To help with endorsement deals, Mittleman and Nelson have retained Lon Rosen, Magic Johnson's agent. According to Nelson, the newly christened Team De La Hoya is close to signing with a "major soft-drink company." In addition, a TV movie of De La Hoya's life is in the planning stage.
Ultimately, the marketing of De La Hoya will depend on his success in the ring. A rangy 5'11", De La Hoya, who weighed 133� pounds for Williams, could grow into a middleweight. He has marvelous hand speed, a superb jab and a devastating left hook. As effective as he was as an amateur, De La Hoya seems made for the pros. Only his chin and his heart remain untested.
Neither was called upon against the hapless Williams, who, after Hitting around the ring for half a minute, took a very professional left hook to the liver and immediately began looking for a spot to fall down. Williams's hasty exit raises the inevitable question of matchmaking. While no one expects Nelson and Mittleman to throw their golden boy to the wolves just yet, they should at least make sure that his future opponents come to fight. "He was in with a living dead man," said heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, who watched the fight from a ringside seat.
"We're not going to go crazy and rush him," said Arum. "But we're going to have to quickly step up the quality of the opposition." De La Hoya will probably fight for a title within the next 12 to 18 months. In the meantime, his next fight, on Dec. 12 in Phoenix, is against someone named Cliff Hicks.
It was nearly 1 a.m. when De La Hoya arrived at his new house for a long-planned post fight victory party. The house was jammed with family and friends. There was music and drink, and Arturo Islas, the Team De La Hoya chef who for six weeks in training camp had cooked nothing but pasta and steamed vegetables, had prepared a Mexican feast. De La Hoya, though, ate nothing. For the next hour, in his own living room, he shook hands, signed autographs and posed for pictures. "Thank you," he said to everyone. "Thank you for coming."
They wouldn't have missed it for the world.