FREE INTERVIEW: Oscar De La Hoya Part I

By G. Leon


FREE INTERVIEW: Oscar De La Hoya Part I

De La Hoya interested in fighting Mayweather, speaks on Pacquiao-Larios and more!

GL: What's going on Oscar? Long time no speak. You haven't been doing much press lately. "I figured the first month is always really tough for the mom so I'm here giving all the support I can. With me, I'm keeping in shape and I'm down to 160, I'm running everyday and I'm also running several promotions. I'm going to Chicago tomorrow and then on Friday night we have Kassim Ouma on ESPN so we've been busy."

GL: Does Erik Morales recent loss to Pacquiao squash the chances of a fourth Barrera-Morales fight?

Oscar De La Hoya: "Actually it doesn't. If Morales takes a good long rest which I believe he needs, he could come back. He's had some really tough fights back, to back, to back to back and your body can only take so much. But with the proper rest I believe he can come back from that. He's only 29, he's young and fresh so I definitely think he could come back and people definitely want to see a fourth fight."

GL: You're still young and based on the fact that you didn't fight in 2005 you're pretty well rested. Are you hoping that...

ODLH: (cutting in) "Me not fighting in 2005 I think was a blessing in disguise. I feel really fresh and I want to get to it now. I want to step inside that ring. I've never really taken a beating. With Hopkins it was one body shot that put me down, he didn't beat me up and I feel ready to go. I'm running everyday and I'm shadowboxing, so nothing has been lost."

GL: According to Roy Jones Jr HBO wasn't putting up enough money to satisfy his and Hopkins needs. What can you tell us about that? Will Hopkins be in the ring again and if so, when against whom?

ODLH: "What's happening is Richard Schaefer and Bernard are going to meet with HBO in New York and discuss his future plans. Hopkins wants to fight, we're not sure who it's going to but we're going to discuss this at the end of the month."

GL: Roy Jones told me he felt it was a slap in the face that HBO didn't want to back two legends in this sport. Do you agree with Roy and are you surprised HBO didn't back the right as the fighters were expecting?

ODLH: "HBO didn't reject the fight. HBO is always going to support these fighters. It was just a matter of getting the money right. When you have a Richard Schaefer on your side things happen. It was a matter of having patience to make it happen and dealing with HBO because they're very reasonable people when you talk to them. I guess Roy Jones was a little impatient and it didn't happen. I think that fight could still be made but now it just depends on what Hopkins wants to do."

GL: After quite a bit of indecisiveness over the opponent, Marco Antonio Barrera will be fighting Jesus Chavez on March 25. What can you tell us about that fight?

ODLH: "It's going to be a tremendous fight. We have Barrera against Chavez for the 135 pound title. It's going to be a historical event because Barrera is looking to become the first Mexican National fighter to win titles in four different divisions. It's going to be a tremendous card and although nothing is signed yet, we're also working on Jorge Barrios' mandatory defense against Janos Nagy, who is a really tough undefeated fighter. He has that number one position for a reason. I've watched him fight on tape and he really is a tough fighter. The great thing about this is we have these three elite fighters, Barrios, Barrera and Chavez and they could all fight each other and all of those fights would be tremendous. Obviously you have Pacquiao who Barrera really wants to fight and we're excited because we're going to putting on some really good fights in the future."

GL: Do you think Barrera could be biting off more than he could chew by moving up to 135? Are you concerned that lightweight could be too big for Barrera as middleweight was too big for you?

ODLH: "Absolutely. It's a big concern because Chavez is no pushover. I was watching the Chavez-Morales fight the other day and Chavez was able to hurt Morales several times during that fight and he put up a great fight with one arm. Fighting at 135 it's going to be one hell of a fight and I'm really looking forward to it."

GL: On the flipside are you concerned that Barrera might be too skilled of a fighter for Chavez considering the tragic nature of his title winning effort over Leavander Johnson?

ODLH: "That doesn't really concern me. The difference here is that Leavander's family has been so supportive of Chavez. They keep in touch and everybody has been telling him that what happened was not his fault and that they knew things like this could happen going in. Chavez feels really good about that and he's embraced that so he's training harder than ever for Barrera."

GL: The first time around it was pretty one sided, do you believe Barrera can turn the tables against Manny Pacquiao?

ODLH: "Pacquiao kept on mentioning that he was distracted when he fought Morales the first time around and then the second time he destroyed Morales. I think we have the same situation here with Barrera-Pacquiao II. Barrera was so distracted for the first fight, not with just the fires in Big Bear that forced him to evacuate a few weeks early to leave for Texas and then there was some things that his ex-promoter had been doing and it was such a distraction for him that he didn't have the proper training mentally. If you watch that fight Barrera was taking care of business for the first few rounds so I'm very confident that if Barrera beats Chavez that fight could happen. Hopefully sooner than later because I'm very confident Barrera would beat him."

GL: When can we expect the press conference for your May 6 bout and Mayorga's mud slinging to officially begin?

ODLH: "The MGM will be the host of the fight. It's signed, sealed and delivered and the MGM will be the site. We're working on that as we speak. We're going to be going on a press tour and promoting the fight all over the country and that's going to be fun. We know Mayorga is a firecracker. He lets loose and it's going to be a dangerous fight I really do think so. Mayorga didn't belong at 160 and I didn't belong at 160, so we're going back down and fighting at our natural weight. I really have something to prove. I have to go in there and fight hard and with Mayorga coming out wild and fighting hard, hitting like a mule it's going to make for a very entertaining fight."

GL: Mayorga is someone that can be out boxed, but he's a relentless dude. It's hard to imagine you stopping him with one shot, are you concerned that this might be too difficult of a fight after so much time off?

ODLH: "I don't think so. I know what I'm capable of. I know I can stay in there and bang with this guy, I just know it. If I see he's out muscling me or hitting me too much when I'm banging with him then obviously I can use my jab and use my distance because I'm smart like that and I can do that. I just have to prove so much in this fight and I have to go out there really hard because come September I really want to go out there with a big bang and fight the very best."

GL: The very best would be Floyd Mayweather Jr.

ODLH: "It's no secret, obviously he is the very best now. He will definitely be a possibility."


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