By James Blears
As the infighting drags on about who deserves a bigger percentage of the revenue, if Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao fight on December 6 in Las Vegas, Oscar has stressed he’d love to pay Manny back for the havoc the Filipino has inflicted on the cream of Mexico’s boxing crop.
During a recent press conference in Mexico City to promote an upcoming Golden Boy Promotions event, scheduled for Monterrey on September 20th, Oscar and his team didn’t pull any punches when discussing the potential fight with Pacquiao.
“I would love to get revenge for all Mexicans who’ve fought against Manny. If you ask me that would be my choice, because he’s considered pound for pound champion of the world, and we can meet half ways and make a big fight out of it,” De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com.
“Manny holds that mythical title now, so all right prove it! He’s exciting, he’s strong, he’s fast. I believe the odds came out at two to one, so why not?”
Might Manny be turning down a golden opportunity? Oscar responded lightning fast: “Oh absolutely. It’s a huge opportunity and not only monetarily wise, but exposure, because the whole world will be watching this fight.
“I can make 147 [pounds] with no problem. I went up six weight classes, so it’s not impossible. Roy Jones went up to heavyweight and he won the title. So in the history of boxing, it’s been proven that the smaller guy jumps up three, four or five weight classes and can be successful, so this wouldn’t be the first.”
Needle has also crept in and dug deep under Oscar’s skin concerning Freddie Roach, who prepared him for last May’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, but is a training item with Manny. Oscar reflected with unsmiling irritation: “Freddie Roach is already talking that I can’t pull the trigger. Well if this fight happens, you watch! I’ll pull the trigger!”
After the conference broke up, Golden Boy Vice President and Matchmaker Eric Gomez confided to BoxingScene: “It was something that Oscar took personally, and it was something that hurt him because he left Freddie on good terms after Freddie helped him for the fight with Mayweather, and to be coming from a guy like Freddie, who he considers a friend it was hurtful. Oscar’s going to try to prove him wrong so let’s see!”
Getting back to the money Eric pursed his lips and stated: “The truth is in the numbers. Oscar should be getting the lion’s share. The most Manny’s ever made is four times less than what Oscar’s made in his last five fights average. So you really can’t compare apples and oranges, and Manny has to understand that. This is a great opportunity for Manny. If he really wants a worldwide event where he’s going to get exposure from all over the world, he’s got to take this fight. The ball is on his side of the court and he’s got to make it move!”
Referring to The Trigger Syndrome, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer ruefully grinned: “I think that was a bit disrespectful from Freddie Roach, but if this fight happens, they will be able to see how Oscar’s still able to pull the trigger.”
And Richard pointed out that Manny seems to be banking on percentages too much. He explained: “I think that’s very dangerous, but sometimes people let their ego get in the way, and they loose the perspective.
“The fact is that in an [average] fight, Manny Pacquiao makes two-and-a-half, three or three-and-a-half million dollars. If he goes in against say Juan Manuel Marquez or Erik Morales, maybe he makes four-and-a-half or five-million dollars….Ok. So now if he goes and fights Oscar, he’s guaranteed ten-million dollars and can potentially make fifteen, sixteen or more, depending on how the pay-per-view numbers are, under that seventy-thirty deal. It’s a little bit difficult to understand why somebody would turn that down? It certainly isn’t because of money, because he makes three or four times more. So I don’t know, maybe he’s scared fighting Oscar? There must be a reason why he hasn’t said YES.”
If there’s no opportunity to pull the trigger against Manny, then there’s a Roy waiting in the wings. Richard confided: “I got a call in the last couple of days from Roy Jones. If he wins against Joe Calzaghe, he’s interested. Then of course you have Sergio Mora, and Sugar Shane Mosley who would love to have another opportunity to fight Oscar, I don’t know how long Floyd Mayweather’s going to stay in retirement…and Margarito…So theres’ a long list.”
But coming back to Oscar’s personal and public preference, Richard explained: “I think Oscar feels pretty passionate about seeing if he can get a Pacquiao fight done, because as he said, it’s personal for him, as Manny has destroyed most of the Mexican greats of our generation, and now he (Oscar) feels it stops with him.
“I’m continuing conversations with Bob Arum, and we’ll see where it’ll lead. We hope that maybe as early as Thursday, we might have an announcement.”