Knockout Nation: De La Hoya’s Last Fight? Tyson Hires Hitman? Calzaghe-Jones; The Easton Assassin Honored

 

De La Hoya

Searches for December Opponent

 

With the abrupt retirement of Floyd Mayweather

last week, Oscar De La Hoya’s three fight plan for this year has disintegrated.

 

De La Hoya had been in negotiations for a

September rematch with Mayweather. With that deal off the table, the Golden Boy

was left without the time, opponent or TV date to retain the September bout. Now De La Hoya has been forced to have one bout left in December in order to

keep his promise to retire by the end of the year.

 

The short list of potential opponents included

Sergio Mora, Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. Mora is unlikely, as Vernon

Forrest, the man Mora just defeated, is exercising his rematch clause for

another title bout. Hatton has rejected Oscar in favor of defending his junior

welterweight title against #1 contender Paulie Malignaggi in November. Hatton’s

reasoning for turning down the lucrative bout is that he could not prepare in

time for September after a tough bout against Juan Lazcano.

 

Pacquiao is an option for December, but one that

wouldn’t earn the Golden Boy any accolades. Pacquiao is naturally much smaller

than De La Hoya, who has fought as high as middleweight. He would be heavily

favored to win, but De La Hoya is desperate for a career-defining win that would

lessen the question marks of losing his biggest fights to Felix Trinidad and

Shane Mosley.

 

Winky Wright released a press statement last week,

again calling out Oscar for a PPV showdown. This is nothing new, as Wright has

been chasing De La Hoya since the late ‘90s. However, this time fate may be on

Winky’s side. Reports are circulating that informal talks have began between

the two fighters about a possible December bout. 

 

The fight would be very tactical, and Wright would

have to be the favorite. Although he looked bad in his last fight with Bernard

Hopkins, that contest was held at 170 pounds where Wright had no business

competing. Junior Middleweight is his best division and where the fight would

likely be fought. De La Hoya would be given fits trying to contend with

Wright’s steady, rhythm-breaking jab and airtight defense.

 

It would be surprising if De La Hoya takes this

bout. He’s stated that he wants his last fight to be fan-friendly, and this

would be anything but that. Also, there is a strong possibility that a

motivated Wright might embarrass Oscar, the last thing the former champion

would want in his last bout.

 

The only other high profile option would be the

winner of Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito, being held July 26th. The

winner will be the recognized welterweight champ, and give Oscar a defining

win. Plus, both of those fighters offer defensive liabilities that would give

Oscar a decent chance to pull off the win.

 

Whomever De La Hoya chooses, the next couple of

months will prove very interesting.

 

Mike Tyson

Implicated in Murder Plot

 After recently making positive news for a great

documentary on his life, Tyson’s press is back to its normal sullied

reputation.

 

The Associated Press reported late last week that

the former heavyweight champ offered to a hire a hitman to avenge the death of

his bodyguard. The allegation comes from Dwayne Myers, who is currently

testifying against Abubakr Raheem, who is on trial for allegedly driving a

getaway car in two gang slayings.

 

Myers claims that Tyson’s bodyguard was Darryl

“Homicide” Baum, who Hip-Hop fans may remember is thought to have been the

triggerman in 50 Cent’s 2000 shooting. Baum was killed in June 2000, allegedly

by a drug crew led by Damion “World” Hardy, a former boyfriend of Lil Kim.

Myers claims the killing was due to Baum’s relationship with a rival drug

dealer.

 

Myers states nothing came of the contract after

initial interest from Tyson. At press time, lawyers for Tyson have not

commented on the matter.

 

Calzaghe

Focuses Back on Jones

 After early talks fell through, Joe Calzaghe and

Roy Jones, Jr. are back at the negotiation table.

 

Last month, Calzaghe had reported that talks had

ceased due to Jones’ high purse demands. From there, Calzaghe began early

discussions to possibly face middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik later this

year. After Pavlik’s good showcase this month, it seemed everything would be in

motion, but Calzaghe is living up to his word of stating he wants the most

lucrative fights by pursuing Jones.

 

A Jones-Calzaghe matchup would be intriguing.

Calzaghe is undoubtedly fresher, and would look much better against a now

mostly stationary Jones who can only fight in spurts. However, Calzaghe would

have to be careful of Jones’ occasional bursts of speed, where his counterpunching

and flashy combos hint at the otherworldly talents the Pensacola native had in

his prime.

 

With so much money to be made, especially in

Wales, look for Jones and Calzaghe to come to terms shortly. While Calzaghe

should be favored due to his consistent work rate, count Jones as a very live

underdog.

Throwback

Fighter of the Week: Larry Holmes

 

This past week, underappreciated former

heavyweight champion Larry Holmes was inducted into the International Boxing

Hall of Fame. “The Easton Assassin” turned pro in 1973 to little fanfare. He

gained much knowledge and experience by becoming Muhammad Ali’s chief sparring

partner.

 

Holmes first made waves by shutting out Earnie

Shavers in 1978, which set up a showdown with Ken Norton. In an epic battle,

Holmes outslugged Norton to escape with a split decision and the WBC

heavyweight title. Holmes went on to defeat an aged and Parkinson-damaged

Muhammad Ali in a sad and painful bout for both men in 1980.

 

Holmes defended his title against six undefeated

fighters, and won a racially-charged contest against hard punching Gerry Cooney

in 1982. By 1985, Holmes had been champion for seven years with a record of

48-0. He lost two controversial decisions to Michael Spinks and a highlight

reel knockout to a prime Mike Tyson to close out the ‘80s.

              

Larry Holmes continued fighting well into his 40’s,

even scoring a shocking upset against an undefeated Ray Mercer and posting a

respectable showing against Evander Holyfield in a losing title effort.

 

Holmes’ final record stands at 69(44 KOs)-6. He is

second all time in heavyweight title defenses with 20.

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