By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Las Vegas, NV (September 12th, 2013)– Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez are weighing in on ‘the fight of the new century’ scheduled for Saturday, September 16, 2013, in Las Vegas, by the financial numbers perhaps the biggest fight since Jack Johnson versus James Jeffries, Muhammad Ali versus George Foreman, and Thomas Hearns versus Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Hype, money and world titles aside, Floyd and Canelo are fighting for prestige, to determine who truly is the ‘top dog’ of the boxing world today. If Canelo wins, the world will be looking at a trilogy of fights to rival Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, and Arturo Gatti versus Mickey Ward. It’s Showtime! And the sports world seems convinced Floyd still has a few good bouts left in the tank. But if Canelo gets inside and exposes Floyd as a spent fighter, the boxing world will be flipped upside down. Floyd, a master of defense and hard work, will have to confront the most dangerous opponent in the world on Saturday night, and will try to come out of the ring with his senses intact rather than scrambled.
Oscar De La Hoya is also confronting the most dangerous opponent in the world. As Iron Mike Tyson and the late Carlos Monzon might tell you, the most dangerous opponent in the world can be and often is yourself. For about a year, Oscar De La Hoya has been contemplating a return to the ring. At age 40, and five years removed from his stoppage loss to Manny Pacquiao, Oscar was a far cry from the Oscar who awhile back lost a split decision in a world title bout to Floyd Mayweather Jr. which could have gone either way of the judge’s scorecards.
Oscar should talk to Ricky Hatton, who tried to overcome the evils within of his own substance abuse, when he was recently knocked out in the ninth round of his comeback attempt. One punch to the liver-or what was left of it-sent Hatton down and out-in a fight Hatton was on his way to winning on points. The damage done to oneself by himself was a hurdle Ricky Hatton could not overcome.
Before Oscar De La Hoya can contemplate a return at welterweight, middleweight or light heavyweight, Oscar De La Hoya has to return to a sense of emotional balance. Two years ago, Oscar tried to do just that at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage. Now in 2013, the Golden Boy is now fighting the fight of his life, and like the Star Trek Episode, De La Hoya is confronting ‘The Enemy Within’.
Alcohol and drug abuse has destroyed many people over the course of time, from the ordinary to the extraordinary to the rich and famous. From Kelly Pavlik to the late Richard Pryor, some in the limelight spotlight come to grips with reality and some don’t. Oscar De La Hoya set the boxing world on fire with his fighting and promotions, ushering the world of sports into a new dynamic era of self-starters finding the road to promotional success in boxing and in other sports. Richard Pryor, the late legendary comedian, set himself on fire in a dramatic display of self-immolation and self-destruction, a lesson all of us must learn from.
As boxing enters its new era, and Floyd and Canelo take us there, one must not forget Oscar De La Hoya is there too. We all know being a celebrity and the pressures it entails is not always what is hyped up to be. Oscar De La Hoya is now back in rehab for alcohol and substance abuse in the fight of his life. As we wish Floyd and Canelo the best of success Saturday night, I think of Oscar too, because life is precious and Oscar needs the support of the public. Oscar De La Hoya is a great athlete, sports promoter and human being, but like each of us, has his faults and is human like the rest of us. Oscar, fight the good fight. Live. Come back because boxing needs you and the glowing personality and charisma you bring to the sport. With time, love, and the caring of others, the Golden Boy shall rise again.