De La Hoya has no interest in rematch
By Dan Rafael
AROUND THE RING
No Mayweather-De La Hoya rematch
The world waited for the May 5 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, and when it was over, Mayweather had cemented his place as the pound-for-pound king with a tight, but well-deserved, split decision victory. But De La Hoya performed much better than many expected, making it highly competitive despite coming off a one-year layoff and fighting for only the second time since losing to Bernard Hopkins in September 2004.
In the immediate aftermath there was much discussion of a rematch, and why not? The fight was competitive and set all kinds of records, including best-selling pay-per-view (2.15 million), biggest live gate ($19 million-plus) and highest grossing fight (more than $150 million).
Since the fight, it has been the winner, Mayweather, waffling between retirement and his desire for a rematch. De La Hoya, however, has been mum about his plans.
But, now, he has spoken, telling his close friend, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, that although he plans to fight on at age 34, he has no plans to offer Mayweather a rematch.
"Oscar told me he's not hanging them up, but we have not talked about who, when or where. But it won't be a rematch with Floyd Mayweather," Schaefer told ESPN.com. "Oscar's thoughts about a Mayweather rematch are 'Been there, done that.' Most people felt like it was a close fight and that Oscar came to fight. [Many] fans believe Oscar won the fight."
Schaefer said after things settled down after the fight and the pay-per-view figures and the other revenue had been counted up, he asked De La Hoya about his interest in a rematch.
"I said, 'What do you think' because I had been reading everywhere that Floyd Mayweather was calling Oscar out for a rematch," Schaefer said. "Oscar told me he respects Mayweather, but he is not going to do a rematch."
Who, then, will he fight?
"He hasn't discussed who. He doesn't want to discuss any opponents right now," Schaefer said. "But when I said, 'What about the Mayweather rematch,' he said, 'No.' Oscar is not going to fight Mayweather again.
"Oscar thinks Mayweather is a great fighter and it was a great promotion. It's not like he doesn't deserve a rematch or anything like that. It's more like been there done that, move on. What the 'move on' part means I don't know. It's not the time to discuss it. When he wants to he will come and talk to me. There is not an urgency. We all know that Oscar is not going to fight again in 2007."
More likely, De La Hoya will return in May 2008. He has fought on Cinco de Mayo weekend a number of times in his career and he likes fighting on the Mexican national holiday.
It is possible De La Hoya's public refusal of a rematch with Mayweather is a way to nudge Mayweather toward a fight with Shane Mosley, De La Hoya's pal and business partner in Golden Boy Promotions. Mayweather-Mosley looms as the biggest fight in boxing besides a Mayweather-De La Hoya rematch.
Mayweather has been reluctant to focus on a fight with Mosley, probably because he has designs on facing De La Hoya again. The Mayweather camp was unmoved by De La Hoya's dismissal of a rematch.
"We don't have a reaction. If Oscar wants to come back and do a rematch then cool," Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's best friend and adviser, told ESPN.com. "Whatever it is he wants to do with his career, we respect it. He can do what he wants to do and Floyd will do what he wants to do, but the reason he doesn't want a rematch is because he can't beat Floyd. Fact is, he got his a-- whipped by a smaller guy. He'll never be able to whip Floyd, so, of course, he doesn't want to do it again. We respect it. We ain't mad at him. It's OK."
Marquez to face Barrios
Junior lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez was willing to give a rematch to Marco Antonio Barrera under the terms of the contract for their March 17 showdown, when Marquez won the title via decision in an all-action fight. Barrera, however, is unhappy with Golden Boy and rejected the rematch in favor of a taking a smaller fight in the fall, perhaps in Mexico. That left Marquez (47-3-1, 35 KOs) in need of a dance partner for his Sept. 15 HBO PPV date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A rematch against Manny Pacquiao also was not possible, so Marquez went with Plan C: exciting former titlist Jorge Barrios (47-3-1, 34 KOs) of Argentina. The fight is a questionable pay-per-view headliner, but Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer promised the card would feature four evenly matched bouts "all with fireworks, which is what we are calling the show, 'Fireworks,'" he said.
One of the fights already set for the card is a 10-round middleweight match between former junior middleweight titlist Kassim Ouma (25-3-1, 15 KOs) and Sergio Mora (19-0, 4 KOs), winner of "The Contender" first season.
Ouma is coming off a lopsided loss to middleweight champ Jermain Taylor in December. Mora, who pulled out of a May 19 opportunity to fight Taylor because he didn't want to fight in Memphis, was supposed to fight Raymond Joval on ESPN2 on Aug. 10 but withdrew for the higher-profile Ouma fight.
"Sergio thinks it's a great fight for him and that he will have a chance to shine," 'Contender' promoter Jeff Wald told ESPN.com. "He has a lot of respect for Ouma, but he's not taking him lightly."
One of the other fights being discussed for the show would match Steve Forbes, runner up on the second season of "The Contender" against onetime phenom Francisco "Panchito" Bojado in a junior welterweight fight. However, that fight is on the rocks because Forbes is unhappy with the money being offered.
A third fight mentioned as a possibility for the card would match junior welterweight Demetrius Hopkins, Bernard Hopkins' nephew, with Juan Lazcano.
Spinks returning to 154
Cory Spinks is headed back to 154 pounds, where he holds a title, after an unsuccessful jump to 160 pounds on May 19, when he lost a close decision to middleweight champion Jermain Taylor.
"He's gonna go back to 154, for sure," manager/trainer Kevin Cunningham told ESPN.com. "Ain't nothing else to stay up there for. He ain't a 160-pounder. We just went up because we couldn't get a fight with anyone else and Jermain gave us the opportunity."
Cunningham said that even though Spinks gets a bad rap for his defensive style, he's willing to fight anybody.
"The media wants to talk about the negative things about Cory, but one thing people don't talk about is this: He will fight anyone at any time at any weight," Cunningham said. "We'd like to get Mayweather, De La Hoya or Felix Trinidad. We'd be willing to fight Kassim Ouma. We'd stay at 160 if Trinidad would come out of retirement and fight us. We'd take Ike Quartey. We'd take the [July 28] winner of Vernon Forrest-Carlos Baldomir.
"And we'd be willing to bring Zab [Judah] back to St. Louis for a trilogy. Even though Zab lost (to Miguel Cotto last week), the guy showed more guts than I have seen a lot of fighters show in a long time. He had his moments and he took a lot of punishment. If he didn't have the heart of champion he could have quit, and he didn't."
Spinks defended the undisputed welterweight title against Judah via decision in 2004, but lost the title on a ninth-round knockout in 2005 in St. Louis, Spinks' hometown.