Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Cauliflower Corner: De La Hoya-Mayweather Notebook
Notebook items from the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight, which I covered for TIME. (Click here for my article.)
There was a small judging controversy after the arena was cleared and many of the news stories had already been filed. Floyd Mayweather Jr. had been in the blue corner, and De La Hoya in the red but the judges had reversed the colors (see image) on the score sheets. There was a buzz with the remaining press people, HBO (one producer, with panic in his voice, lamenting, "We're off the air!"), and the Golden Boy Promotions staff that the judges might have mis-scored the bout, perhaps De La Hoya had won was the speculation. What was a good night for boxing might have been literally a good night for boxing. Could you imagine if they would have declared De La Hoya the winner an hour after the fight had already been decided? Well, phone calls were made and apparently it was an honest secretarial-type mistake, and the decision was correct.
The inevitable talk of De La Hoya-Mayweather II has already started.
The UFC folks have challenged Floyd Mayweather to a duel.
After the bout I talked with Oscar De La Hoya's trainer Freddie Roach. He was disappointed, of course. I asked him about Oscar's tendency in the later rounds to crouch down, which was taking away his size advantage. Freddie said that he had never seen Oscar do it and he didn't know why he started getting so low. "He must have seen something, or it was comfortable, but I have never seen Oscar do that before."
“It was an entertaining fight for purists but I’m not sure if it had the snap, crackle, pop to keep fans, especially the younger generation who don’t want to see defensive fighting,” said Bert Sugar, the boxing historian.
During fight week much was made of HBO's promo-documentary De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7. HBO created great back-story for the fight, perhaps the best marketing of a sporting event in recent memory.
Everyone has an opinion on reforming boxing. “Boxing in this country has suffered long from a reputation acquired by association with wrong kind of men—not all of them, of course, but enough to make it bad,” read a newspaper article about reforming the sport. The year? 1917.