Cover your ears, the return of Ricardo Mayorga is upon us. In a bout certain to be billed with the “good guy versus bad guy” theme, boxing’s golden boy, Oscar De La Hoya, has decided to return to the ring to take on Mayorga, who with the permanent departure of Mike Tyson, now heads boxing’s list of bad boys.
De La Hoya, who seems to be adjusting to his promoter’s role pretty comfortably, will be returning to the junior middleweight division after realizing he is not a legitamate middleweight. In fact, it’s probably a fair shake to say that De La Hoya is still a welterweight when in peak form. With his golden smile, Hollywood good looks, and a well publicized boxing pedigree (coated with Olympic gold), people always know what to expect with De La Hoya; a flashy smile, a sound byte comment, a smart game plan, and an always smooth display of pure boxing: jabs, footwork, feints, combinations, the whole nine yards.
Playing the role of the ultimate antagonist is De La Hoya’s living, walking, breathing human antonym, Mayorga, who also has a well publicized boxing background, but not for the same reasons as boxing’s good son, Oscar. Mayorga is a chain-smoking, beer guzzling, curse at your dead mother (just ask Cory Spinks) type of fighter, who thinks boxing is for little sissies, of which everybody but himself is part of such a category (and ‘sissy’ is the nice way of defining what Mayorga calls people).
Mayorga is a street fighter transplanted into a boxing ring, a brawler whose world-class power, relentless pressure, and granite chin have successfully allowed him to make the transition from the hard streets of Nicaragua to former welterweight champion of the world. Mayorga’s never ending windmill of heavy blows made quite the impact on the boxing world, as Mayorga has taken out boxers at the highest level of competition. Fans should not be fooled by Mayorga, last seen fighting some Italian guy named Michelle. He will not be showing up in Las Vegas with the goal of attempting to ‘outbox’ De La Hoya. Because if the ‘Matador’ thinks there’s any way on God’s green earth he’s going to use sound boxing fundamentals to disrupt and displace De La Hoya from the world-class stage, he’s going to find out that he is no Floyd Mayweather, or even Roger Mayweather for that matter.
And even though his boxing holiness, Don King, has brought in the father of former welterweight champ Zab Judah to help train Mayorga in the ways of boxing, even Yoel Judah must know that De La Hoya, as cute as he may be is certainly no ‘Michelle’, and his charge shouldn’t be expecting to score any points using Mayorga’s funny pawing motion that passed for a jab. Furthermore, fans aren’t going to want to pay to see that. As the bout will be billed, the theme here is about a good guy with a nice face, lots of fans, and a very hot wife fighting a Latin American version of Tyson, whose mouth is rated ‘NHD’ for ‘no, he didn’t just say that did he?’. De La Hoya the boxer versus Mayorga the brawler, the slugger, that’s what this fight is about, and that’s what’s going to perk people’s interests, and sell tickets. Can De La Hoya handle the pressure and non stop bombs that Mayorga will be bringing? Can Yoel Judah help the ‘Matador’ regain the violent touch that he’s seems to have toned down in his last couple outings?
Interestingly, De La Hoya is already planning a farewell super fight against TBA, which some feel is a rather bold move considering he’s got an always angry as Hell Mayorga awaiting him in May. And if Mayorga loses, almost directly off the heels of the terrible beating he took from Felix Trinidad, his time on center stage in the boxing world will likely be up. It would be a tall order for even legendary promoter Don King to be able to recycle him if he can’t pull off the victory May 6; which makes this bout do or die for both fighters, as there isn’t much future for Mayorga if he loses, and for De La Hoya, who will likely always sell tickets, there isn’t much glory in his well rumored last fight (possibly against Floyd Mayweather Jr.) if he can’t get by Mayorga. This is a fight that is probably worth plopping down some cash to see (at least get your fight pals to pitch in), as it will likely be the final appearance of one of these two men as a legitimate fighter, with the loser becoming a mere ‘attraction’ instead. Who knows, maybe the loser can fight Fernando Vargas in a type of ‘Now we really mean it this time, loser leaves town’ deciding fight (dedicated to my parents Michel and Lyndl Youssef).
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