Interview: Oscar De La Hoya

By G. Leon


Interview: Oscar De La Hoya

DLH speaks on Saturday's quartet of title fights, Mosley-Vargas, Barrera-Chavez and more!

GL: Big weekend for Golden Boy this weekend Oscar. "Big, big weekend. We're excited and thrilled. Thailand is really taking this very seriously and so is Mexico. Golden Boy is extremely proud to kick off this series. It goes to show that we're all about trying new things in boxing, and that's what we're trying to do, revolutionize the sport. It surprises me that no other promoter has ever tried this concept because it appears to be working, the response has been just great."

GL: As well as HBO Latino and Golden Boy Promotions are working together are you hoping the debut of this series generates enough interest to elevate it to a channel with a larger viewership?

Oscar De La Hoya: "Absolutely. We have four world title fights on the card, which will be televised on HBO Latino. I'm here in Arizona and the fans are coming up to me all over saying it's a great thing we've done because now they can root for our country, Mexico. I think it's about time that this happened because boxing needs fresh new ideas."

GL: Are you expecting Golden Boy's Mexicans to go undefeated?

ODLH: "We're hoping, but it's not going to be easy. With Ponce De Leon in a world title fight, with Fernando Montiel doing his mandatory defense and Jhonny Gonzalez going for his first world title and it's going to be a tremendous event. We're hoping to go undefeated but it's going to be tough."

GL: The last time Ponce De Leon stepped up his level of oppositon he lost. Do you feel he's matured from that loss to the point where he's championship material?

ODLH: "I feel that he's learned from that loss. When you have 24 KO's in 25 fights you can tend to get a little over-confident in your abilities. He learned a lot with that loss and he's going to take advantage and grow and this Saturday night we expect him to show that he's worthy of being world champion."

GL: Tell us about Ice-Link's involvement with this event.

ODLH: "We're proud and honored to be associated with Ice-Link watches. They made a special cup made of rubies and diamonds and it's a priceless cup. The winning team gets to keep the cup in their country. The winning team will also win Ice-Link watches that are also valued at several thousand dollars. It's going to be a special night and I feel that this concept, this world cup is going to last for a very long time."

GL: Mosley and Vargas, is it done yet? How close is it to being done for HBO PPV on February 25?

ODLH: "Obviously a done deal is a signed deal. There's no contract signed but we're very happy that the talks have been good and we're hoping the fight gets done. I think it's a great fight for both fighters. If Vargas beats Mosley it would be a huger statement because of my not being able to beat Mosley. And if Mosley beats Vargas that's a huge win for him. We're confident and I think both parties are confident that the deal will get done in the next few days."

GL: I know you're not expecting Vargas to beat Mosley, but if does, would that put Vargas at the forefront of the De La Hoya sweepstakes for September 06?

ODLH: "It will definitely be a good fight between Mosley and Vargas. People saw Mosley's performance against a tough Mexican on the Barrera undercard and they're saying he's not the same. People are saying Vargas is not the same because of his last few performances. I think the boxing fans are going to be in for a real treat because it's very difficult to pick a winner and it's pretty much a pick-em fight."

GL: Bob Arum recently dissed the fight stating that Mosley and Vargas are two washed up fighters. How do you feel about Arum's comments?

ODLH: "Bob is going to say whatever he's going to say and that just goes to show you that he's obviously bitter and he's not happy these days. All I can do is wish him the best and let him work with his company and we'll work with ours."

GL: And hopefully one day the two of you could work together again.

ODLH: "Well, that's what we're hoping for. We definitely will have several more champions to face his fighters after this Saturday night. And that's what the public wants, they want to see these matches."

GL: How have discussions between Golden Boy and King been going? Is it still looking like Mayorga for May?

ODLH: "Absolutely. Dealing with King has been a pleasure and we are going to work together and we are going to do fights together. Hopefully we could work several fights out in the near future. We've been talking and it's been a pleasure dealing with Don King."

GL: Back to the Boxing World Cup for a second. Everyone knows that you promote all of the Mexicans and I know you guys have been talking about future installments of this series. Since you guys came up with the idea and put the event together, has Golden Boy secured options on the Thai fighters for future world cup events should Team Thailand come out victorious on Saturday night?

ODLH: "Absolutely. The whole concept is, let's say Thailand wins, then it's going to have to be Thailand versus another country. If we have to do these fights in Thailand we'll go over there and promote the next installment in Thailand. The beauty of this World Cup is the Teams will travel. Different countries hosting these events is exactly what we want to do."

GL: Is Marco Antonio Barrera fighting Jesus Chavez in February?

ODLH: "We're going to talk to Barrera tomorrow. Richard and myself are going to talk with him about different possibilities with different opponents. I believe Jesus Chavez would be the fight to do based on the fact that Barrera has the opportunity to go up to 135 to challenge Chavez for his fourth division, which would be a big accomplishment for him."

GL: An accomplishment that his arch-rival Erik Morales hasn't been able to achieve as of yet?

ODLH: "Exactly. Barrera wants to continue to prove that he's the best Mexican champion in boxing today. And he knows that in order to accomplish something that no Mexican fighter has ever done, and that's win four titles in four weight classes, so I think Chavez is the right fight for him."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

ODLH: "Tune in and watch HBO Latino on Saturday night, you're going to see four great championship fights. This is history in the making and this is what Golden Boy Promotions is all about. We're trying to revolutionize the sport and start fresh. This is the new face of boxing. Golden Boy Promotions is here to stay and we're going to continue to work to change the sport for the better."


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