Oscar Must Avoid Mayweather Feud!

By George Willis


Oscar Must Avoid Mayweather Feud!

Part of me thinks Floyd Mayweather Sr. is the scum of the earth for even considering training Oscar De La Hoya to fight his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr., in their May 5 showdown in Las Vegas. It goes against everything being a father is about and would soil boxing's biggest night in ages. But another part of me wants to see the dysfunctional dilemma the Mayweather Family Feud would create.

Having Father and son in opposing corners of a mega-fight creates a storyline suitable for Dr. Phil or Jay Leno depending on whether you view it a tragedy or comedy.


De La Hoya, the businessman and boxer, has to ponder all the ramifications as he decides whether to ask Floyd Sr. to be his trainer for the big fight. It's a decision filled with pros and cons, which is why it's understandable De La Hoya wanted to enjoy the Holidays before weighing his options.


If he needs my help, I offer this name: Teddy Atlas, and if he's busy, try Freddie Roach. More on that later.


If De La Hoya is smart, he'll ask Floyd Sr. to sit this one out. Maybe offer him a consulting fee to make himself available to hype the fight on radio and television. But no rational thinking person can agree Floyd Sr. should be De La Hoya's trainer on May 5. It wouldn't be good for De La Hoya and it wouldn't be good for boxing.


De La Hoya should see the Mayweather Family Feud isn't worth the sideshow. Floyd Jr. and Sr. split eight years ago and the bad feelings seem to be getting worse with Floyd Sr. calling Floyd Jr., "a disobedient son" who "disrespected" his father.


Roger Mayweather, Floyd Sr.'s brother, will be out of jail in time to serve as Floyd Jr.'s trainer, putting enough Mayweathers in the ring to overshadow the Golden Boy himself.


As the promoter of De La Hoya-Mayweather, De La Hoya has to wonder how volatile the Mayweather Family Feud could turn. As you'll recall, the last time Roger was in the ring he nearly incited a brawl during Floyd Jr.'s fight with Zab Judah.


Furthermore, having Mayweather Sr. in De La Hoya's corner will only serve to motivate Floyd Jr. even more. He may want to defeat his father even more than he would De La Hoya.


And then what if the fight is a brawl, a brutal slugfest where De La Hoya is hurting Floyd Jr. Can De La Hoya trust Floyd Sr. to keep his emotions strictly professional?


This is the fight of De La Hoya's career. He lost against Felix Trinidad, lost against Shane Mosley twice, lost against Bernard Hopkins.  For the first time, De La Hoya goes into a big fight as the underdog and he'll need a cohesive team he can trust in order to succeed.


That's why I think De La Hoya should go with Atlas, one of the best boxing minds in the sport. If not Atlas, then maybe Roach if he's available.


Anybody but Floyd Sr. Boxing needs to put its best foot forward on May 5. It's one of the few events that will attract the general sports fans. It's a chance to recapture some of its lost magic.


Having a father and son in opposing corners creates the kind of stigma that critics of the sport will feast on. It is true fathers have coached against sons in other sports. Bobby Bowden coached against his sons in college football, and Mookie Wilson was on teams opposing his son Preston. Golfer Jay Haas tries to beat his kid Bill Haas every time they meet on the PGA Tour.


But boxing is different. It's a brutal business. There's no way Floyd Sr. can sleep at night if he does this. If Oscar wins, his son's dream is destroyed.  If Floyd Jr. wins, dad is a loser.  Some would say he's already that for offering to train De La Hoya in the first place.



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