Oscar De La Hoya's pounding of Yory Boy Campas was a pay-per-view tune-up for his rematch with Shane Mosley
Having concluded that he'll never win over his critics with his technical virtuosity, Oscar De La Hoya is apparently hoping to become one of those artists who is fully appreciated only in retrospect. Toward that end he is trying to leave behind as impressive a body of work as possible. For him it's all about legacy now, about tying up loose ends.
He insists hell fight only three or four more times before retiring, perhaps at the end of next year, and he has dispensed with outside interests as he focuses on his final goals in the ring. There will be no more singing, no more acting, until after he tries to settle the score with Shane Mosley and the retired Felix Trinidad, the only men who have beaten him.
With his intentions so clear, De La Hoya, 30, didn't even try to cast his undisputed super welterweight title defense against Luis (Yory Boy) Campas last Saturday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as anything more than a tune-up for his Sept. 13 rematch with Mosley. The fight ended when Campas's corner threw in the towel in the seventh round, giving De La Hoya (36-2) a TKO over a game but inartistic fighter.
Given that De La Hoya didn't put Yory Boy down for the count, the fifth consecutive bout in which he's failed to deliver a knockout punch, De La Hoya knows his doubters persist. "I'm fighting for history now, only history," he said after finishing with Campas. "In years to come, when people talk about the great fighters, I want my name to be one of the first that comes to their minds. I want to beat Mosley, and maybe Trinidad will come out of retirement. If I can get revenge for those two fights, I will have done all any fighter can do."
In the days before the Campas bout De La Hoya, who expected to earn about $11 million, admitted he was having trouble motivating himself for what amounted to little more than a sparring session. He did get interested enough to pound on Campas consistently, despite a first-round hand injury that took away his most dangerous weapon, his left hook "I'm going to get it looked at, but it's not going to get in the way of the Mosley fight," he said.
Mosley sat ringside on Saturday and left unimpressed with De La Hoya's performance, correctly observing that Campas showed none of the speed and movement that Mosley used to defeat De La Hoya in a split decision in June 2000. "Campas has a straight-up style; he takes a lot of punches," Mosley said. "That's not what Oscar is going to see when he steps in against me."
The Price Is Right
NBC's back in the fight game
In sharp contrast to the whopping $49.95 price tag affixed to Oscar De La Hoya's lackluster pay-per-view pummeling of a 25-to-1 underdog last Saturday, boxing fans, for the first time in 11 years, had the option of watching free fights on NBC over the weekend. The network, in tandem with Telemundo and boxing promoter Main Events, aired the first of three consecutive Saturday-afternoon boxing cards, and those who tuned in saw 2000 Olympic silver medalist Rocky Juarez (16-0, 12 KOs), a featherweight, dismantle journeyman Frank Archuleta (22-4-1, 13 KOs).
NBC plans to control the costs of the experimental series by showcasing non-title bouts and coproducing them with Telemundo, its Spanish-language network. Fight fans weary of pricey pay-per-view events can only hope that network boxing can go the distance.
—Luis Fernando Llosa