News May 2007

Floyd & Oscar hit the scales

The 2 fighters took to the stage in what was the biggest ever fight weigh-in in Vegas history yesterday afternoon.

Floyd Mayweather Junior - 150lb (4 pounds under the weight limit)

Mayweather


Oscar De La Hoya - 154lbs exactly on the weigh limit.

Golden Boy Promtions official release :-

by Ron Borges

LAS VEGAS - It is not about talking any more.

Between now and Saturday night at around 8 p.m. Las Vegas time silence will be the prevailing tone in the rooms of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Noise may surround them but the talking is over and the hard hours of silent waiting have begun.

De La Hoya

Few hours are as long as the final 24 before a fight of the magnitude of Saturday night's showdown between De La Hoya and Mayweather, the widely recognized best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Doubts will surface and recede because for all their obvious skills and physical gifts these are human beings after all, a fact the rest of the world sometimes forgets.
For Mayweather, this is the biggest moment of his athletic life, a fight he has trained for since he was a small boy being dragged to the gym by his father, Floyd, Sr. For someone who has so long felt he has been denied his just rewards, to face boxing's Golden Boy in a packed arena and in front of one of the biggest pay-per-view audiences in boxing history is living out both a dream and a nightmare.

The dream is obvious. His crowning moment has finally come. The nightmare is something no one talks about but it exists in the deep recesses of his mind. It is in the question he does not what to have to answer. What happens if the dream does not come true? What happens if, when your moment comes, it turns out be the humbling one De La Hoya quite rightly pointed out on Wednesday that all men must face at some point in their lives? Mayweather will do all he can to block out such doubt but it will linger there, waiting for a safe moment to surface and torment him in the dark hours before the first bell finally rings.

The same will be true for the 34-year-old De La Hoya for no matter how many Big Fights you've been in, the next one carries with it its own harrowing fears. One seldom thinks to associate fear with fighters but it exists for them, as it does for everyone else. What they do with that fear is what separates them from the more civilized provinces in the world.

Does it consume him in a fire of self-doubt or does it stay under control, a gnawing feeling that makes a fighter ready for his moment rather than overwhelmed by it?

Unlike Mayweather, De La Hoya has been through this many times. By the time the fight begins he will have become the all-time leader in pay-per-view sales, grossing over $600 million for himself and the various broadcasting and promotional partners he has worked with. He understands how uncomfortable it feels the first time so many eyes are turned to you and you alone. Floyd Mayweather will be feeling that unsettling feeling for the first time as the hours stretch toward dawn on Saturday morning. How he handles it will play a role in how he handles De La Hoya. It will not decide the fight but it will be a bigger factor than he knew back when talking, rather than fighting, was still the focus of things.

The first salvo in the final psychological in-fighting that occurs in an event of this magnitude occurred when the weigh-in was over Friday and the two fighters had been told to pose for the final faceoff. Mayweather stood defiantly in one spot to the right of the scale, waving to De La Hoya to come and face him. De La Hoya didn't move a muscle, holding his ground as if to say, "Little Floyd, you come to me, son.''

And Little Floyd did. He tried to hold his spot but he could not make himself do it, finally succumbing to the demands of his elder and stepping toward De La Hoya as if on a leash. It was a small concession but one De La Hoya wanted to force him into and he succeeded. For that moment at least, he dictated the terms of engagement. Will it mean anything on Fight Night? That depends on how well Oscar De La Hoya moves his hands and his feet.

By late Saturday afternoon nervous energy will be building inside them both like boiling lava in the belly of a volcano. It will have to explode but it must come out in a controlled fury not a wild explosion. De La Hoya understands this. Whether Mayweather does or not only time will tell but Friday afternoon he unknowingly made the first small concession to his opponent. He did not lead. He followed.

If Mayweather intends on winning, it would be wise he not make another such decision but sometimes, when the heat begins to rise and you are alone with your doubts and it is Fright Night not Fight Night, you cannot help yourself. Your steps take you where you know it is unwise to go, the way Sugar Ray Leonard did the first time he fought Roberto Duran.
Leonard knew he needed to box that night not fight but he could not help himself. This was Duran, after all, and so he tried to prove he was more than just a slick boxer. That night he did not listen to himself or to the men assembled in his corner to advise him. . He chose to fight.

Oscar De La Hoya hopes Floyd Mayweather, Jr. makes the same decision

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