THE date was May 5, 2007, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oscar, the “Golden Boy” of boxing who comes from Mexican lineage, traditionally likes to fight during the Cinco de Mayo holiday celebration, and this fight was no exception.
At that time, this was the biggest fight to be made. Dela Hoya was fresh off his impressive demolition of Nicaraguan bad boy Ricardo Mayorga. Mayweather was 37-0 and at his peak. It drew the richest live gate in history as well as the largest pay per view sale in history up to that point.
Oscar was the A side of the equation and had the bigger purse, while Floyd was generally considered the best fighter in the sport. But Oscar had a point to prove. He wanted to show that he was more than just the fighter who moved the needle for the sport. He wanted to prove he could still be arguably the best.
He almost made his point too. Close but no cigar.
THE FIGHT. Oscar was pretty aggressive from the get-go. In all his fights, and even in his losses up to this point in his career, Oscar almost always outperforms his opponent in the first half of the fight.
Strong and fresh, he was able to walk down Mayweather and bullied him along the ropes. Mayweather looked flustered and was purely on the defensive. He was able to sneak in a few uppercuts and whistle a few right hands, but these were too few to win him the rounds.
Oscar won majority of the rounds with his flurries, but while some of those blows didn’t land, he dictated the pace of the fight. It wasn’t much of a surprise then that Oscar led on two of the three cards after the ninth round.
But then in the 10th, the famous de la Hoya fade was on full display. Inexplicably, he abandoned his jab. His work rate and output dropped. He got tagged with right hand counters quite easily. Still, he soldiered on and did quite well in the final round.
In the end, two of the judges had it 116-112 and 115-113 for the “Pretty Boy,” while one judge favored Oscar at 115-113.
For full disclosure, this Last Rounder thought dela Hoya did enough in the first half of the fight to earn the nod and had it 115-113.
Expectedly, Oscar thought he won, but Floyd said, “He was rough, he was tough, but he couldn’t beat the best.”
Afterwards, Mayweather announced his retirement. Of course, we all know it would be the first of several other retirement announcements he would make. After this fight, he would actually fight 12 more times, the last one being the exhibition bout against Conor McGregor in 2017.
To this day, he still teases out a possible return.
Dela Hoya would fight only two more times after this bout: a lousy, dull decision against Steve Forbes before he got eviscerated by Manny Pacquiao in nine rounds, abruptly ending his storied career.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Rona Boquilon of MTCC-OCC Talisay City, who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!