle of Oscar’s combinations and also put in

good work to the body. The results were a busted up Oscar as the fight

progressed. Second, De La Hoya’s balance and timing still leave a lot to be

desired. Oscar many times lost his balance as Forbes slipped his punches, which

will prove fatal against the faster Mayweather. Finally, De La Hoya’s stamina

has not magically improved, as his punch output (particularly the jab) became

sloppier down the stretch.

               

Unless Mayweather is severely affected by his layoff,

expect another clear win for Mayweather come September. Don’t let the impending

hype machine fool you regarding De La Hoya’s chances.

 

 

Dirrell Blasts Hanshaw in Redemption Bout

               

After turning into a track star last year against Cutis

Stevens, Andre Dirrell (15-0, 10 KOs) was

trashed by every boxing observer out there. Larry Merchant went as far on air

to proclaim that he’d never watch Dirrell again. Well, if the old man kept true

to his word he missed an impressive and dominant win this past Friday, as

Dirrell crushed Anthony Hanshaw (21-2-1, 14 KOs) in five mostly one-sided

rounds on Showtime.

               

Hanshaw started the fight well by crowding Dirrell against

the ropes and stunning him for a missed flash knockdown. However, an angry

Dirrell recovered and began bouncing sharp right and left leads off Hanshaw’s

skull, showing a huge speed disparity between the two fighters. The assault

continued in round three as Hanshaw was hurt by straight lefts and began

holding. By round five, a visibly gun-shy Hanshaw became cannon-fodder as

Direll ruined him with lightning-fast lead hooks to score an impressive stoppage.

               

With the win, the young prospect redeems his name value

after destroying a durable fighter who recently went the distance with Roy

Jones, Jr.  Look for the TV dates to start rolling back in for the flashy

super-middleweight.

Calzaghe Tells Hopkins

to Stop Crying

 

Newly crowned light-heavyweight champ Joe Calzaghe told

the BBC he’s tired of Bernard Hopkins’ antics since their showdown two weeks

ago. The undefeated Welshman gave his thoughts on the matter:

“He should get over it. He should watch the tape and

accept that he lost. There were three American judges and he still lost. I

don’t need to find 100 excuses because I won. He’s a sore loser. I won the

fight. I was the aggressor. I landed more punches. End of story.

I don’t mind if I don’t see the guy again. To be honest,

I’ve never been a Bernard Hopkins fan and never will be. You ask me about Roy

Jones Jr and I’ll say I like him and love his style. I’ve got a lot of respect

for him and he is a legend but Hopkins

isn’t.”

 Talks are expected

to begin for a proposed Calzaghe-Jones bout later this year.

Vazquez-Marquez IV in Talks

               

In a truly sadistic turn of events, talks have begun for a

proposed fourth installment between warriors Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez.

Marquez won the first bout after breaking Vazquez’s nose. Vazquez bounced back

to TKO Marquez in the rematch and squeak out a 1 point decision win in the

classic rubber match.

               

All three fights were thrilling but debilitating and

brutal. They’ve fought nearly 30 grueling rounds in the span of year and

deserve a break. But money talks and these two men won’t be able to generate

the kind of money elsewhere that they can by beating the primes out of each

other. After a fourth fight, I don’t think there will be much left for anyone

else to face.

First Fight

Rematch

Rubber Match

 

Throwback Fighter of the Week-Thomas “Hitman” Hearns

These days welterweight talks are dominated by names like

Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, and Antonio Margarito. Here’s a fighter who

would’ve had his way with all of them. Watch and learn.

 

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