07.26.08

Dwyre : Tonight’s Cotto v. Margarito Fight Sets The Stage For De La Hoya To Duck Both Of ‘Em

Posted in Boxing at 12:21 pm by

I’ve been in Las Vegas for about 24 hours now, and let’s just say chit chat surrounding this evening’s welterweight clash between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito is of greater interest to the locals and tourists alike than Terry Tiffee’s Olympic hopes. Writing in Saturday’s LA Times, Bill Dwyre takes a glimpse at future scenarios, including one he predicts will favor the bank account of Manny Pacquiao.

Oscar De La Hoya, 35, wants to fight one more time. Despite losing three of his last six fights and correctly toying with retirement for several years, he remains the box-office bonanza for his sport. If he fights, it is a huge deal. If he fights somebody really good, they start throwing around the word “mega.”

Add to that all the farewell schmaltz that can be trotted out, and boxing has a real gem to sell.

The date and site have been chosen: Dec. 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mark it down. Christmas comes early for fight fans.

De La Hoya has lost mega-fights to Felix Trinidad and Floyd Mayweather Jr., so there is incentive to try to avenge either of those, especially in the case of Trinidad, who handed De La Hoya his first defeat in a controversial decision in 1999 that still irks De La Hoya.

Arum answers both of those scenarios.

“Mayweather is retired, and Trinidad walks around weighing 200 pounds,” he said.

That leaves the winner of Cotto-Margarito as the obvious next one up. Except for one thing — De La Hoya’s uncanny sense of his fan base and the marketplace.

“If Margarito wins, Oscar won’t fight him,” Arum says. “He won’t fight another Mexican in his last fight. I tested him on that. I asked about [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr., which would be his easiest test. He said no. The Mexicans would hate him.”

Interestingly, even though he would be missing out on a huge payday, Margarito seems to understand De La Hoya’s predicament and even agrees with his decision.

So, if Cotto wins, he would appear to be the choice, even though there was some recent talk that De La Hoya didn’t like that matchup much either, because he lives in Puerto Rico much of the time now and his wife is Puerto Rican.

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